If the Blue Tech Innovation Forum is any sign, the BlueTech industry will soon see rapid growth fueled by an influx of capital.
Held June 8, 2010 in San Francisco, the forum attracted over thirty international funds and venture capital firms. American and European investors told me they attended specifically to find companies in which to invest.
Marc Khouzami, an associate with the DB Masdar Clean Tech Fund, said, “Water is among the most fragmented clean tech subsectors, making it very difficult to get a good handle on the industry. The conference connected players from across the industry and facilitated meaningful conversations that should continue to benefit the space long after the conference ends.”
The BlueTech Innovation Forum drew over fifty BlueTech startups and corporations. Companies, investors and regulators participated in panels, presented successes and explained advanced technologies to a capacity audience.
The eight sessions addressed opportunities in water risk management, wastewater management, smart water, membrane technology, energy exploration, water quality and scarcity, corporate acquisitions, and future trends in water development via the metaphor of the Water Avatar.
“Topics like improving the energy efficiency of waste water treatment or next generation desalination processes are of high importance to our clients in the water utility space. The BlueTech Forum provided an excellent opportunity to get access to the latest developments in these and other water technology areas and offered a great chance to network with thought leaders in water technology,” said Dr. Reinhard Hübner, an Associate Principal at McKinsey & Company.
Regulators and researchers from the United States EPA requested specific solutions to impending issues such as realtime monitoring and labor-less, accessible reports of breaches, watershed supply, major fluxes in demand and surface water quality.
In addition, Nicholas Ashbolt at the National Exposure Research Laboratory requested innovations into fire protection systems to reduce demand on water infrastructure.
At the conclusion of the conference, Laura Shenkar of the Artemis Project announced the results of the Artemis Project’s Top 50 Companies competition.
Sebastian Stern, Partner and Leader of McKinsey and Company’s BlueTech practice called the BlueTech Innovation Forum the “first of its kind. A great opportunity to discuss a business oriented perspective on water technologies with leading entrepreneurs and investors in the industry.”