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Patrick Announces $1.5 Million for Water Technology Innovation

AMHERST – Gov. Deval Patrick today announced $1.5 million in funding to build on his administration’s efforts to make Massachusetts a hub for the emerging water innovation sector. Patrick was joined by UMass Amherst and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials as they announced $4.1 million in federal funding for a national center for drinking water innovation at the university. “All over the world and right here at home in the Commonwealth, water challenges are threatening the environment and the economy,” said Patrick. “Investing in the development of water innovation technologies not only protects precious natural resources and public health but creates high-quality local jobs.” The Water Infrastructure Bill, signed by Patrick in August, calls for $1.5 million in investments from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection for water innovation. The federally funded center, announced today by the EPA, will be one of two national research centers focused on testing and demonstrating cutting-edge technologies for small drinking water systems. The Patrick Administration, through MassCEC matched the federal investment with a $100,000 grant. “Under governor Patrick’s leadership, Massachusetts has pursued cost-effective innovations to address environmental concerns,” said Curt Spalding, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regional administrator for New England. “We are very pleased to join the governor as both EPA and the Commonwealth announce investments in further research and technology development at UMass Amherst that will help continue to provide clean and safe drinking water to people.” Providing safe, clean drinking water is critical for maintaining the health and security of the Commonwealth, said UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy. “Researchers here at UMass Amherst are on the front lines of efforts to make sure that clean water is a reality for all our communities and citizens. This new funding will help the Commonwealth’s flagship campus make an important contribution to this key public need.” During the Massachusetts-Israel Innovation Partnership Mission in May, Patrick announced the winners of the first Massachusetts-Israel Innovation Partnership (MIIP) water innovation challenge. The governor made this announcement with Israeli Chief Scientist Avi Hasson during the U.S.-Israel Connected Summit “Going Global with Water Tech” forum. The MIIP was launched in 2011 as a direct result of governor Patrick’s first Innovation Partnership Mission to Israel. During that ten-day trade mission in March 2011, a coalition of the state’s leading business executives and senior government officials explored growth opportunities of common interest for Massachusetts’ and Israel’s innovation industries. During that mission Patrick and Shalom Simhon, Israeli minister of Economy signed a memorandum of understanding in Jerusalem resulting in this partnership. “Safe, reliable drinking water has always been a critical need. In the 21st Century, we will need to develop new technologies to meet growing demand,” said Congressman Jim McGovern. “I’m pleased that the federal government is joining with the Commonwealth and UMass Amherst in this promising effort.”

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