About the Conference
The Water Innovations Alliance www.waterinnovations.org is honored to have our inaugural event in Fresno in partnership with the Central Valley Business Incubator and the Claude Laval Water & Energy Technology Incubator.
The purpose of the Blue Tech Valley Water Conference is to provide water constituents within the private, public and academic arenas the opportunity to collectively explore and discuss new innovations, developments and trends relating to current water issues in an area that, due to its role in world food production and the variety of urban and rural water needs, is fully vested in and dependent upon the development and efficient implementation of solutions to world’s water concerns.
The conference theme – International Solutions to Regional Issues – will address current issues that have a direct and visible impact regionally, as well as world-wide implications.
"We are proud to announce that we have recruited Woodrow W. Clark II, PhD and 2007 Nobel Peace Prize Winner, as a Keynote Speaker for Tuesday, May 3rd. I had the honor of meeting “Woody” in New York City in December and he is excited to visit the Fresno area." said Vincent Caprio, COO of the Water Innovations Alliance.
Who’s Who in Water in Fresno
Fresno is home to a well-established Water Cluster; a consortium of approximately 160 valley-wide water companies (about 200 companies nation-wide) that meet quarterly to share information relative to water technology. The International Center for Water Technology (ICWT) and the Center for Irrigation Technology (CIT) at CSU Fresno are among the leading water and fluid science technology research, development and testing programs in the world today. The area is on the leading edge of irrigation techniques, soil management, groundwater management, Smart Water Systems, and more.
Additionally, the newest and tenth University of California campus, UC Merced, provides strong innovation support. UC Merced hosts the globally-renowned Sierra Nevada Research Institute (SNRI), as well as the University of California Advanced Solar Technologies Institute (UC Solar) and the UC Merced Energy Research Institute (UCMERI).
The largest city in the Central San Joaquin Valley, Fresno offers “big city” conveniences and services while maintaining a healthy respect for its agricultural foundation. Fresno County, one of the world’s leading agricultural producing counties, supports hundreds of water tech businesses; and the fertile lands of the entire region make this area a living laboratory in which to develop, test and apply water and energy technologies, all of which support not only water innovations, but Ag Technology, on which a large part of our local economy is based. Fresno is deeply vested in promoting and supporting water technologies.
The Water, Energy and Technology (WET) Center, home to the Claude Laval Water and Energy Technology Incubator and the testing facilities of the International Center for Water Technology (ICWT), is providing an entryway for entrepreneurs, innovators and established and start-up businesses to accelerate commercialization, product and business launch and/or the development of practical application of new technologies.
Strong and significant private sector support in the area comes from well established companies including: Jain Irrigation, Grundfos , Lakos, Netafim, and Mazzei. In fact, with hundreds of locations around the world from which to choose, Grundfos has selected Fresno as the headquarters for the “Grundfos Water Technology Center”, in large part because of the innovative and supportive environment.
A key element to this network of support is The WET Center, which is
helping to create the “ecosystem” which is vital to these outcomes.
Key elements of this ecosystem include:
• Innovation (Universities, Private Sector)
• Academia (CSU Fresno, UC Merced, Community Colleges)
• Business Incubation (CVBI core programming and current CVBI/WET Entrepreneurs
• R&D Testing (The Lyles Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship; UC Merced; CSU Fresno)
• Tech Transfer (The Lyles Center Innovation and Entrepreneurship; UC Merced)
• Cooperative Governments (State, Local and Federal)
• Workforce Development (Workforce Investment Board, SBDC)
• Industry Clusters and Alliances (San Joaquin Valley Partnership, RJI, Active MOUs)
• Affiliations (Regional, National and International)
• Funding (Venture Capital & Banking Partners)
Additionally, the area is supporting major restoration projects for the San Joaquin River, and has invested time, money and public resources into several new, water treatment facilities and many innovation companies which might be of interest to attendees as side tours and/ networking opportunities.
About the Central San Joaquin Valley:
The Central San Joaquin Valley is a living laboratory relative to both water and energy. Home to nine of the top 10 ag-producing counties in the nation and is anchored by the fifth largest city in the state, there are few issues related to water or energy that are not represented here within the Fresno Metro area.
With virtually every rural and urban need – from water availability, irrigation, filtration, treatment, use and re-use, transportation and storage represented in both metropolitan and agricultural arenas, there are few more appropriate places to inspire, test and measure effectiveness of water innovations.