Partnering for Innovation at USF

Posted by Jeff Eger
April 4, 2013
 

 

Last week I was part of a delegation visiting the University of South Florida (USF) with Nancy Stoner, U.S. EPA Acting Assistant Administrator for Water, who was touring university laboratories where researchers are developing new technologies in water sustainability and energy. Stoner was visiting USF as part of EPA's focus on innovative, technology-based water initiatives, and it was inspiring to see some of the latest water research in action.

 

Blog_Yeh-Stoner-EgerDr. Kala Vairavamoorthy, director of the Patel College of Global Sustainability, set the stage with examples of innovative approaches to water-infrastructure management from around the world, and lab tours followed. Some of the innovative work we learned about  included anaerobic MBRs for nutrient, energy, and water recovery (Dr. Daniel Yeh, pictured left, with Nancy Stoner and myself); biosensors and portable water quality testing equipment (Dr. Daniel Lim), and algae biotechnology for energy production and water-quality improvement (Dr. George Philippidis). We also saw how technology incubators and partnerships with private entities can spur innovation.

 

Stoner announced EPA's Blueprint for Integrating Technology Innovation into the National Water Sector, which calls for greater national support for emerging technologies in water treatment, testing and reuse, and easing barriers to greater collaboration and innovation among academic, industry and government researchers. One blueprint action item is continued support for the Leaders Innovation Forum for Technology, a joint effort by the Water Environment Federation (WEF) and the Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) designed to help move innovation into practice through technology evaluation, removing policy barriers and creating a forum for utility research and development leaders.

 

WEF and WERF will also be working with EPA and other water sector organizations to convene regulators, utilities, and other sector players to create a space for innovation and a culture that allows flexibility and experimentation to drive innovation.  Details will be announced soon. Other examples of collaboration for innovation include WEF's upcoming work with the Johnson Foundation, the Environmental Defense Fund and others on a Nutrient Roadmap, and the Utility of the Future Blueprint developed by the National Association of Clean Water Agencies, WEF and WERF.

 

It's an exciting time to be a water quality professional! With a shared commitment to innovation and amazing partners like these, clean water's future is bright, indeed.

 

 04/04/2013Permanent link

Partnering for Innovation at USF  ()
 

Last week I was part of a delegation visiting the University of South Florida with Nancy Stoner, U.S. EPA Acting Assistant Administrator for Water, who was touring university laboratories where researchers are developing new technologies in water sustainability and energy. Stoner was visiting USF as part of EPA's focus on innovative, technology-based water initiatives, and it was inspiring to see some of the latest water research in action

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Partnering for Innovation at USF

 Permanent link

Partnering for Innovation at USF

Posted by Jeff Eger
April 4, 2013
 

 

Last week I was part of a delegation visiting the University of South Florida (USF) with Nancy Stoner, U.S. EPA Acting Assistant Administrator for Water, who was touring university laboratories where researchers are developing new technologies in water sustainability and energy. Stoner was visiting USF as part of EPA's focus on innovative, technology-based water initiatives, and it was inspiring to see some of the latest water research in action.

 

Blog_Yeh-Stoner-EgerDr. Kala Vairavamoorthy, director of the Patel College of Global Sustainability, set the stage with examples of innovative approaches to water-infrastructure management from around the world, and lab tours followed. Some of the innovative work we learned about  included anaerobic MBRs for nutrient, energy, and water recovery (Dr. Daniel Yeh, pictured left, with Nancy Stoner and myself); biosensors and portable water quality testing equipment (Dr. Daniel Lim), and algae biotechnology for energy production and water-quality improvement (Dr. George Philippidis). We also saw how technology incubators and partnerships with private entities can spur innovation.

 

Stoner announced EPA's Blueprint for Integrating Technology Innovation into the National Water Sector, which calls for greater national support for emerging technologies in water treatment, testing and reuse, and easing barriers to greater collaboration and innovation among academic, industry and government researchers. One blueprint action item is continued support for the Leaders Innovation Forum for Technology, a joint effort by the Water Environment Federation (WEF) and the Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) designed to help move innovation into practice through technology evaluation, removing policy barriers and creating a forum for utility research and development leaders.

 

WEF and WERF will also be working with EPA and other water sector organizations to convene regulators, utilities, and other sector players to create a space for innovation and a culture that allows flexibility and experimentation to drive innovation.  Details will be announced soon. Other examples of collaboration for innovation include WEF's upcoming work with the Johnson Foundation, the Environmental Defense Fund and others on a Nutrient Roadmap, and the Utility of the Future Blueprint developed by the National Association of Clean Water Agencies, WEF and WERF.

 

It's an exciting time to be a water quality professional! With a shared commitment to innovation and amazing partners like these, clean water's future is bright, indeed.

 

Posted by Jonathan Byus at 04/04/2013 03:21:36 PM | 


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Eger189.jpgPosted by:
Jeff Eger, WEF Executive Director

Prior to joining the Water Environment Federation as executive director in 2011, Jeff Eger served as executive director of Sanitation District 1 (SD1) in Kentucky since 1994. SD1 is the second largest public sewer utility in that state and maintains $1 billion in physical assets that include more than 1,600 miles of sanitary sewer line, 143 wastewater pumping stations, 15 flood pump stations, eight package treatment plants, two major wastewater treatment plants with a third under construction, more than 250 miles of storm sewer and more than 17,800 sewer structures. Career highlights of his tenure include supervision of the regionalization of 30 municipal sanitary sewer systems in response to pending Federal environmental regulations and legislative changes; responsibility for development and implementation of a regional storm water management program to comply with Federal regulations, and negotiating a unique watershed-based Consent Decree with state and federal officials that outlines a strategic 20-year plan for addressing sewer overflows in Northern Kentucky. He also initiated the design and construction of two new regional wastewater treatment plants and secured more than $80 million in low interest, state revolving loan funds to help finance the construction of these facilities, reducing costs to local rate payers.

Jeff is former chairman of the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission and has been active in numerous other professional and civic service endeavors such as the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Clean Water Agencies, the Gateway Community and Technical College Foundation, the Bluegrass State Skills Commission, and the Kentucky Literacy Commission. He is Outstanding Alumnus of Northern Kentucky University (graduated 1994, Bachelor of Arts, Communications).