By: Josh Sloat
It's impossible to overstate the importance of protecting our most important natural resource. And that's why we couldn't be more excited to announce that we're joining forces with AquaAction to provide patenting assistance for their vital mission to restore freshwater health in North America!
Aqua's programs, like its Hacking Challenge, present incredible opportunities to help accelerate technologies that will both improve and protect our precious water ecosystems, as well as boost the local innovation economies they touch. Aurora will be providing patent coaching to all participants, as well as service-based awards for the top three finalists in the annual, bi-national AquaHacking Great Lakes Challenge.
We are thrilled about this partnership, eager to see where our collective energies take this, and confident it will mean great things for the region and the sustainability of its most important natural resource.
AquaAction is a Canadian and US registered charity established by the Fondation de Gaspé Beaubien in 2015, created to disrupt the status quo with innovative ideas and engage youth in the fight against the water-related climate crisis. AquaAction has developed three programs focused on water innovation and technology: the AquaHacking Challenge, AquaEntrepreneur and the AquaAction Alumni Community. Since its establishment, 28 innovative start-ups have been created across Canada.
AquaHacking Challenge for the Great Lakes
The AquaHacking Challenge is a tech innovation program focused on developing solutions to pressing freshwater issues within the Great Lakes watershed region. The program is open to American and Canadian post-secondary students and young professionals looking for a hands-on way to apply their talent and fight the freshwater crisis. The solutions developed today will help save our freshwater systems for generations to come.
The 2023 Challenge started in September and will run for 9 months. Participants will receive mentoring and expert coaching, have access to on demand content in innovation, entrepreneurship, leadership and be eligible for micro-credits and digital badging. The 2023 AquaHacking Challenge is the first of three that will run sequentially from 2023 to 2026.
Michigan's Blue Economy
We're personally and professionally very excited about the potential for initiatives like Aqua's Hacking Challenge, the Fresh Coast Maritime Challenge, and related water-focused technology efforts around things like electric boating. When you combine the access to our natural assets, a strong desire to protect them, the collective background expertise of so many who've grown up around freshwater, and the startup support given by groups like 20Fathoms and institutions like NMC, there's no reason why Northern Michigan shouldn't establish itself as a leading innovator in the blue economy.
The AquaHacking Great Lakes Challenge is co-hosted by Northwestern Michigan College (NMC) and AquaAction.
We are very proud to have been invited by NMC to collaborate on this bi-national program for the Great Lakes. This immense watershed region is home to 27% of the population of Canada and the US, accounts for 28% of our combined economic activity, and holds 21% of the world’s freshwater. The business case for solutions is clear and we welcome a new generation of innovators to lead the way towards a clean and healthy freshwater future for us all and future generations – thanks to their innovative ideas.
Ashley Sloat, Ph.D.
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