Cleveland Water Alliance and NASA Glenn Research Center Sign First-Ever Water Innovation Cluster “NASA Space Act Agreement"

CLEVELAND, Ohio (February 2, 2017) – NASA Glenn Research Center and the Cleveland Water Alliance (CWA) have agreed to work together to help local companies overcome technology barriers and get their products to market faster within the water innovation sector, a trillion dollar market worldwide.The collaboration, referred to as the “NASA Space Act Agreement” and managed through NASA’s Regional Economic Development program, is an effort to spark economic growth by creating, contributing to, catalyzing, and supporting economic and innovative ecosystems across the country. NASA experts will share expertise to aid the region’s economic development. This will occur through opportunities for CWA and its water innovation cluster companies to work with NASA experts and explore solving technology challenges through the use of NASA facilities. This is the first Space Act Agreement NASA Glenn has signed with a water innovation cluster.The initial focus of this agreement is the CWA program “Erie Hack,” a water innovation competition with all metropolitan areas within the Lake Erie basin. The competition, which will culminate in a two-day summit on May 2 & 3, 2017, in Cleveland will award $100,000 in prize money.The competition will officially launch in Cleveland on February 23 and teams from around the world will be invited to sign up and compete. Their challenge is to use technology and/or data in an innovative way to solve one of six water-related challenges presented by CWA. These challenges, which will be announced the week of February 6, were derived from ideation sessions facilitated by NASA Glenn and hosted at the Ohio Aerospace Institute along with other sites in neighboring Lake Erie cities (Toledo, Detroit and Buffalo).“We’re thrilled to be partnering with NASA to help grow the regional economy," said Bryan Stubbs, executive director of CWA, a local network of leading corporations, academic institutions and public agencies that work to foster economic development through water innovation. “We believe this will be a first step to enhance the national economy while maintaining United States leadership in technology.”The collaboration is part of NASA Glenn’s strategic plan to be a good partner locally, regionally and nationally. It also addresses an initiative to support public-private partnerships that result in economic development by the private sector.“NASA Glenn Research Center is pleased to partner with the Cleveland Water Alliance,’’ said Laurie Stauber, NASA’s Water Initiative Lead for Regional Economic Development. “Our Ideation Sessions with cities surrounding the Lake Erie region have been fruitful in forming challenge statements concerned with the most serious clean water issues in the region for the Erie Hack 2017 event."We look forward to continuing our strong support of the hackathon and also to developing additional partnerships connecting our organization to local companies who may be interested in Glenn’s water-based capabilities and technologies.”NASA also expects to actively assist CWA clients in individual agreements, as needed.To request an interview, please contact Sue Valerian at the above email or phone number. For information about NASA Glenn, please contact Laurie Stauber at laurel.j.stauber@nasa.gov. You can also visit:http://www.clevelandwateralliance.org and www.nasa.gov/glenn

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