Tech challenge: SENSORS FOR HEAVY METALS & CHEMICALS

CONNECTING INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS WITH A. O. SMITH, BADGER METER, AND ZURN INDUSTRIES

About TECH CHALLENGE: SENSORS FOR HEAVY METALS & CHEMICALS

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:

  • Minimum 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

WATER STARTUP COMMUNITY IN MILWAUKEE

  • 34 portfolio companies
  • 100+ pilots
  • “Midwest’s coolest, most underrated city” – Vogue, 2018
  • Home to a leading utility of the world
  • 200+ water technology companies
  • “1 of 3 Best Start-up Alternatives to Silicon Valley” – Realtor.com, 2017
  • Home to a National Science Foundation Water Equipment & Policy Center
  • One of the nation's leading agricultural states with more than 5.5 billion dollars in farm product sales per year
  • Leading paper producer
  • Hub for makers, entrepreneurs, inventors, chefs, dreamers and creatives of all kinds. More about Milwaukee and Wisconsin.

Submission Criteria

Tech Challenge: Sensors for Heavy Metals & Chemicals 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 innovative solutions for detecting heavy metals (such as lead) and industrial chemicals (such as PFOA and PFAS) in water and wastewater. Sensors or sensing methods for the following analytes, or indicators, are sought:

  • PFOA and/or PFAS
  • Lead (to 0.015 mg/L)
  • Other heavy metals
  • Various Acids including Sulfuric

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 A. O. Smith, 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

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TECH CHALLENGE: SENSORS FOR HEAVY METALS & CHEMICALS
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Timeline

Applications Open

November 1, 2018

Applications Close

January 13, 2019

Finalists Selected

February, 2019

Pitch Competitions and Winners Selected

March 2019

Ongoing Interaction with Companies

April 2019 and beyond as applicable.