SWIM 2012

On May 8, 2012, 150 senior executives from state’s water industry convened to address the question, How will Massachusetts become the global innovation leader of the $500 billion water industry?  The event attracted senior executives from across the breadth of the state’s industry, in business, academia, and government.  Massachusetts Secretary of Energy and Environment Richard Sullivan chaired the day.

The agenda for the day was:

7:15 am Registration, networking, and breakfast

8:00 am The Massachusetts Opportunity as a Water Industry Cluster
Secretary Richard Sullivan, Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs

8:15 am The Global Market: Where Is Water Innovation Needed to Solve Big Problems?
Laurent Auguste, President and CEO, Veolia Water Americas (panelist)
Dr. George Whitesides, Co-Founder, Genzyme, and Chairman, Nano Terra (panelist)
Dr. Narasimha Rao, VP R&D and Innovation Marketing, Nalco (panelist)
Carrie Freeman, Director of Sustainable Business Innovation, Intel Corporation (panelist)
Matthew Nordan, VP, Venrock, & Co-Founder, Lux Research (moderator and presenter)

9:15 am Showcase #1: The Value Chain of Innovation
Bill Schnoor, Partner, Goodwin Procter LLP (moderator)
“Directional Solvent Extraction” (Anurag Bajpayee, MIT, PhD candidate) (panelist)
RainBank (Kevin Dutt, CEO) (panelist)

  • 5-minute pitches about Massachusetts innovation in technology, service delivery, research, and global partnerships.


10:00 am The Massachusetts Water Industry: Building On Our Assets
Secretary Richard Sullivan, Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs (moderator)
Dick Fox, CEO, CDM Smith (panelist)
Jeff Connelly, VP & GM, Engineered Systems, GE Power & Water (panelist)
John Lienhard, Professor & Director, MIT, Center for Clean Water & Clean Energy (panelist)
Chris McIntire, SVP, Xylem, and President, Analytics (panelist)
David Goodtree, Co-Organizer, Symposium on Water Innovation in Massachusetts (presenter)

11:00 am Showcase #2: The Value Chain of Innovation
Mark Burnett, Goodwin Procter LLP (moderator)
FloDesign Sonics (Lou Masi, President) (panelist)
CDM Smith & VitAG, (Peter Tunnicliffe, SVP of CDM Smith) (panelist)
Cambridge Water Technology, a Siemens company (Charles Hamlin, CEO) (panelist)
Massachusetts Water Innovation Mission to Israel (Jim Matheson, Partner, Flagship Ventures) (panelist)

  • 5-minute pitches about Massachusetts innovation in technology, service delivery, research, and global partnerships.

11:30 pm Lunch and networking

12:45 pm A Tale of Two Clusters
Mitch Tyson, Co-Chair, New England Clean Energy Center
Assaf Barnea, CEO, Kinrot Ventures

Two veterans of cluster formation – from clean energy in Massachusetts and from water innovation in Israel – discuss their geographies and pose models for a Massachusetts water industry cluster. Specifically,

– How are these two innovation-intensive geographies similar or different in the development of these two related clusters?
– How do industry clusters get formed and grow?
– What are the areas of common interest among business, government, research and education, finance, and customers?
– How do clusters attract outside ideas, talent, and capital – and new businesses?

1:15 pm Roundtable Discussions
Participants are invited to join a small discussion group of their choosing on one of the topics listed below.

Connecting Research To Industry
John Lienhard, Professor & Director, MIT Center for Clean Water & Clean Energy (facilitator)
Erdin Beshimov, Principal, Flagship Ventures
Sam Liss, Office of Technology Development, Harvard University
Sally Gutierrez, Director, Office of R&D, EPA
Eric Overstrom, Provost, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Tracy Stenner, VP Environmental Product Line, Battelle

How can universities and research organizations collaborate with businesses to increase the flow of ideas, talent, and capital between them? Specifically:

– What are the capabilities, assets, and needs of each type of organization?
– What are some ways that these types of organizations can formalize their relationships, to enhance student education and work preparedness, inform R&D, earn tech transfer revenues, raise research institute funds, and/or maintain a feedback loop about commercial opportunities and needs?

Bridging the “Valley of Death” in Water Innovation
Dr. Richard Stover, EVP, Desalitech (facilitator)

The challenges of developing an invention into a product are daunting, especially in a conservative industry like water. What methods can be used to bridge the “valley of death” between innovation and market acceptance in Massachusetts? Specifically,

– How can industry, entrepreneurs, utilities, and regulators collaborate to facilitate and accelerate the development of new technologies for practical applications?
– Are there ways to increase the visibility of new research in Massachusetts and identify the most promising innovations?
– How can demonstration projects in Massachusetts develop a competitive advantage in attracting industry attention?
– What are other ways to make Massachusetts the leader in developing water innovation, for example, in conducting beta-tests, exploring and vetting business models, cultivating early adoption, and engaging industry partners?

What Are Viable Business Models for Water Innovation Investment?
Jim Matheson, Partner, Flagship Ventures (facilitator)
Helge Daebel, Investment Director, Emerald Technology Ventures (facilitator)
Michael Majors, Siemens Venture Capital
Trey Kellett, GE Venture Capital
Earl Jones, Liberation Capital
Matthew Nordan, Venrock
Bilal Zuberi, General Catalyst

How can investors work together to come up the learning curve about the potential of water technology investments? Specifically,

– What are appropriate investment theses for the different approaches of angels, VCs, and private equity firms? Is everything in water technology capital intensive with a long time horizon?
– Which sectors seem most promising?
– What are some ways investors can collaborate to generate and evaluate deal flow?

Marrying Innovation To Service Delivery
Walt Chaffee, President, Brown & Caldwell Constructors
Edward Ionata, SVP, Tetra Tech
Frank Leathers, President, GEI Consultants
Mike Scipione, President, Weston & Sampson
Cary Bullock, CEO, ThermoEnergy
Miles Walker, VP, Woodard & Curran (facilitator)

Environmental engineering firms face a highly-competitive business, with deals often driven by cost. Meanwhile, start-ups lack the track record and sales channel to reach customers. Can these two sectors work together to achieve competitive advantage and market success for both? What opportunities can be created for service providers to learn about new technology, help innovators to demonstrate scalability, and reduce risks of adoption?

Making Innovation Easier to Adopt in Local Utilities
Phil Griffiths, Undersecretary, Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (facilitator)
The Honorable Carolyn Dykema, State Representative, Commonwealth of Massachusetts (facilitator)
Ken Kimmel, Commissioner, MassDEP
Frederick Laskey, Executive Director, Massachusetts Water Resources Authority
Ira Leighton, Deputy Administrator, New England Region, EPA
Norman Bartlett, Partner, Bowditch & Dewey

Are there ways to address regulation enforcement, funding mechanisms, and utility practices that would enable greater acceptance of innovation among local utilities?

Opportunities for Innovation at the Water Energy Nexus
Patrick Cloney, CEO, Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (facilitator)
Ralph Earle, Clean Energy Venture Group (facilitator)

Water and energy are inextricably tied, but the two industries are largely distinct from each other. How can the two industries in Massachusetts collaborate to create new opportunities? Specifically,

– What nexus technologies and business models are the most worthy of further exploration? Cutting the energy needed to treat water? Reducing the water needed to produce energy? Recovering valuable by-products from water treatment to create energy? Wave energy? Developing ESCO-like performance contracts for water-energy plants? Others?
– How can the Massachusetts water and energy industries – including education, research, government, start-ups, engineering firms, and others — work together to address the greatest opportunities at the nexus?

How Should A Massachusetts Water Cluster Be Organized?
Pamela Goldberg, CEO, Mass Tech Collaborative (facilitator)
Patrick Larkin, Director, Mass Tech Collaborative John Adams Innovation Institute (facilitator)
Mitch Tyson, Co-Chair, New England Clean Energy Council
Daniel Moon, Executive Director, Environmental Business Council of New England

Looking forward from today’s Symposium, how can the state’s industry best organize to promote itself globally and as the destination-of-choice to grow water-related businesses? Specifically,

– What might be the objectives of a collaborative effort to promote the industry?
– Should the effort include the breadth of the industry, from research through start-ups, manufacturers, and service providers, or just a subset of organizations?
– Should a new industry association be formed, or should an existing industry organization be asked to incorporate a water-focused effort?
– How should the effort be governed? What might be the role of professional staff?

Do Start-Ups Need a Massachusetts Water Demonstration Lab?
Per Suneby, CEO, PMC BioTec (facilitator)
Charlie Hamlin, President & CEO, Cambridge Water Technology, a Siemens Company
Joseph McLellan, Senior Scientist, Nano Terra
Bob Curtis, Executive Director, Center for Innovative Water Technologies
Julian Tyson, Professor and Director of Environmental Analysis Laboratory, UMass Amherst
Guy Marchessault, Director of Corporate Development, Clean Membranes
Tahar El-Korchi, Professor, and Head of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Start-ups need to prove the commercial scalability of their innovations to win early customer acceptance and channel partners, yet they often lack the capital and the long-term need for a fully-capable, in-house facility. Is there an opportunity for a Massachusetts Water Lab to provide analytical, testing, and demonstration services which can help entrepreneurs more efficiently achieve commercial success? Specifically,

– What Water Lab capabilities do start-ups need to demonstrate their technologies to prospective customers and channel partners?
– Are there existing resources in Massachusetts to satisfy these needs?
– Would a Water Lab accelerate market acceptance of innovations?
– Would a Water Lab attract entrepreneurs to Massachusetts?
– What are potential business models for a Water Lab?
– Are there lessons to learn from labs in other fields, such as the Fraunhofer CSE, the Wind Turbine Technology Center, or the MIT Media Lab, which can be applied to water innovation?

Should Massachusetts Launch a Water Innovation Competition?
Lisa Marchewka, VP Markets & Strategy, Oasys Water (facilitator)
John Harthorne, CEO, MassChallenge
Scott Bryan, COO, Imagine H20
Alexandra Adler, Regional Director, Cleantech Open

Would a judged competition be useful to attracting innovators, capital, and attention to our state’s industry?
If so, how would a competition be organized, marketed, and funded?
How can Massachusetts entrepreneurs become more knowledgeable about and encouraged to enter water innovation competitions hosted outside the state?

2:30 pm Roundtable Results
Phil Griffiths, Undersecretary, Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs

Drawn from the roundtable discussions, what are the best ideas for raising the Massachusetts industry to the position of global leadership?

3:15 pm Next Steps and Wrap-Up
Secretary Richard Sullivan, Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs

3:30 pm Reception

To access some of the presentations from the Symposium and the market map, please click here.