PANI, an Israeli product that prevents biofouling in water equipment, has been selected by FLC collaborative partner The Water Council’s corporate sponsors as the winner of the spring 2021 Tech Challenge.
The Water Council’s Tech Challenge connects water innovators with leading water technology companies, facilitating potential partnerships and helping new ideas and technologies gain exposure in the industry. The spring 2021 challenge sought solutions that reduce scale, corrosion and fouling for pipes, tanks, valves and other equipment that encounters water.
The challenge’s sponsors, A. O. Smith, Badger Meter and Watts Water Technologies, unanimously selected PANI as the winner of the $10,000 prize. The innovative preparation and grafting method of polyaniline (PANI) makes it a functional coating that prevents biofouling – the accumulation of biological material such as microorganisms and algae on surfaces – in water systems and accessories. It was created by Dr. Ran Y. Suckeveriene of Kinneret Academic College, Zemach, Israel.
“As a global leader in providing innovative water solutions, we were excited to participate in the 2021 Tech Challenge,” said Chris Jamieson, senior vice president for Watts Water Technologies. “This program exposed us to entrepreneurs and technologies that can expand our own thought leadership in the water industry. We look forward to our continued sponsorship in future Tech Challenges.”
Suckeveriene learned about The Water Council and Tech Challenge at an event through Partnership2Gether, a program of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation and the Jewish Agency for Israel designed to cultivate relationships, projects and professional programs between Milwaukee and its partner region, Sovev Kinneret in Israel.
“This award is especially important to me since it is an acknowledgement of my activities in both water engineering and innovation,” Suckeveriene said. “As an entrepreneur, I always aim to implement cutting-edge technologies and materials to address critical issues impacting society today and tomorrow.”
PANI’s win is another example of The Water Council’s growing global connections. The organization has added seven European members so far this year. It also is currently renewing its memorandum of understanding with Catalan Water Partnership, one of several water organizations it aligns with around the globe.