BlueTech Forum 2023: Key Insights and Future Directions for Water Innovation

June 5, 2023

BlueTech Forum 2023: Key Insights and Future Directions for Water Innovation

The BlueTech Forum 2023 held in Edinburgh, Scotland was an exceptional experience, highlighting both the current state of water innovation and its future potential. This event demonstrated the power of global collaboration and the importance of fresh perspectives in fostering sustainability and economic growth.

The Global Reach of Water Innovation and Networking Opportunities

The forum provided an excellent platform for connecting with peers and key stakeholders, offering a unique blend of high-level discussions, meetings, and technology demonstrations. The international nature of the event was particularly notable, presenting opportunities to build relationships with companies like Netherlands-based Sensiblue and a notable Australian utility firm.

Attendance at the BlueTech Forum not only enriched our approach to promoting water innovation but also positioned us as a key player on the global map. Being one of the few US-based organizations in attendance served as a powerful reminder that our work resonates on the world stage. It amplifies our influence, makes the Great Lakes region an attractive hub for innovative water solutions, and provides opportunities for our region to lead in driving sustainable water management.

Innovative Technologies and Future Directions

One of the standout presentations was by a company based in Portland, Oregon, on PFAS destruction technology. This innovation, which offers the potential for completely destroying PFAS rather than merely capturing it, was a revelation. It presents a significant opportunity for our region, particularly for the Great Lakes area, where we are eager to explore high-profile demonstration projects. Also, the forum was invaluable in strengthening our ability to identify potential grants for the Freshwater Innovation Fund and inspiring us to address market challenges with urgency.

The Challenges, Surprises, and Power of the BlueTech Forum

Despite the success of some presentations and the identification of common ground with unexpected stakeholders, there were reminders where we as leaders in water solutions can do better. Some presentations by large multinational companies indicated the need for the infusion of fresh perspectives and new talent into the water industry. These challenges do not speak to the inadequacy of these corporations, but rather reveal the still burgeoning nature of the water technology sector. Despite the apparent enormity of the sector, the water technology industry is still rather new, and quickly evolving. Immense and urgent opportunities lay ahead for pioneers and innovators.

The BlueTech Forum served as a stark reminder that we are at an exciting juncture, a point where water innovation is not just a regional effort but a global one. The key to unlocking the full potential of this sector lies in nurturing the community that the BlueTech Forum represents - a diverse and vibrant ecosystem of innovators, entrepreneurs, investors, and advocates; We return to the Great Lakes eager to continue our work doing just that.

Photos provided by BlueTech

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