Local Economic Development Group to Sign International Agreement Today

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Local Economic Development Group to Sign International Agreement Today

Will open doors to more jobs and research money for Lake Erie

 CLEVELAND (Oct. 26, 2018): The Cleveland Water Alliance will make official on Monday an international agreement with The Netherlands that promises to bring water-related tech jobs and federal research dollars to Northeast Ohio. Dutch ambassador Henne Schuwer will be at CWA’s downtown Cleveland office at 1240 Huron Rd. East at 10:30 am on Monday, October 29 to sign a memorandum of understanding to solidify the agreement with CWA executive director Bryan Stubbs. Dutch attache Jan Peelen from the Ministry of Infrastructure and Consul General Louis Piet also will be present. CWA is a non-profit organization that seeks to better utilize the economic and job-creating potential of Lake Erie and urges greater care of this natural resource. The agreement will cement CWA as a leading North American and International Water Technology Cluster. A cluster is a key economic development strategy that ‘clusters’ or groups regional companies and related economic actors, utilities and research institutions so they can benefit from their mutual proximity and connections.  The cluster designation is significant because cluster strategies have been proven to effectively lead to regional research and development and entrepreneurial start-up growth while leading to innovation and job creation from existing small to mid-sized firms. In addition, because Cleveland’s greatest economic asset is its fresh water, it allows the region to take a national and international leadership role within the emerging water tech sector that includes Ohio companies such as Oatey, Kinetico, YSI and SplashLink.  “This agreement with The Netherlands is a big win for Cleveland and its efforts to drive economic development through water technology,’’ said Stubbs of CWA.The agreement comes on the heels of European Water Tech Week in The Netherlands at which CWA presented its regional-based Cluster work including the Smart Lake and Harmful Algal Bloom Warning System efforts. This work demonstrates the types of critical technology being developed with the assistance of CWA, including new smart and connected buoy sensors that can collect real-time data from the lake and watershed. CWA’s successful presentation at Water Tech Week was followed by meetings at the Water Environment Federation’s annual conference in New Orleans with Hein Molenkamp from the Netherland's Water Alliance/Water Campus, at which CWA was invited to join this exclusive Hub network with a goal of applying opportunities for our small to medium-sized businesses in our region. In addition, it paves the way to explore advancing ongoing research that would be of value to our research institutions, utilities and Smart Lake work. This will also create access to markets for our emerging entrepreneurial ecosystem of young businesses such as SplashLink, Erie Open Systems and Brillency.This agreement with The Netherlands will complement CWA's leadership role of chairing the North American Water Cluster efforts in partnership with the Water Environment Federation (WEF) and the Leaders Innovation Forum for Technology (LIFT) program. The initial four clusters are: Cleveland Water Alliance, Toronto's WaterTAP, Milwaukee's Water Council and San Diego's Maritime Alliance. And it furthers CWA’s work at the federal level to gain more funding for research and development and pilots for the Lake Erie region. About the Cleveland Water Alliance: Established in 2014, CWA is a non-profit organization that seeks to better utilize the economic and job-creating potential of Lake Erie while also urging greater care of this valuable natural asset. We are among the region’s leaders working to bring together Northeast Ohio’s water providers, business and political leaders, researchers and environmental organizations to establish Cleveland as a nationally recognized center for water innovation. Find us on Twitter @ CLEH2OAlliance

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