Water Council receives cluster grant under Regional Innovation Strategies program

The Water Council recently announced that it has been listed among the first 26 recipients of the 2014 Regional Innovation Strategies program grants, receiving $71,625 under the "Cluster Grant for Seed Capital Funds" project.

MILWAUKEE, WI, April 2, 2015 -- The Water Council recently announced that it has been listed among the first 26 recipients of the 2014 Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program grants, receiving $71,625 under the "Cluster Grant for Seed Capital Funds" project. The grant will help to offset portions of the initial marketing and legal costs associated with the launch of the organization's Water Seed Fund.

The RIS program, which is being run by the U.S. Economic Development Administration's Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, is a new initiative designed to advance innovation and capacity-building activities in regions across the country through three different types of grants: i6 Challenge grants, Cluster Grants for Seed Capital Funds (CGSCF), and Science and Research Park Development Grants.

Early access to capital is crucial for startups but can be difficult to obtain outside traditional startup hubs. CGSCFs provide technical assistance funding to support the feasibility, planning, formation, or launch of cluster-based seed capital funds, which will help improve access to capital for entrepreneurs across the United States. The total amount of funding for U.S. CGSCFs under RIS is nearly $2 million.

"This award from the U.S. Economic Development Administration confirms that southeast Wisconsin is the nation's leading cluster for the development and commercialization of water technology. The launch of the Water Seed Fund will add the missing piece to the puzzle -- technology, entrepreneurs, markets, and now capital," said Dean Amhaus, president and CEO of The Water Council. "We are very pleased to be able to continue our work with the Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Administration."

"As America's 'Innovation Agency,' the Commerce Department has a key role to play in supporting the innovators and job creators of tomorrow," said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker. "We want to ensure that all entrepreneurs have access to the tools they need to move their ideas and inventions from idea to market. The Regional Innovation Strategies Program competition is designed to advance this mission across the United States, strengthening our economy and our global competitiveness."

See also:

"Water Council announces Round III of The Brew accelerator program"

"Water Council earns Wells Fargo National Clean Technology and Innovation Grant"


About The Water Council

The Water Council, the only organization of its kind in the U.S., was established in 2009 by Milwaukee-area businesses, education and government leaders. With more than 150 water technology companies in the Milwaukee area, the region's water industry is a $10.5-billion market and accounts for 4 percent of the world's total water business. The non-profit organization, consisting of more than 160 members, is linking together global water technology companies, innovative water entrepreneurs, acclaimed academic research programs and some of the nation's most intelligent 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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