The Green Growth team focused on the water sector and ways to regionalize the growing water cluster. The team finalized regional criteria for identifying water technology companies, and used the new criteria to select key stakeholders to invite to two autumn receptions which will be held in both Illinois and Indiana gauging local interest in organizing and possibly growing the Water Council’s footprint. Faculty and students from the University of Milwaukee School of Freshwater Sciences will provide research assistance leading up to the receptions. The team also strategized a potential water-technology recognition award in 2015 as a way to further promote the regional water sector.
The Innovation Team focused on mapping the region’s innovation ecosystem as suggested as one of the Key Findings in the Chicago Metropolitan Tri-State OECD Review. We built collaborations to accelerate product development for firms in the region. Branding this region as a vibrant innovation hub is important for regional growth. Useful resources for local innovators and product developers in the region were organized in a user-friendly way. The team collected data to identify regional innovation assets and a web portal will be created on the model of Detroit BizGrid with the potential to pull in pertinent data from existing regional innovation websites maintained by the Illinois Innovation Network, Indiana’s Innovation in America’s Regions, and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.