Ag water technology competition launched

BlueTech ValleyBlueTech Valley
Earning its reputation as a leader in “blue tech” water technology, Fresno is going global by connecting food processors and farmers to new and innovative water technologies with the launch of the Food and Agriculture Program, a global business competition held in partnership with San Francisco-based nonprofit Imagine H2O.

“We believe business competitions like these will fuel the innovation engine and accelerate water technology solutions for tomorrow,” said Henrik Skov Laursen, chairman of the BlueTechValley and director of business development at Grundfos Silicon Valley. “The BlueTechValley is a recognized ecosystem where new technologies are commercialized and implemented.”

Imagine H2O is a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering people to turn water challenges into business opportunities. This year’s competition, its fifth to date, advances innovations that improve water use, supply, and treatment in commercial agriculture and food processing.  

“Imagine H2O’s partnership with the BlueTechValley represents a global opportunity for promising water technology businesses seeking to access the region’s food and agriculture sector,” said Scott Bryan, chief operating officer at Imagine H2O.  "This program will catalyze innovations in how we use, supply, and reclaim water in our food system, which is an essential step toward securing future food supply in an increasingly water-constrained world."

The competition is open to entries through Nov. 15 and features tracks for early-stage and growth-stage water businesses. An expert panel of industry veterans and investors will review the entries and select the top companies that demonstrate commercial promise.

Each entrant will receive written feedback from the judging panel.

Key to this competition is the Beta Partnership Program, which will connect the winning businesses with commercial customers in the food and agriculture sector through the BlueTechValley.  BlueTechValley advisors will assist in convening a selection of commercial growers and processors in California’s Central Valley that will meet with the competition’s top companies to discuss Beta customer relationships.

Competition winners and finalists will be eligible to receive cash awards, in-kind services, and access to Imagine H2O’s Business Accelerator and the BlueTechValley’s Water, Energy and Technology (WET) Center to further develop both the business and technical elements of their proposals.  The final results of the competition will be announced on World Water Day in March 2014.