Michigan Tech and H2Opportunities Partner to Develop New Water Resource Management Technologies
By Jennifer Donovan | Published
Michigan Technological University has teamed with “H2Opportunities,” a business accelerator in Oakland County, Mich., to develop emerging water and wastewater technologies. Michigan Tech will provide H2Opportunities access to technologies the University is developing as part of its strategic initiative to promote education, research, development and outreach activities for preservation and effective management the nation’s freshwater resources.
The partnership is designed to identify promising technologies, install them in “real world” municipal and industrial applications and quickly transform them into profitable, job-creating businesses located in Michigan.
Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner John P. McCulloch founded H2Opportunities. Executive Director Kevin R. Larsen described it as “different than typical accelerators, in that it can address the largest challenges facing water technology entrepreneurs: full-scale, real world testing, documentation of the findings, regulatory assistance, marketing assistance and business planning assistance as well as assistance in finding permanent financing.”
Larsen said the partnership will “provide an opportunity to change the way our nation deals with our most pressing water and wastewater challenges.” He explained that “historically water and wastewater operators are quite conservative and reluctant to accept change. This has stifled the introduction of technological innovations at a time when we need it most. That means we’re often left with out-dated technologies that can no longer meet today’s challenges,” he said.
“This partnership with Michigan Tech will provide a means of allowing technology developers to share the risks and rewards of introducing new products in Michigan with the expectation that this support will result in new jobs and new businesses in Michigan,” Larsen went on to say. “Michigan Tech’s extensive body of research involving water and wastewater will help us reach our goals faster.”
Todd Stewart, Michigan Tech’s director of institutional partnerships, said, “We are excited about this partnership with H2Opportunities and Oakland County. Sustainability is a part of Michigan Tech’s DNA. Doing science and developing new technologies related to managing water resources is central to our strategic focus on sustainability. This partnership with H2Opportunities will provide us with access to the municipal infrastructure and affiliated management expertise that we need to demonstrate, develop and accelerate the commercialization of water-related technologies created by Michigan Tech researchers. The accelerated transition of these new technologies into commercially-viable products and services will have the added important benefit of stimulating the creation of new technical, manufacturing and service jobs for Michigan, the Great Lakes region and the nation.”
Michigan Technological University is a public research university, home to more than 7,000 students from 60 countries. Founded in 1885, the University offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, and social sciences. Our campus in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway and is just a few miles from Lake Superior.