MILWAUKEE, May 23, 2017 /CNW/ -- Once again this year, 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 this morning during the 2017 Water Leaders Summit in Milwaukee, will focus on three areas of interest to A. O. Smith:
- Water treatment - High-efficiency water treatment technologies to remove contaminants such as trace heavy metals or microbiological materials from drinking water, as well as to improve water aesthetic characteristics including taste, odor and scale formation;
- Water heating - High-efficiency, low-emission water heating technologies, most notably durable surface finish concepts, as well as components or systems that prolong the life of a water heater;
- Sensors - Cost-effective sensor technologies for continuous or semi-continuous monitoring of trace level contaminants including heavy metals, bacteria and viruses, as well as other water quality indicators including hardness, total organic carbon and pH; and
- IoT - Innovative technologies to sense and deliver information for residential and light commercial water applications as well as deliver extended battery life, reduced overall energy consumption, and predictive analytics. Security technologies to protect users' privacy and manufacturers' intellectual property.
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 June 30.
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 July; the fall BREW Corporate (Business. Research. Entrepreneurship. In Wisconsin) program begins the week of Sept. 11. For a complete explanation of A. O. Smith's target technologies, application criteria, and entry forms, go to www.globalwaterport.com/brewcorporate.
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 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.
This is the second year A. O. Smith and The Water Council have sponsored BREW Corporate Technology Challenge. In 2016, A. O. Smith received approximately 20 proposals from water technology companies around the world.
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 from around the world 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 accelerate results. Now in its fifth year, BREW has sponsored a total of 25 water 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 leading manufacturer of water treatment products. For more information, visit www.aosmith.com.
About The Water Council
The Water Council was established as a 501(c)(3) organization in 2009 by Milwaukee-area businesses, education and government leaders. With a mission of aligning the regional freshwater research community with water-related industries, the organization takes great pride in having created the leading water technology cluster in the United States and one of the most powerful in the world. Headquartered in the Global Water Center in Milwaukee, Wis., The Water Council links global water technology companies, innovative water entrepreneurs, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, acclaimed academic research programs and some of the nation's brightest and most energetic water professionals. The driving force behind this success is the spirit of collaboration between public, private and academic sectors and the shared commitment to finding innovative solutions to critical global water issues.
SOURCE A. O. Smith Corporation