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Innovation Showcase

Innovation is the lifeblood of a dynamic water sector.  WEF is committed to Innovation.  It is in WEF’s Strategic Direction and it is here to stay.  You can see that mind-set manifested at WEFTEC.  We are all about thinking differently, facilitating conversations that transform ideas into solutions, and making new connections to help you turn challenges into accomplishments.

The Innovation Pavilion

Come and see cutting-edge products and services brought to you by WEF and our innovation partners, Imagine H20 and BlueTech Research. Featured exhibitors include finalists and winners of the Imagine H2O Water Innovation Prize and the 2014 BlueTech Forum Showcase. The theater in the Pavilion includes exciting programs and discussions about innovative ideas, businesses and practices.

The Innovation Showcase next to the WEF Innovation Pavilion includes the Wisconsin Innovation Pavilion, with the entrepreneurs from Milwaukee’s The Water Council’s BREW Accelerator exhibiting. The Showcase also features GNO Inc., highlighting the winners of the New Orleans Water Challenge, the Water Environment Research Foundation, and Kore Infrastructure (2012 EPA Green Chemistry winner).

Educational Sessions

The Innovation Showcase includes several forward-looking educational sessions relevant to utilities, investors, strategic partners, entrepreneurs, and technology providers.  Check the mobile app for the final details of these sessions and others in the innovation track.

WEFTEC and EPA Innovation Blueprint Series 

EPA and WEF are convening working sessions throughout WEFTEC to address key questions about how WEF and its members can foster water sustainability and influence and support the EPA’s Water Technology Innovation Blueprint. This is an opportunity for WEFTEC attendees to have an early and ongoing influence in water. The following Innovation Blueprint Series sessions will be held in the Innovation Pavilion:

Session 233 Energy Conservation & Recovery: The EPA Innovation Blueprint Area 1
Monday, September 29, 2014, 1:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Session 234 Recovering Nutrients: The EPA Innovation Blueprint Area 2
Monday, September 29, 2014, 1:30 pm - 2:00 pm

Session 235 Water Reuse: The EPA Innovation Blueprint Area 4
Monday, September 29, 2014, 2:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Session 620 EPA Innovation Blueprint: Pulling it All Together – Sustainability
Wednesday, October 01, 2014, 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm 

Additional Featured Sessions

Session 236
 Water Entrepreneur Showcase 1: WEF Innovative Technology Award Winners
Monday, September 29, 2014, 2:45 pm - 3:45 pm, Moderator: Alec Mackie, JWC Environmental, Assistant Moderator: Bob Domkowski, Xylem, Inc.


WEF’s award for Innovative Technology recognizes companies that have introduced new innovative products and services. The winners will present their ingenious ideas and new products and let you learn directly from the source. This year’s Innovative Technology Award winners cover a broad spectrum of technologies including lagoons, energy recovery, energy efficiency, and water quality sampling.


Winners of the 2014 Innovative Technology Award and the speaker presenting their technology are: 

Webitat for Lagoons
Sarah Hubbell, Entex Technologies
Webitat for Lagoons is an exceptionally innovative process technology designed to upgrade and enhance wastewater treatment in existing lagoon treatment plants. Adding Webitat media with aeration is a simple and low-cost way to enhance BOD and ammonia removal, even in very cold temperatures.

Thermwin Energy Recovery From Wastewater
TR Gregg, Huber Technology
Wastewater contains thermal energy and we can recover some of this energy with heat pumps. With the ThermWin system for heat recovery from sewage, we withdraw sewage from the sewer, screen it, pump it through above-ground heat exchangers, and then return it to the sewer.

WAVE: Water Analysis via Exploration
Dave Anderson, IEC
The WAVE sampler is the only one in the world. This sampling and mapping technology profiler enables the water community to sample and analyze huge bodies of water (oceans and rivers) in a fraction of the time, analyzing 22 parameters, showing gradients, concentrations in real-time with GPS coordinates.

Flygt Experior Pumps
Lisa Riles, Xylem
Flygt Experior delivers 50% energy savings by incorporating innovative clog-free, sustained efficiency hydraulic design, premium efficiency LSPM motors and SmartRun intelligent controls designed for wastewater pumping applications. The SmartRun integrated variable speed control incorporates patented algorithms specifically designed for wastewater such as energy minimizing, pump, sump and pipe cleaning functions.

Session 237 Water Innovation in the Beverage Industry: Market Dynamics, Case Studies, and Technology Opportunities
Monday, September 29, 2014, 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Water Innovation in the Beverage Industry session will feature a high-level analysis of the role water plays within the beverage industry, including case studies, market overview and developments, and key areas of innovation. Representatives from key beverage companies will discuss their experience and current involvement in water and wastewater within the industry. BlueTech Research will present the innovation landscape on water within the beverage sector, covering key technology trends and opportunities, and areas for investment. This session will conclude with a case study on an innovative technology within the beverage industry, followed by Q&A.

Session 330 Water Entrepreneur Showcase II: Imagine H2O and BlueTech Research Entrepreneurs
Tuesday, September 30, 2014, 9:00 am - 11:00 am
Moderator: Jeff Guild, BlueTech Research

This session features winners from Imagine H2O and Blue Tech Research’s start up accelerators who will explain their groundbreaking solutions. Come see the water industry of tomorrow through these imaginative, creative, and award-winning products. These sessions will also be streamed via Google+ Hangouts on Air. BioGill (Sydney, Australia) uses breakthrough technology in the biological treatment of wastewater. BioGills are above ground, non-submerged bioreactors that provide the ideal oxygen rich environment for microoganisms to thrive and break down nutrients in the waste stream. BioGills are helping businesses achieve regulated discharge standards at low cost and low energy. Silver Bullet Water Treatment Company (Denver, CO) provides a safe, proven and patented water treatment system for HVAC cooling towers and livestock drinking water systems that controls bacterial growth and reduces calcium scale buildup and corrosion. The system increases the operational efficiency of a cooling tower, saving water and energy. In livestock drinking systems, the Silver Bullet System reduces bacteria and helps keep water systems clean without the use of hazardous chemicals to improve overall herd health. WatrHub Inc. (Toronto, Ontario) is an award-winning Data & Analytics company that matches water & wastewater technology companies with pressing water treatment problems creating greater transparency and better outcomes for our water resources. We deliver timely, tailored market intelligence solutions which help technology providers in the water industry shorten their sales cycles, target prospects more efficiently, and uncover strategic market insights. Our cutting edge data-mining software and data-sourcing expertise provides the most comprehensive and in-depth view into municipal water systems and water-regulated industrial plants across U.S. and Canada.


Session 331 Water in the Textile Industry: Market Dynamics, Case Studies, and Technology Innovation Opportunities
Tuesday, September 30, 2014, 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Moderator: Marcus Oliver Gay, BlueTech Research

The Water in the Textile Industry session will analyze the role industrial water plays within the textile industry, including commercial perspectives, case studies, market analyses, and key areas of technology innovation. Corporate representatives from selected textile companies will provide their perspectives and experiences on water and wastewater in the industry. BlueTech Research will provide a high-level overview on the innovation landscape in the textile industry, focusing on key market trends and developments, and areas for investment. This session will conclude with a case study on an innovative technology within the textile industry, followed by Q&A.

Session 437 Water Entrepreneur Showcase III: What's BREWing in Milwaukee?
Tuesday, September 30, 2014, 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
Moderator: Elizabeth Thelen, The Water Council

Water innovation clusters are helping companies innovate and commercialize water technology, while stimulating economic development and job creation. The BREW, which stands for Business. Research. Entrepreneurship. In Wisconsin., is the only mentor-driven seed accelerator program solely focused on solving freshwater issues with innovative start-ups producing cutting-edge technology. This session features the current winners. After a comprehensive application and judging process, six entrepreneurs and their respective businesses were chosen to participate in the second year of the accelerator program, they are: 
  • Cadens, by Randy Mueller - A Wisconsin-based company that assists in the design, manufacture, installation, and operation of economical small and micro-scale hydropower systems
  • Pellucid Water, by Dr. Sorin Monolache and Mark Raabe - Out of UW-Madison, the company focuses on decontamination of water through its unique application. They are able to remove dissolved chemicals from water and other solutions.
  • Hydrolight, by Dr. Eric James and Kashif Hasnie - A patented water sterilization device that uses ultraviolet (UV) light to eliminate bacteria, viruses and protozoa from freshwater sources.
  • phinding Solutions, by Zach Munns, Brad James, and Founder Nick Jones - A biotechnology water company that wirelessly measures and transfers the ionic levels of water, through a patent pending technology, improving productivity while reducing associated costs.
  • Water Hub, by Sunit Mohindroo and Ahmad Badruddin - From Toronto, is a data & analytics company that delivers actionable intelligence for municipal, industrial and agricultural water sectors to enable faster, more confident decision making.
  • Wellntel, by Marion Singer and Nick Hayes - A real-time understanding of well and surrounding water table dynamics, provided through constant measuring and reporting of water levels on a private website or app 
  • In addition, an Honorable Mention winner will also be featured in the WEFTEC Innovation Showcase Pavilion: Ijinus, by Matthew Urvoy - A French company that offers autonomous ultrasonic level sensors.

Session 438 LIFT Technology Scan Round Robin 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014, 2:00 pm - 3:00 pmModerator: Jeff Moeller, Water Environment Research Foundation

The WEF-WERF LIFT program helps move innovation into practice. One component of the program is LIFT Technology Scans. Technology Scans identify and evaluate innovative technologies to inform water facility owners, funders, advisors, and end users and promote early adoption of technologies. The LIFT Pilot Technology Scan received 28 applications from technology providers on innovative technologies that enhance digestion operations and/or thickening and dewatering operations. Expert panels reviewed applications and recommended technologies to advance to the next stage of the process – assessment by interested parties. In this stage, technology providers are invited to present to LIFT audiences to garner interest in early adoption of the technology or exploring these technologies further through a collaborative pilot or demonstration. This session will feature several technologies from the LIFT Technology Scan program. Featured Technology Providers and Speakers: 

  • Bob Dabkowski., Hach – Sludge Thickening and Dewatering Real Time Control With the Hach real time control system, suspended solids concentrations and sludge flow values are used to calculate the optimum polymer feed for user entered solids set-point. Polymer feed is output for consistent thickening and dewatering results.
  • Hao Pham, Infilco Degremont Inc.- Dehydris Twist The Dehydris™ Twist is an advanced dewatering technology designed to significantly improve sludge dryness at minimum operational cost and labor input.
  • George Smith, Evoqua Water Technologies – The Captivator System The Captivator consists of a short aerated contact zone in front of a Folded-Flow™ DAF in which primary removal and sludge thickening are provided; up to 40% more BOD is removed and up to 40% more digester biogas is produced through use of this technology. 

Session 439 LIFT Presents: Fostering Innovation Through Collaboration
Tuesday, September 30, 2014, 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm, 
Moderator: Joseph Zuback, Global Water Advisors, Inc
Panelists: Joseph Kozak, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago and Dr. David L. Parry, CDM Smith

The water sector needs to innovate to continue to meet customer needs and comply with regulations. Technology is a key component of that innovation. Facility owners and their consultants, technology providers, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists as well as regulators are all partners in bringing new technology to the water sector. All parties benefit when collaborating to foster innovation. A collaborative approach can help to secure the necessary investment, minimize the risk of failure, and achieve successful implementation. How can you collaborate to help move innovation into practice? This panel discussion will highlight a variety of opportunities and mechanisms for collaboration on new technologies using real world examples ranging from utility data sharing, partnerships on co-digestion technology research, and new technology development. Ample opportunity will be provided for audience engagement and discussion.

Session 440 Johnson Foundation Decentralized Solutions
Tuesday, September 30, 2014, 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Session 531 Operations Ingenuity Contest Winners
Wednesday, October 01, 2014, 11:00 am - 12:30 pm 
Moderator: Deborah Houdeshell, Hazen and Sawyer

Come hear from the winners of the Third Annual WE Operator Ingenuity Contest! Innovation is a way of thinking and doing that can help you to do more with less, with more efficiency. It isn’t limited to new companies, but is found every day in utilities and companies around the world in the guise of the operators. These plucky professionals have found solutions and made a difference in many different ways and WEF is pleased to recognize them.


Turn acquaintances into colleagues and expand your network. Networking receptions will be held Monday and Tuesday in the Innovation Pavilion. These can’t-be-missed gatherings help investors, strategic partners, entrepreneurs, and YOU make the connections that move the industry forward.



Monday, September 26, 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Network with innovators from all parts of the water industry at this casual reception.
Sponsored by: Parsons Brinkerhoff

The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread Charting New Waters Reception

Tuesday, September 30, 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Join our innovation partners, Imagine H2O and BlueTech Research, and our sponsor, The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread, in a networking reception where you can continue to turn your curiosity about innovation into knowledge and your contacts into connections. 

The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread is building upon the rich collaboration and partnership that has characterized their Charting New Waters initiative since its inception. The current phase of work is focused on catalyzing the widespread adoption of more sustainable and resilient water infrastructure systems in the United States, including nutrient and energy recovery. By aiming to help local, state, and national leaders set a course for and navigate decisions regarding the conception, construction, financing, and management of water infrastructure, Charging New Waters’ ultimate goal is identify elements of a new paradigm for water infrastructure and the steps needed to transition to it.