Fixed Earth Innovations wins Tech Challenge fall 2020 open innovation contest
Corporate program sponsors A. O. Smith, Badger Meter and Zurn Industries select PFAS-focused water technology startup as $10,000 winner from a field of 18 applications located in seven countries.
MILWAUKEE, Wis. (Jan. 5, 2021) – The Water Council today, along with corporate sponsors A. O. Smith, Badger Meter and Zurn Industries, announced Fixed Earth Innovations as the $10,000 winner of Tech Challenge, a semi-annual open innovation contest.
The Saskatoon-based, water technology startup was selected from a field of 18 applicants, six located outside North America, for its promising solution that uses custom microbes to break the carbon fluoride bond of PFAS, or poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances, which are considered forever-chemical contaminants in fresh water.
According to Karen Frost, The Water Council’s vice president of economic development and Tech Challenge program director, beyond matching sponsors to innovators, the program offers intangible side benefits for sponsors and applicants alike. She notes, “For sponsors, it’s been rewarding to also open idea flow for cutting-edge innovations because of what they learn from applicants during the interview process. And for applicants on their path to commercialization, the program provides a valuable opportunity for them to garner marketplace insights from world-class R&D teams.”
Launched in 2017 and held twice annually, Tech Challenge is an open innovation contest designed to connect program sponsors to those with novel solutions for emerging freshwater technologies with a high potential for commercialization. The fall 2020 challenge, which ran from Sept. 1 to Nov.1, sought innovative water technology solutions for water quality sensing and/or remediating specific to: heavy metals and industrial chemicals (such as lead, PFOA and PFAS) in water and wastewater; and microbiological organisms in water and remediation using alternative disinfection technologies (non-chlorine). In total, five finalists have been invited to continue to meet with the program sponsors.
Water technology companies can benefit from the Tech Challenge program by becoming a sponsor. “The primary objective of the Tech Challenge program is to deliver to our sponsors introductions to previously unknown companies and entrepreneurs that might have promising water technology solutions that can be incorporated into our sponsors’ innovation programs,” stated Dean Amhaus, president and CEO of The Water Council. “We were all elated that, in this latest round, over 90% of the applicants were entirely new to our sponsors.”
- Environmental Groups Seek to Intervene in PFAS Case - Danielle Kaeding - Jun 15th, 2021
- Conservation voters urge expansion of clean water protections - Wisconsin Conservation Voters - May 20th, 2021
- DNR Hosts Virtual Listening Sessions On PFAS Contamination In Marinette & Peshtigo On May 19 - Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources - May 18th, 2021
- AG Kaul Leads 19 AGs in Urging EPA to Require Public Water Systems to Monitor for Additional PFAS - Josh Kaul - May 10th, 2021
- Peshtigo Residents Faced “Massive” PFAS Contamination - John McCracken - May 7th, 2021
- Evers, Democrats Push PFAS Contamination Bill - Hope Kirwan - Apr 22nd, 2021
- Gov. Evers, State Legislators Announce Legislation to Address Statewide PFAS Contamination - Gov. Tony Evers - Apr 21st, 2021
- State Officials Push Action on PFAS - Shamane Mills - Apr 20th, 2021
- PFAS In Wisconsin Webinar 2 p.m. April 19 - Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources - Apr 16th, 2021
- New Fish Consumption Advisory For Silver Creek - Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources - Apr 15th, 2021
Read more about PFAS Problem here
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