MILWAUKEE – The Water Council, a Third Ward-based nonprofit that encourages freshwater innovation, has granted a key award to an Israeli product after its developers connected with Jewish Milwaukee.
The Water Council’s corporate sponsors selected PANI, an Israeli water equipment product, as the winner of a spring 2021 Tech Challenge.
PANI was created by Ran Y. Suckeveriene of Kinneret Academic College, Zemach, Israel. Suckeveriene learned about The Water Council and Tech Challenge at an event with Partnership2Gether. The Partnership2Gether program by Milwaukee Jewish Federation and the Jewish Agency for Israel is designed to cultivate relationships, projects and professional programs between Milwaukee and its partner region, Sovev Kinneret in Israel.
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, according to a news release. 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 “PANI” or polyaniline 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, according to the release.
“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, according to the organization. The Water Council has added seven European members so far this year.