Project #4642

Fostering Innovation Within Utilities

Principal Investigator
Research Manager
Mr. Michael Dirks
Utility Management


The objective of this Tailored Collaboration project is to equip water and wastewater utilities to foster new ideas and implement new approaches that transform their organizations and enhance their ability to meet future challenges. The four specific objectives were as follows: 1) to characterize existing innovation activities from participating organizations, 2) to define the value of those activities, 3) to develop a transferable framework for fostering innovation activities, 4) and to assemble a guidance document for water and wastewater utilities. Research Partners: Water Environment & Reuse Foundation, Birmingham Water Works Board, and dozens of other utilities. Published in 2017.

The research team also produced a video that introduces the themes of the project, which can be viewed on YouTube.

In addition, an article focused on this project was published in the December 2017 issue of Journal AWWA. The article is posted below under Project Papers.

WERF project #LIFT11C15


"This research provided WSSC Water with enhanced direction and focus as we accelerated our efforts to create an enterprise-wide innovation office."     - Keith Tyson, WSSC Water