Tech challenge: Biological and dbp Sensors



Spearheaded by The Water Council, the Tech Challenge is a new global, open innovation competition designed to identify cutting-edge freshwater technologies and ideas with high potential for commercialization or implementation. A series of Tech Challenges run throughout the year, and each Challenge is designed around a specific topic identified by corporate sponsors. Every Tech Challenge is open to anyone with a good idea and candidates can submit an application to as many of the Challenges as they like.

Prospective technologies can come from entrepreneurs, university students or researchers, professionals already working in water-dependent industries, private sector and government labs or just inventive individuals. Challenge finalists will present in-person to the sponsoring organization to compete for:

  • Maximum total prize money of $25,000
  • If the technology is near commercialization, opportunities to jointly commercialize technology with a sponsoring company
  • If the technology needs more research, opportunities to continue research at the Water Equipment & Policy (WEP) Research Center in conjunction with a university professor and sponsoring company
  • Access to sponsoring companies’ R&D teams
  • Media exposure and communications boost to The Water Council’s water technology leadership network


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Submission Criteria

Tech Challenge: Biological & Disinfection Byproduct (DBP) Sensors is accepting applications from people located anywhere around the world between Nov 1, 2018 - Jan 13, 2019.

This challenge is looking for inventive individuals or companies with ideas that fall into one or more of these categories:

  • Sensors for detecting microbiological organisms for:
    • 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 or yeast in fermenting processes
    • Sensors for detecting disinfection byproducts (DBP) resulting from organic compounds reacting with disinfectant chemicals

Key success criteria for the performance of the solutions include:

  • Durable
  • Low cost
  • Long lasting
  • Low energy usage
  • Rapid response
  • Non-toxic reagents or no reagents required
  • Minimizing false positives or false negatives

Program Features

If selected, winners will benefit from the following:
  • Opportunity to present the technology idea to corporate leadership teams from Badger Meter and Zurn Industries
  • Guidance and mentoring from corporate project management, engineering, and business experts
  • Access to water tech leadership network and various product development labs
  • Prize money
  • Media exposure

Submissions are no longer being accepted.


Applications Open

November 1, 2018

Applications Close

January 13, 2019

Finalists Selected

February 2019

Pitch Competition and Winners Selected

March 2019

Ongoing Interaction with Companies

April 2019 and beyond as applicable.