- Nov. 5, 2018
-- AccelerateH20 convened its fourth annual InvestH2O Forum on "Investing in Resiliency for Communities and Industries" on October 17-18th in Houston, hosting 12 keynote panels and town-hall sessions, 35 national and global keynote speakers, 28 technology companies, 18 investment firm representatives, and a reception honoring five teams from the first-ever "Youth and Student Water Resiliency Inventathon,"
the City of Houston Water System, Siemens, the Get Stuff Done Network, and Harris County.
During the Forum, Keynote Speakers and Town-Hall sessions focused on converting after-action reports and lessons-learned from Hurricane Harvey and recent water-related incidents including drought, flood, fire, earthquakes, cyber and infrastructure threats, and the ongoing demand for uninterruptible supply for communities and industries across Texas, the Southwest US and the Gulf Coast. AccelerateH2O's Framework for National and Regional Water Resiliency
"...drove presentations, discussions, and recommendations from federal, state and local public officials as well as corporate and industry executives seeking to advance technologies, innovative solutions, and alternative investment models," stated Richard Seline, Executive Director.
A working group was announced among Houston Community College, University of Houston, The Cannon and Cannon Ventures, City of Houston Water, and the West Houston Association to explore a new regional approach for public-private partnerships on advanced preparedness and risk mitigation.
And based on discussions during the Forum, additional outcomes include:
Innovator of the Year
- an expanded Global Collaboratory initiative with Hubei University (Wuhan) and Texas universities to bridge China's Sponge City and US resiliency research, faculty-student exchanges, and technology adoption;
- "Resiliency Capital Partners" to generate near-term market-driven investments in the $10 million to $30 million range to address gaps in technologies, products, services, and project development through a new public-private partnership;
- "Federal-Regional Water Resiliency Roundtable" in Washington D.C. to identify and address barriers to innovating water-related resiliency for federal-regional lessons- learned for best practices, the economics of mitigating impacts on and adjacent to public AND private sector facilities and infrastructure, and strategies for streamlining the demonstration, approval and permitting of new technologies and integrated solutions for enhanced preparedness.
- Regional Resiliency Repository: The R3 is to curate, update, and expedite the delivery of technologies, equipment and expertise BEFORE a critical incident – and to explore the common features private sector delivery mechanisms in support of preparedness in cooperation with SplashLink's ECHO and AWWA's WARN programs.
Awards were announced as:
- Niles Dixon, January Advisors - representing the "Get Stuff Done" Network among 10,000+ individuals, neighborhood organizations, and community institutions providing just-in-time emergency response during and post Hurricane Harvey;
- Houston Water, Drinking & Waste Divisions - representing the hundreds of operators and staff that put their lives at risk to restore the Nation's third largest system, and served as the 'first responders to first responders';
- Siemens Instrumentation and Water Technology - representing Texas' corporate and industry partners whom delivered equipment, technology, expertise and labor in support of public restoration, rebuilding
- Harris County and Judge Ed Emmett: representing regional leadership and emergency operations aligned to create a 21st century "smart county" and resilient infrastructure
This year's InvestH2O Forum included case studies and large-scale implementation of global and national water resilient technologies and infrastructure investments, including representative projects from China, the Netherlands, Denmark, Spain, the United Kingdom.
Keynote speakers and panels included:
- § Keynote Lunch Speakers Crystal & Mark Victor Hansen, Globally-Recognized Authors "Chicken Soup for the Soul" and Serial Water Technology Investors
- § The Honorable Daniel Simmons, US Department of Energy, Nominated Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
- § Dr. Gerard Schouten, Partner, Dutch Water Technologies and Co-Founder of Netherlands Water Alliance
- § Lynne Grinsell, VP Government & Industry Affairs – Zurich International
- § Chuck Chaitovitz, VP, Environmental Affairs and Sustainability, US Chamber of Commerce
- § Edward Craner, SVP – Holt Caterpillar Ventures and Corporate Strategy
- § Al Kennedy, SVP - Siemens Water – Process Controls
- § Edgar Westerhof – North American Water & Resiliency Leader – Arcadis
- § The Honorable Jacob Vind – Consul General – Denmark and North American Water Sector Lead
- § Dr. Run Wang, Hubei University, Director of Environmental Programs and Sponge City Program
- § Randall Sandone, Executive Director, Critical Infrastructure Resilience Institute
- § Amit Pramanik, The Water Research Foundation, Chief Innovation Officer
- § Matt Ringer, National Renewable Energy Lab & IN2 Program
- § Molly Cain, Director of Ventures, US Department of Homeland Security
- § Pete Phillips, Deputy Commissioner for Community Development and Rebuild, Texas General Land Office
- § Neil Golightly, Chief of Staff, Office of Resiliency, City of Houston and Executive-on-Loan - Shell USA
The agenda, speaker bios, presentations, and photos from the 2018 Forum can be found at http://www.InvestH2O.com
. And more information on AccelerateH2O:www.AccelerateH2O.org