Collaborative Technology Evaluations allow WRF’s utility subscribers and technology providers to share the costs and risks involved with exploring new technologies. Utilities with shared interests can collaborate on technology demonstrations and pilots—making technology more accessible and developing credible performance data.
Creating the Space is a WEF-driven program that identifies regulatory barriers to innovation and develops action plans to overcome them. The program works closely with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and state regulatory agencies with the goal to help foster innovation in the water sector.
The FAST Water Network assists those developing and piloting technologies for the water sector. It works to connect researchers, new technology providers, and other innovators in the water resource recovery industry with test facilities appropriate for their needs. It also aims to manage risk and accelerate the adoption of innovation by engaging the broader water community.
The Intelligent Water Challenge is held annually in order to demonstrate the value of intelligent water systems to utilities and thereby foster the adoption of smart water technologies. The Challenge gives students, professionals and technology aficionados the opportunity to showcase their talents and innovation, with a focus on leveraging data using the best available tools to help utilities better understand the dynamics of complex systems and make better decisions.
LIFT Link is an online platform which serves as a highway of interaction among municipal and industrial water, wastewater, and stormwater agencies, technology providers, consultants, academics, investors, federal agencies, NGOs, and others for advancing innovation. It allows users to discover new technologies and research needs; connect with others with similar needs, technology interests, and desired expertise; and collaborate on research and technology ideas, proposals, projects, demonstrations, and implementation.
The Scholarship Exchange Experience for Innovation & Technology Program (SEE IT) is an initiative spearheaded by WRF, WEF, and NACWA to provide scholarships for utility personnel to visit other utilities with innovations of interest and to share experiences with their peers. Innovations may include new technologies and processes, but also novel approaches to service, operations, and finance.
LIFT's Tech Trends is a visualization tool that identifies trends around the deployment of innovative technologies across the water sector, including wastewater, stormwater, drinking water, desalination, and water reuse facilities. The visualization allows a user to look at the aggregated (non-facility specific) data and analyze this data based upon facility type, size, location, and technology.
Technology providers can apply through the Technology Scans process to introduce their innovations to facility owners, consultants, venture capitalists, regulators, and others to accelerate advancement and early adoption. All technologies undergo expert review, receiving feedback that can help improve the technology, anticipate user concerns, aid in acceptance, or guide next steps.
This program connects universities and utilities for research, development, and demonstration of new technology. Improved collaborations and engagement provide win-win scenarios, such real-world training and experience for students and new solutions and insight into utility problems.
Effective utility management requires people, processes, and technologies all working together—and this synergy is even more critical when it comes to integrating innovative solutions. LIFT’s Utility Management program supports the development of improved business processes that will benefit the entire water sector, and helps utilities overcome challenges and develop strategies to successfully launch and lead innovation programs and activities.