Water technology companies based in Wisconsin or anywhere in the U.S. can apply to take part in a day-long challenge focused on water technology innovation, held as a partnership between The Water Council and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA’s) Glenn Research Center.

The Water Council announced the upcoming Tech Connect: Water Challenge Workshop today at the Water Environment Federation’s Annual Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC) in Chicago.

Companies that are selected to participate will receive up to 40 hours of support from NASA Glenn’s world-renowned subject matter experts in solving technical challenges they are having with new or existing products or within their manufacturing operations.

“The opportunity for water engineers to work alongside some of the world’s most highly regarded scientists is matchless, and a great recognition of how our cluster continues to move the needle forward on public-private partnerships to spur innovation and opportunities,” said Dean Amhaus, president and CEO of The Water Council.

Applications are now open for the challenge, and will be accepted through December 15. To apply, companies must be U.S.-owned with 25 or more employees; have an established product or service; and have a technical challenge that, once solved, will generate revenue and add jobs.

Up to four companies will be selected to participate in the face-to-face, one-day event held on March 21, 2018, at the Ohio Aerospace Institute in Cleveland. In advance of the event, selected companies will work with the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership (WMEP), which will help them to articulate a concise problem statement that corresponds with NSA competencies.

“Accelerating technology development and adoption is core to the Manufacturing Extension Partnership and WMEP’s mission,” said Tim Wiora, CEO and executive director of WMEP. “WMEP is proud to partner with The Water Council to identify technologies that will aid their member companies bringing new products to market.”

The companies will have access to NASA experts during the day-long event, and will also have the opportunity to apply for an additional 32 hours of follow-up technical assistance after the event.

NASA Glenn designs and develops innovative technology to advance NASA’s aeronautics and space exploration missions. The center specializes in aircraft propulsion; communications technology; in-space propulsion and cryogenic fluids management; power, energy storage and conversion; materials and structures for extreme environments; and physical sciences and biomedical technologies in space.

Interested business can apply now through Dec. 15, 2017. Entries will be reviewed by a panel of senior staff and subject matter experts from NASA, The Water Council and WMEP. Applicants who are selected will be notified in January, and more details will be provided at that time.

“NASA Glenn Research Center is pleased to partner with The Water Council,’’ said Laurie Stauber, NASA’s Water Initiative lead and manager of Glenn’s regional economic development team. “Our Tech Connect events with organizations in the Midwest have been successful in solving challenges proposed by small, medium and large companies that need assistance with in-house technical issues. Glenn’s subject matter experts provide a unique perspective in helping with these challenges, with the goal of developing new jobs in the region. We look forward to supporting the Tech Connect event and also to developing additional partnerships connecting our organization to regional companies that may be interested in NASA’s water-based capabilities and technologies.”

Check back throughout the week for more updates from WEFTEC on the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s Events Blog.