EPA Cincinnati Technology Collaboration and Transfer
Engagement with Confluence
Confluence was initiated in Dayton/Cincinnati/northern Kentucky/southeast Indiana in January 2011 to develop and commercialize innovative water technologies that solve environmental challenges and spur sustainable economic development in the region. Confluence builds on existing firms, intellectual capacity, and expertise in the region that can be used to advance economic development and technology innovation in a strategic and coordinated manner. This grassroots organization was developed by a coalition of private and public sector leaders from the region with assistance and inspiration from EPA and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
Confluence and EPA Cincinnati
As one of the largest federal water research and development laboratories in the United States, EPA Cincinnati generates innovative solutions that protect human health and the environment and present opportunities for private sector growth. The rich RD&D infrastructure provided by EPA Cincinnati and innovative researchers is a technical anchor for Confluence and a national draw to the region.
EPA Cincinnati coordinates with Confluence by:
- Advising Confluence’s Board of Directors.
- Offering EPA participation in Confluence work groups.
- Coordinating joint activities, including meetings, workshops, test events, etc.
Confluence’s Board of Directors provides strategic direction for the cluster and its operation. This board meets monthly. US EPA's Environmental Technology Innovation Cluster Development and Support Program Director is an advisor to this board. The director participates in monthly board meetings, provides technical input, and coordinates with EPA staff on issues of interest to both EPA Cincinnati and Confluence.
Work Group Participation
Confluence has formed work groups to advance and promote the larger regional cluster effort. Representatives of the EPA cluster team are participating in six of these work groups. Participation can include providing technical input on specific issues, serving as a conduit between EPA Cincinnati and Confluence, and identifying joint activities to pursue with Confluence. The work groups targeted the following activities (EPA Cincinnati participation is indicated with an asterisk).
- State Testing Protocol* – To facilitate the development of a protocols for test and approval of water devices in partnership with organizations across the three-state cluster region.
- Network of Test Beds* – To coordinate the development of and access to a network of test bed sites to evaluate local, national, and international water technologies.
- Water Policy Forum* – To convene a water policy forum that will identify issues or questions within the water industry, facilitate dialog with EPA or other regulatory agencies on those questions, and report key knowledge back to the water community.
- Seminars, Conferences, Workshops* –To develop a premier series of water-related educational programming, including technology workshops, industry or technology seminars, and water conferences.
- Business Advisory Council – To establish a business advisory council of businesses and inventors/entrepreneurs with water-related products.
- Top Three to Five Technology Problems Identification – To define the top three to five technology problems to be addressed to better serve the water community and to improve the competitive advantage of businesses within Confluence’s region.
- Partnerships With Other Technology/Research Entities* – To use Confluence as a hub for developing partnerships with other technology, cluster, and research organizations.
- Establish Success/Impacts Metrics – To establish the metrics that will be used to measure the success and impact of Confluence overall.
- Communications and Marketing* – To develop a top-notch communications and marketing plan capable of communicating cluster impacts worldwide.
Coordinate Joint Activities
The EPA cluster team coordinates joint activities (such as meetings, workshops, and test events) that support EPA and Confluence’s interest in RD&D for innovative water technologies that advance economic development and solve environmental challenges. As part of this role, the cluster team coordinates both internally (with EPA Cincinnati research staff) and externally (with Confluence) to identify topics, capabilities, and EPA Cincinnati research leads and facilities for joint projects.
The following is a list of completed joint activities:
- January 18, 2011 – Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, Remarks at the Announcement of the Water Technology Innovation Cluster, as prepared
- March 28, 2011 – SBIR and State Funding Opportunities and Proposal Preparation Workshop
- July 2011 - Water Challenges Workshop – Meeting the Demands for Innovative Solutions, May 23, 2011, Cincinnati, Ohio, Meeting Summary Report (PDF) (37 pp, 200 KB) Publication No. EPA/600/S-11/008.
- November 1, 2011 – Water Technology Forum: Rapid, Real-Time Monitoring of Pathogens in Water (PDF) (19 pp, 572 KB)
Cincinnati EPA Water Cluster Stakeholder Engagement Coordinator