The Puget Sound Region is home to a dynamic innovation ecosystem that has spawned globally competitive industry clusters in fields as diverse as aerospace (Boeing), e-commerce (Amazon), software (Microsoft), retail (Costco) and coffee (Starbucks). The Clean Water Innovation Initiative along with its 17 founding business, government, non-profit, and research partners is launching a unique public private strategy to jump start the Puget Sound region as a dynamic industry cluster for water innovation. The initiative will take on some of the world's toughest water challenges, such as desalinization, stormwater runoff, aging water distribution systems, energy efficiency, drought management, etc. The initiative will support entrepreneurial project teams to reduce the technical and commercial risk for Clean Water Innovation, accelerate the time to market and conserve resources required to develop and commercialize solutions. Three interrelated components are involved with the initiative:
1. Water Nexus: A physical proof of concept center and technology development accelerator providing entrepreneurs the infrastructure and resources to design, prototype, test Clean Water products, processes and services.
2. Water Alliance: A virtual cloud based network of water industry incubators and clusters across the US connecting the Puget Sound to the needs of end-users, research assets, intellectual property, best practices, complimentary technologies and beta sites for evaluating first generation prototypes and solutions.
3. Water Innovation Fund: An early (seed) stage grant/loan/equity fund to finance entrepreneurial start-ups through the critical "valley of death" between concept, workable prototype, commercial pilot, and first sales.