Technology Collaboration and Transfer
In early 2010, EPA took the lead for a program that would catalyze a public-private partnership for commercializing water technology. This charge followed the priorities of EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson to protect the environment while supporting regional economic development efforts. The importance of public-private partnerships was recently reinforced by the Presidential Memorandum on Accelerating Technology Transfer and Commercialization of Federal Research in Support of High-Growth Businesses (October 28, 2011).
EPA Cincinnati was selected because of its solid research and development infrastructure. In addition, support from the U.S. Small Business Administration strengthened the federal backing helpful to success for the cluster effort.
During the 2010 organizational phase, the effort involved hosting hundreds of stakeholder meetings and developing resource documents, including the 2010 U.S. Drinking Water Innovation Vendor Outlook (PDF) (52 pp, 3.53 MB), and the Mapping Report on Proposed Water Cluster in Cincinnati Region (PDF) (335 pp, 2.69 MB). The community responded positively to the cluster concept and decided to pursue it. The result was the launch of the Water Technology Innovation Cluster (WTIC), now known as Confluence, on January 18, 2011.
Today, EPA provides technical assistance and expertise to Confluence as an ex-officio board member. EPA also seeks to transfer federal technologies into the marketplace, and collaborate on environmental research and development projects with industry, academia, trade associations, and state and local agencies to promote the regional cluster effort.