“Water Tech Week” is coming your way!

Happy Friday, readers! It’s hot in Chicago today and that conjures thoughts of staying cool and hydrated thanks to water. There’s a lot of technology emerging from the region to test, track, and clean water, especially as global temperatures rise and water becomes an even hotter — yet often taken for granted — commodity.

Next week I’ll bring you “Water Tech Week” on Centered in which I share insights from conversations with water tech business leaders and advocates about advances transforming the industry, especially advanced sensors and data-driven analysis tools. Look for stories every day next week on what technologies are being used, how organizations are driving water innovation, challenges to water tech development and commercialization, what’s coming down the pipeline, and how this improves our lives in the Midwest.

Today’s headlines:


  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Agriculture launched the Next Gen Fertilizer Challenges, soliciting proposals for fertilizer technologies that boost crop yield while reducing environmental impact.
  • The USDA also posted an article highlighting how automation helps to alleviate challenges for specialty crops, including contributions from Iowa State University scientists.
  • An opinion piece in the Chicago Tribune outlines how high-tech farming equipment and techniques coming from the Midwest could prompt a rural renaissance while promoting sustainability and conserving resources.

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✈️ AVIATION: Companies in Illinois and Ohio are at the forefront in the race to develop sustainable aviation fuels, reports the Energy News Network.

📈 INVESTMENT: Buoyant Ventures, a new cleantech venture capital firm based in Chicago, made its first investment in a drone and AI technology company that provides analytics for solar companies, reports Chicago Inno.

ACQUISITION: St. Louis-based tech and engineering company Emerson is acquiring Minneapolis-based Open Systems International, which devises automation solutions for the power industry. The move reportedly will expand Emerson’s technology expertise to better help customers modernize grids and incorporate renewable energy sources.

🚗 TRANSPORTATION: The National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Argonne National Laboratory have released the inaugural Transportation Annual Technology Baseline. It offers a variety of data about vehicle fuel technologies to support transportation technology advancements.

🏙️ SMART CITIES: The St. Louis Regional Data Exchange launched as an online portal housing more than 400 public data sets, including dozens related to the environment. The St. Louis Regional Data Alliance, a project of the University of Missouri-St. Louis, compiled the data to give open access to those who can use the information to devise innovations that improve community members’ lives.


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