A. O. Smith, The Water Council to sponsor BREW Corporate technology challenge

MILWAUKEE, June 14, 2016 /CNW/ -- A. O. Smith Corporation and The Water Council are partnering to identify and support entrepreneurs and start-ups developing innovative freshwater technologies through a global technology challenge, BREW Corporate:  Powered by A. O. Smith.

The challenge, which was announced today during the 2016 Water Summit in Milwaukee, will focus on three areas of interest to A. O. Smith:  

  • Water purification—higher efficiency reverse osmosis technologies to prevent fouling and scaling, cost-effective salt- and additive-free water softening technologies, and advanced residential and light commercial water treatment technologies for the removal of heavy metals, organic chemicals, and microbiological contaminants;
  • Water heating—technologies that improve the energy efficiency of non-powered atmospheric gas-fired water heaters and technologies/products that increase thermal energy storage in water heaters without reducing the life of the heater; and
  • Sensors—Cost-effective, real-time heavy-metal sensor technologies and advanced water flow sensor technologies for micro to medium flow applications.

To be considered, an entrepreneur or start-up must complete an online application that requests basic information about the business, the problem/issue being addressed, and details regarding the company's stage of technology, core competencies and competitiveness. The deadline for entries is 11:59 p.m. CDT on July 20.

All entries will be reviewed by a panel of A. O. Smith personnel, The Water Council senior staff, and subject matter experts in the area of freshwater science.  Recipients will be notified in August; the fall BREW Corporate (Business. Research. Entrepreneurship. In Wisconsin) program begins the week of Sept. 12.  For a complete explanation of A. O. Smith's target technologies, application criteria, and entry forms, go to www.brewcorporate.com.

Recipients will receive a minimum investment of $50,000 from A. O. Smith as well as tuition to participate in The Water Council's 12-month accelerator program in Milwaukee.  In addition to the investment, the winning entrepreneurs receive:

  • A suite in the Global Water Center for up to 12 months;
  • Business model and operations training through The Water Council and University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Institute for Water Business;
  • Access to faculty and students from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School for Freshwater Sciences and Marquette University;
  • Access to the Global Water Center's Flow Lab and A. O. Smith product engineering labs;
  • Mentorship from A. O. Smith corporate development and senior engineering staff, as well as direct access to BREW Preferred Partners;
  • Attendance to conferences and pitch sessions with The Water Council; and
  • A one-year membership to The Water Council providing access to an extensive water technology network.

About BREW Accelerator

BREW Accelerator, a program of The Water Council, is a world-class seed accelerator that unleashes water innovation by funding water technology startups with commercialization potential. The first-of-its-kind accelerator pairs a unique water-focused startup community with credible resources of the World Water Hub to help entrepreneurs from around the world accelerate results. Now in its fourth year, BREW has sponsored a total of 20 freshwater technology companies. An expansion of the BREW Accelerator program, BREW Corporate partners with global corporations looking for new technologies to solve a specific challenge.

About A. O. Smith

A. O. Smith Corporation, with headquarters in Milwaukee, Wis., is a global leader applying innovative technology and energy-efficient solutions to products manufactured and marketed worldwide.  The company is one of the world's leading manufacturers of residential and commercial water heating equipment and boilers, as well as a manufacturer of water treatment products. For more information, visit www.aosmith.com.

About The Water Council

The Water Council was established in 2009 by Milwaukee-area businesses, education and government leaders. The nonprofit organization, consisting of more than 180 members, links together global water technology companies, innovative water entrepreneurs, acclaimed academic research programs and, most importantly, some of the nation's brightest and most energetic water professionals. The Water Council is capturing the attention of the world and transforming the Milwaukee region into a World Water Hub for freshwater research, economic development and education. For more information, visit www.thewatercouncil.com.

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SOURCE A. O. Smith Corporation

For further information: Media, Mark A. Petrarca, 414-359-4100, mpetrarca@aosmith.com, or Analysts/Investors, Patricia K. Ackerman, 414-359-4130, packerman@aosmith.com, both of A. O. Smith Corporation, http://www.aosmith.com

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