State water technology leaders join governor highlighting state’s strengths

Officials from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) joined Governor Scott Walker and leaders of the state’s water technology sector Tuesday in making a compelling case for how Wisconsin companies can help Israel address its water challenges during the second day of the governor’s trade mission to that country.

WEDC Secretary and CEO Mark Hogan, WEDC Vice President of International Business Development Katy Sinnott and Governor Walker joined Dean Amhaus, president and CEO of The Water Council, Brett Peters, dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and Kevin Shafer, executive director of the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, in a “Reverse Pitch for Innovation” event in Tel Aviv.

During presentations to Israeli businesses, the leaders of the three major water technology organizations outlined various water-related problems facing the country and highlighted potential solutions being pursued by researchers and businesses in Wisconsin and the U.S.

“Wisconsin’s water technology sector has an international reputation for developing innovative solutions to water-related issues worldwide,” said Governor Walker. “This event was an outstanding opportunity to showcase all Wisconsin has to offer and provide the Israeli businesses with an in-depth look at our capabilities.”

The event also provided the Israeli companies in attendance with the chance to introduce new technologies they have developed but which still need proof-of-concept testing to determine if they are viable solutions. Leaders of those startup and early-stage companies took part in roundtable discussions with Wisconsin water technology leaders to share ideas and explore possible areas of future collaboration. The Water Council also will help Israeli businesses connect with Wisconsin companies to discuss efforts for future collaboration.

“The ‘Reverse Pitch’ presents a great opportunity to outline the solutions Wisconsin’s global water technology companies are seeking and to connect them with the innovations by the Israeli businesses,” said Amhaus. “At the same time, the Israeli businesses exploring operations in the U.S. can hear why Wisconsin’s proven water technology hub presents an unparalleled ecosystem of support from a ‘safe landing zone’ to piloting opportunities.”

Governor Walker and the water technology leaders also met Tuesday with Start-Up Nation Central, a non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening Israel’s innovation ecosystem. During that meeting, Wisconsin officials received updates on Israel’s high-tech ecosystem and water innovation efforts and talked about potential collaboration and partnerships.