The Patrick Administration today announced the formation of the New England Water Innovation Network (NEWIN), which will build upon the successes the Commonwealth and companies have had in creating more efficient and cost-effective water supply and wastewater treatment solutions to drive demand for Massachusetts-made products and services.
“In Massachusetts, we are marrying our brainpower with our natural resources in order to position ourselves as the home away from home for the water innovation industry,” said Governor Patrick. “The New England Water Innovation Network will be a voice for the industry and help Massachusetts and New England stake our claim to global leadership in water innovation.”
Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rick Sullivan made the announcement as part of the New England Water Environment Association’s (NEWEA) annual conference.
“By bringing together innovators looking to address our global water challenges, we are growing the Massachusetts water industry," said Secretary Sullivan.
The Patrick Administration, through the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), has committed up to $100,000 in matching funds to launch and grow the new network.
“Treating and moving water consumes an enormous amount of energy all over the world,” said Alicia Barton, CEO of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center. “By driving solutions in water technology Massachusetts companies can provide solutions for the world's energy and water challenges at the same time."
NEWIN will be comprised by members from across New England, including startups, multi-national companies, academia, the investments community and professional associations. The network will work to accelerate the commercialization of new technologies, services and products for the water market.
“Water should be safe, abundant and affordable” said Earl Jones, Chairman of the New England Water Innovation Network. “In reality, a host of challenges – from population growth and urbanization to climate volatility and rising energy demands threaten water resources globally like never before, and will worsen in the coming decades. If we are to address these serious challenges to our water resources we must innovate faster – and not just in our treatment technologies. We must also innovate in how we finance, deliver, maintain and regulate water resources. Yesterday’s solutions simply cannot address today’s challenges.”
Massachusetts is a leading U.S. destination for water innovation with billion-dollar companies working in water technology and engineering, world-class research and graduate degree programs, a healthy venture capital sector and a dynamic innovation ecosystem. Massachusetts is home to nearly 300 water industry companies, organizations and institutions working to solve the world’s water challenges, including aging infrastructure and nutrient loading as a result of the wide use of septic systems in coastal communities like Cape Cod.
In 2012, Massachusetts was home to the most Small Business and Innovation Research (SBIR) grants per capita at 15 and the most water innovation patents per capita in the country at nearly 120.
Governor Patrick has led trade missions to Israel, Canada and Singapore with a focus on water innovation, partnering with leading nations to harness their expertise and open up new markets for local companies.