WEN - Pittsburgh Water Economy Network
WEN’s vision is to serve a critical role in strengthening Greater Pittsburgh’s and the tri-state region’s competitive advantage as a global center for water sector research, innovation, business development and responsible water resource sustainability. WEN’s mission is to help regional water sector stakeholders access new water sector business opportunities, encourage new company formation through innovative technology development and deployment, attract both national and international water-related industry, and promote responsible water resource sustainability.
The Network focuses on 5 key water sector areas: 1) Energy-Water intersects, 2) Industrial Water Retention and Storage, 3) Water Reuse and Treatment, 4) Navigation and Monitoring, and 5) Green Infrastructure and Storm Water Management. WEN works with regional water sector stakeholders and resource partners by:
• Identifying new technologies and facilitating seed capital and investment funding. 2014 represents the start of the formal WEN work plan. Among the key activities planned or underway is the launch of Innovate H20, a water technology development accelerator program. In partnership with and led by Idea Foundry, Innovate H20 brings together industry and researchers to advance new technology ideas from pre-development through to market ready stages. WEN works to connect regional and national investment sources with technology development opportunities.
• Identifying immediate infrastructure development project opportunities. Many municipalities within the Pittsburgh region are undertaking reviews of their water infrastructure and assets. New projects related to greening of the regional water infrastructure as well as monitoring water quality and flow, are increasingly coming online. WEN monitors these opportunities and works to inform WEN members.
• Facilitating the formation of public and private member teams to respond to project and/or research opportunities. Competitive water research projects and grant opportunities often require diverse industry, community and research partnerships. WEN can assist in identifying the right partners and coordinating proposal development and management.
• Making new connections among domestic and international industry stakeholders and with the national Water Cluster Network. There is no substitute for in person networking. WEN will be hosting networking events and roundtable discussions into a variety of water related topics and challenges. This year WEN will host an international Water Symposia set for July 23 and 24 in Pittsburgh held in partnership with the German-American Chamber of Commerce.
• Sharing information relative to technical developments, grant opportunities, collaborative teaming, and other critical information that will help connect our public and private sector members with new water sector market opportunities. WEN works to collect and share information about project opportunities, technical resources and public policy issues that can help advance or impeded water quality, supply and distribution. Our members and Board are the best resource for new information. This year, two working groups will be formed to focus on Innovation and Workforce Development.
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