Water Innovation

Aging water infrastructures, stormwater runoff, changing climates and concerns over nutrient loading are driving demand for new technologies to solve the critical water challenges of today and tomorrow.

Massachusetts’ world-class research universities, established water technology presence and strong innovation economy put it at a unique advantage to build a successful water technology cluster. As the Commonwealth’s lead public agency dedicated to expanding the water innovations sector, MassCEC supports several strategic initiatives designed to create a favorable environment for water technology companies and accelerate the development of the industry as a whole.

Massachusetts Water Cluster

MassCEC has played a pivotal role in the creation of the New England Water Innovation Network (NEWIN), a diverse network of innovators, students, engineering firms, researchers, equipment providers, test-beds, and senior government officials brought together to accelerate the introduction and commercialization of innovative water technologies.

Investments in Water Technology

MassCEC offers a variety of funding opportunities that support the development, demonstration and commercialization of innovative water technologies.

  • The Catalyst program provides grants to researchers and early-stage companies looking to demonstrate the feasibility of their clean water technologies and obtain increased industry and investor interest.
  • The Massachusetts as a First Customer program supports water innovation technology companies looking for their first or early customers, and facilitates the adoption of new innovative technologies at public agencies, schools and communities across the Commonwealth.
  • The InnovateMass program addresses the widely-recognized funding gap between early- and late-stage clean energy and water technology companies by demonstrating the commercial readiness of innovative technologies at paired demonstration sites.

MassCEC also supports water technology companies and research and development efforts through our leveraging federal opportunities and academic collaboration programs.

Water Technology Industry Roadmap

MassCEC, in collaboration with MassCEC, in collaboration with Battelle Memorial Institute and Redwood Innovation Partners, published the 2015 Water Technology Industry Roadmap. This Roadmap describes the rapidly-developing Water Technology Industry in Massachusetts, and identifies strategies to increase the impact of this industry on the Massachusetts economy. 

Water Innovation Trust Initiatives

In May 2015, the Commonwealth launched the Water Innovation Trust, with $800,000 of initial funding available for innovative water projects throughout Massachusetts.

In partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), MassCEC will support the development of a robust water technology test-bed network and assist municipal wastewater treatment plants in their efforts to adopt energy efficient and innovative water treatment technologies. Grants will be awarded for:

  • Feasibility studies at existing and potential test bed locations that would accelerate the commercialization of promising cutting-edge water technologies.
  • The development of innovative wastewater treatment technologies that reduce electricity consumption, cut energy costs for communities and/or improve the treatment process.

Innovations in water technology will play an essential role in minimizing the costs of necessary renovations to our wastewater, drinking water and stormwater infrastructure. Additionally, they have the potential to provide sizeable efficiency gains in energy generation, and the energy needed to pump, treat and convey water.

MassCEC is currently offering grants of up to $150,000 to publicly-owned wastewater treatment plants that pilot innovative water technologies.