SAN ANTONIO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In a state as diverse as Texas’s unique geography, industries, and sources of water, the opportunity exists to accelerate the formation of a $9+ billion technology marketplace. Making Texas the most innovative location for water technology will benefit our economic competitiveness, our citizens and businesses alike, and generate world-class breakthroughs to resolve long-standing challenges.
By commercializing, investing, demonstrating, delivering and growing technology across the State’s 4,600 utilities, 5,000 medium to large scale private sector end-users, and thousands of ranches and farms, Texas is best positioned to serve as a global hub of water technology.
That’s the concept behind AccelerateH2O --- the Texas Water Technology Accelerator – which has now been launched by the nonprofit Texas Research & Technology Foundation (TRTF).
“With its size, Texas should be a leader in identifying and applying new water-related technologies to help meet water usage challenges faced by cities, businesses, urban and rural residents and industries, including the petrochemical, manufacturing, and agricultural sectors,” TRTF Chairman James R. Dublin said. “It’s a matter of pulling together business leaders, academic research institutions, engineering expertise, and governmental agencies to share information, identify key water technology needs and challenges and then provide the platform for technology developers – from entrepreneurs to the Fortune 500 -- to collaboratively solve these problems.”
“It’s important to note that AccelerateH2O is not about state water policy or water rights,” said Ed Archuleta, Chairman of the AccelerateH2O Executive Committee and former CEO and President of El Paso Water Utilities. “We are advocates for increasing deployment of existing, proven technologies and advancing the next generation of technologies that can help Texans manage, reuse, and even generate new sources of water in the most productive and cost-effective ways. In the course of that effort, we will see innovation sparking new jobs and investment in this state. Currently, more than 300,000 Texans are directly employed in water-related industries and another 600,000 are employed in jobs that are significantly reliant upon access to continuous sources of water.”
“We greatly appreciate the support of the Office of Governor Rick Perry in encouraging AccelerateH2O to grow this key sector of our economy, and look forward to implementing our strategic mission with the Governor-elect and newly elected state officials,” Archuleta added.
Ed Cross, chair of TRTF’s Water Technology Committee, said, “We established AccelerateH2O after a full year of preparation and due diligence. We received outstanding direction and guidance from Texas’ major water, industry, business and economic development organizations. They saw this effort as an opportunity to expand the use of technologies in desalination, reuse, conservation and so-called ‘smart water’ such as sensors, monitors and data analytics. Texas should serve as a national developmental and proving ground for new water technologies and the adaptation of existing technologies in using and conserving water.”
AccelerateH2O is an independent nonprofit organization with a statewide Executive Committee, Advisory Board, and general Board. Additional committees are in formation, comprised of the state’s academic and non-profit research institutions, while another will be comprised of investment and technology commercialization experts. (A list of the initial Executive Committee is attached). Partnerships have been formed with several national and international water research foundations, investment organizations, and technology commercialization programs.
Jerry Kane of Corpus Christi, Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee, said, “AccelerateH2O will launch a statewide clearinghouse, organized to end fragmentation caused by the size and scale of Texas and to more efficiently and rapidly connect the dots of information, activities, and opportunities that make Texas a global water technology hub. We will promote a series of ‘grand challenge’ competitions and large-scale demonstrations as test-beds of innovation in areas that are significant for Texas as well as global interests. We will work with engineering firms and entrepreneurs, innovators and investors to align the demand for cutting edge technologies with the products and ideas coming out of our universities, laboratories, industries, and entrepreneurs.”
“We are pleased to announce our initial Executive Committee members, as we continue to expand geographic reach and expertise in the weeks ahead. I am also pleased that former State Senator John Montford has agreed to serve as a member of our statewide advisory board,” said Mr. Archuleta.
Founding Executive Committee members include:
- Ed Archuleta, Director of Water Initiatives at University of Texas El Paso and Consultant
- Jerry Kane, Kane Group, former Chairman, Co-Chairman and/or member of Texas Health and Human Services, Texas Water Development Board, Texas Natural Resources Coordinating Council, and Regional Water Task Force,
- Andrew Sansom Ph.D., Executive Director, The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment, Texas State University, San Marcos
- Ed Vaughn, Attorney, Board of Directors and Advisor to numerous financial, ranching, and agricultural institutions and organizations, Boerne
- Russ Conser, former SVP Shell Technology Ventures and “Gamechangers” Initiative, Shell USA, Houston
- Bill Freed, Principal, Nueces Partners, Ltd. and Investor, San Antonio
Representing the Texas Research and Technology Foundation:
- Jim Dublin, Dublin and Associates, San Antonio
- Ed Cross, CEO, Cushman Wakefield, Commercial Advisors, San Antonio
- Jim Summers, Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright, San Antonio
- John Leflore, JSB Insurance, San Antonio
- Randy Harig, Investor, San Antonio