State water technology leaders join Governor highlighting state’s strengths
TEL AVIV, ISRAEL — Governor Scott Walker and leaders of the state’s water technology sector made a compelling case today for how Wisconsin companies can help Israel address its water challenges during the second day of the governor’s trade mission to that country.
Governor Walker joined Dean Amhaus, president and CEO of The Water Council, Brett Peters, dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and Kevin Shafer, executive director of the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, in a “Reverse Pitch for Innovation” event in Tel Aviv.
During presentations to Israeli businesses, the leaders of the three major water technology organizations outlined various water-related problems facing the country and highlighted potential solutions being pursued by researchers and businesses in Wisconsin and the U.S.
“Wisconsin’s water technology sector has an international reputation for developing innovative solutions to water-related issues worldwide,” said Governor Walker. “This event was an outstanding opportunity to showcase all Wisconsin has to offer and provide the Israeli businesses with an in-depth look at our capabilities.”
The event also provided the Israeli companies in attendance with the chance to introduce new technologies they have developed but which still need proof-of-concept testing to determine if they are viable solutions. Leaders of those startup and early-stage companies took part in roundtable discussions with Wisconsin water technology leaders to share ideas and explore possible areas of future collaboration. The Water Council also will help Israeli businesses connect with Wisconsin companies to discuss efforts for future collaboration.
“The ‘Reverse Pitch’ presents a great opportunity to outline the solutions Wisconsin’s global water technology companies are seeking and to connect them with the innovations by the Israeli businesses,” said Mr. Amhaus. “At the same time, the Israeli businesses exploring operations in the U.S. can hear why Wisconsin’s proven water technology hub presents an unparalleled ecosystem of support from a ‘safe landing zone’ to piloting opportunities.”
Governor Walker and the water technology leaders also met Tuesday with Start-Up Nation Central, a non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening Israel’s innovation ecosystem. During that meeting, Wisconsin officials received updates on Israel’s high-tech ecosystem and water innovation efforts and talked about potential collaboration and partnerships.
Also on Tuesday, Governor Walker met with Astronautics C.A. Ltd., a high-tech defense systems supplier and a subsidiary of Milwaukee-based Astronautics Corporation of America. The governor toured the facility and learned more about how one Wisconsin company’s experiences in the Israeli market could benefit other state businesses interested in Israel.
Governor Walker wrapped up the day with a networking reception for the Wisconsin delegation and Israeli business and government leaders hosted by David Friedman, the U.S. ambassador to Israel.
The governor is leading the 16-member Wisconsin delegation on a trip aimed at increasing foreign investment in Wisconsin and developing new partnerships between the state and Israel. The governor will return to Wisconsin on Thursday.