U of M consortium, CFANS water experts receive inaugural NSF Regional Innovation Engines award
The U.S. National Science Foundation announced 10 inaugural Regional Innovation Engines awards, with a potential $1.6 billion investment nationally over the next decade. Great Lakes ReNEW, which is led by Chicago-based water innovation hub Current and includes a team from the University of Minnesota, will receive up to $160 million to develop and grow a water-focused innovation engine in the Great Lakes region.
The project’s ambitious plan is to create a decarbonized circular “blue economy” to leverage the region’s extraordinary water resources to transform the upper Midwest — Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.
“The ReNEW engine will have access to a network of more than 200 water experts across a wide range of fields at the University of Minnesota. This is a new model for supporting research that will allow our experts to build new regional collaborations and develop creative solutions,” said Jeffrey Peterson, director of the U of M’s Water Resources Center and one of the University’s co-leads for the project.