Happy New Year! 2014 is going to be an exciting year for Sustainable Water Works and The Innovation Factory. We are building new projects with new partners and fulfilling the promise of projects we have worked on over the past 2 years. SWW, ECT, EPA and MDEQ are bringing the Lower Rouge Legacy Act Proposal for the Lower Rouge River Sediment Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study to a successful conclusion in the first half of 2014 and we are working on another proposal to broaden the Rouge approach to other areas in Southeast Michigan. RecoveryPark (jobs for people with barriers to employment in food production, processing and distribution) is gaining momentum and business funding is coming together so design, engineering and program implementation can take place this year. We are looking forward to participating with our RecoveryPark Program Management partner Mannik & Smith on a Great Lakes Restoration Green Infrastructure Project to harvest rainwater from 32 blocks of blighted property for beneficial use. MSU continues to be an important partner for Sustainable Water Works and we look forward to participating in the Lake Erie Crescent Initiative this year. Our newest partner is Somnio Global, who are a SE Michigan technology development company. We are working with them on developing a low energy desalination system for Africa, Middle East and Asia for medium and small cities. These cities have significant issues with obtaining potable water and do not have the scale to attract traditional reverse osmosis based desalination plants. Proprietary technology licensed by Somnio provide an opportunity to reduce energy and maintenance costs significantly, making desalination affordable for a whole new market.
The Innovation Factory is going to take off this year. We have a new website www.innovation-factory.org and new marketing material to appeal to the broader product design community. Our plan is to start opening the Innovation Factory to entrepreneurs on Fridays in February to get foot traffic and show people what we can do from an ideation and virtual design perspective. We have a curriculum developed for our “Digital Draftsman” education program. Our intent is to kick off the Innovation Modelers Club in the 1st Quarter at The Henry Ford to engage prototype modelers from Southeast Michigan in innovation and product design.
Sustainable Water Works is supporting the MDEQ’s Green Infrastructure Conference on May 8-9, 2014 in Lansing. It is a policy and project based conference and SWW is working on the exhibits and the networking events as part of the organizing committee.
2014 is going to be a breakout year! As we begin, Tim and I thank those who supported Sustainable Water Works in 2013 and look forward to working with you to make 2014 even better.