The Water Council opens fall round of Tech Challenge competition

The Water Council today announced the launch of the fall round of its corporate-sponsored open innovation contest, Tech Challenge. Sponsored by A. O. Smith, Badger Meter and Zurn, innovators with novel water quality sensing and/or remediating solutions are invited to apply for an opportunity to win money, gain access to corporate R&D resources and partner on the marketing, licensing or sale of their technology or solution.

The semi-annual Tech Challenge program connects innovators to innovative companies. Since the program’s launch in 2018, participating sponsors have identified 38 companies from 13 different countries as having novel solutions to address their technology needs. Sponsors are continuing to follow up with 27 companies that have a potential fit in their R&D programs. And more than 42 percent of the applicants were previously unknown to the sponsors.

“Through our global and highly connected network in the water community, we’ve had great success in introducing water innovators to world-class water technology brands,” said Dean Amhaus, CEO and president of The Water Council. “Participating in Tech Challenge enables progressive sponsoring companies’ R&D teams to discover innovations not typically found through their normal channels while giving water-focused entrepreneurs direct exposure to select global water technology companies.”

The fall challenge is focused on addressing solutions for water quality sensing and/or remediating for heavy metals and industrial chemicals (such as lead, PFOA and PFAS) in water and wastewater, and microbiological organisms in water and remediation using alternative (non-chlorine) disinfection technologies.

Potential applications include: the presence of illicit discharges to storm and sanitary sewers; presence of pathogens in water distribution systems, wastewater effluent and biosolids; process monitoring of wastewater treatment; point of use; industrial applications; municipal water supply; well water disinfection; industrial wastewater discharge; and municipal wastewater effluent water reuse, including potable water.

Tech Challenge application criteria, online submission forms and other program details are available at Prospective technologies or solutions can be submitted from entrepreneurs, university students or researchers, professionals already working in water-dependent industries, private sector and government labs or inventive individuals from any location in the world. Applications are being accepted for the fall round through Nov. 1, 2020, with finalists and winners announced in mid-December.