Water Equipment & Policy (WEP) NSF I/UCRC at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and
Calls for Proposals - 2013-2014
Overview: University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) and Marquette University (MU) have started an NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC) on Water Equipment & Policy (WEP) (http://www4.uwm.edu/wep/). Funding for research in centers comes from industries who are members of the center. The center currently has six members; A.O. Smith Corporation, Badger Meter, Inc., Baker Manufacturing Company LLC, Pentair Inc., Gannett Fleming, and Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD). These companies are also members to the center's Industrial Advisory Board (IAB). The IAB is responsible for selecting the projects that are funded. The WEP center is pleased to announce that it will award $300,000 in the fourth round of research grants. These awards will be made to seed promising research in areas that are defined in the center technology roadmap and will benefit member companies.
Research Areas: The center seeks to emphasize the following research areas that are of interest to its IAB members. Ideas that are not included in the following list but can significantly impact the water industry will also be considered; however, a convincing justification is needed.
- High wear / low friction coatings for water treatment device dynamic sealing surfaces.
- Adsorbents for micro-contaminants: i.e., endocrine disrupters, etc.
- Adsorbents for heavy metals: i.e., lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, etc.
- Accelerated wear testing: metal on metal, metal on plastic - in a flow stream. Composites for pressure vessels:
- Eliminate brass and stainless
- Larger sizes (6", 8" and 10")
5. Organic and inorganic coatings that are low-cost, low-cure temperatures,
6. Adsorbents for TOC removal: i.e., humic acid, etc.
7. Water absorption:
- Materials for pavement
Sensors & Devices
- Static (no moving parts) flow meter technology.
- Leak detection sensors - low cost.
- Pressure sensors - low cost.
- Temperature sensors - low cost.
- Analytics - low cost.
- Detect and differentiate between monovalent ions and polyvalent ions (preferably focusing on cations).
- Detect presence or lack thereof target microbiological contaminants. Must be able to speciate between target contaminants and non-pathogenic strains.
- Detect heavy metals of interest (lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, chromium) for treatment systems breakthrough.
- Connections and systems that can be installed by consumers and contractors that are far easier (cost effective) to install.
- System to replace Reverse Osmosis.
- Filtration technology.
- Micro-scale technology for residential/commercial application.
- TOC removal systems that do not use disposable media or filters.
- Grey Water:
- New, game changing ideas
- Residential system
- Waste heat regeneration
- Optimize anaerobic food waste-to-energy/resources process. Potential team with third party software data management provider including sensor applications described above. Research sensors to support this technology.
- Wastewater treatment technology focused on efficiency, reduced cost and energy use.
- Preventing basement backups.
- Managing sewer overflows.
- Rain water re-use policy for residential and commercial applications focusing on requirements for treated water quality, minimum treatment level and monitoring requirements.
- Multi-stakeholder (Milwaukee area) food waste to resource management program that fosters policy change for optimum allocation of wastes from restaurants, grocers, food processors, grease traps, and agriculture products by removing institutional, policy, regulatory, and market impediments to allow attraction of private investment in a food waste-to-resource program and supporting infrastructure.
- Regulatory: Important topic with little guidance from State or Federal
Maximum award size is $50,000/year, including 10% indirect costs. Funding periods shall nominally be for one year, with clear deliverables stated. Multiple-year funding periods are possible for certain projects, but are not guaranteed. In the case of multi-year projects, proposals need to be submitted annually with a summary of prior accomplishments and well-defined milestones and deliverables for funding requested for the specific year. Continuing projects will compete with new proposals received in the same round. The total funds awarded for this cycle is $300,000.
Investigators will be asked to submit a project executive summary, a project narrative no more than three pages, including references, and a proposal budget with justifications (template provided). The project narrative should include a detailed review on relevant patents, commercial products, and technologies (benchmarking). It should also include a detailed discussion on how WEP member companies could implement the technology or benefit from the technology upon successful execution of the project.
The PIs are encouraged to communicate with the IAB members to formulate their proposal ideas. Collaborative proposals between UWM and MU are encouraged. As a quality control, proposals will first be reviewed by center administrators to ensure they are complete with all of the information required by the IAB. Satisfactory proposals will then be reviewed by the IAB with possible iterations. There will be a two-week holding period for the IAB to quickly review the project scopes of all proposals received by the deadline. The IAB reserves the right to request any directional proposals during this holding period. If such proposals are requested and subsequently received, they will be considered along with all other proposals received by the deadline for the current funding period. PIs of selected proposals will be invited by the IAB to present at the center spring meeting (March 26-27, 2013) when successful projects will be selected by the IAB.
Qualification Criteria: Qualifying proposals must meet the following criteria:
- Field of Study - areas defined by the IAB.
- Researchers - project is for UWM or MU-based research.
- Funding period - funding periods shall nominally be for one year, with clear deliverables stated. Multiple-year funding periods are possible for certain projects, but are not guaranteed. Deliverables and milestones should be specified for each year.
- Amount of funding - project funding up to $50,000 (including 10% indirect costs).
- Intellectual property - research can lead to potential intellectual property.
Scientific Evaluation Criteria: Complete proposals will undergo scientific evaluation by the IAB using the following criteria.
- Quality - excellence and novelty of concept, approach, and methodology; benchmarking analysis; clarity and appropriateness of project plans; clear goals and deliverables for each funding period; desirability and impact of potential results on the IAB member companies and national/international scholarly community.
- Return - Return on investment (ROI) through research funding from external sources, potential for intellectual property, strengthening partnerships with IAB members, start-up companies and other commercial return measures.
- Risk - Availability of necessary skills and experience, likelihood of achieving the intended outcomes; probability of securing extramural funding or engaging in commercialization with the IAB member companies.
- 11/15/12: Call for proposals
- 1/15/13: Deadline for submission of proposals
- 1/15/13 - 1/22/13: Responsiveness review by Center Administrators
- 1/22/13: IAB receives responsive proposals
- 1/22/13 - 2/3/132: Proposal review by the IAB and holding period
- 2/5/13 - 2/19/13: Directional proposal(s) received by the IAB
- 2/25/13: Initial IAB feedback to Pls
- 3/4/13: Revised proposals to IAB, if necessary
- 3/11/13: Final IAB feedback to Pls and invitations issued to selected Pls for presentations at the IAB Spring meeting
- 3/11/13 - 3/22/13: Pls work with Center Administrators on PPT preparation
- 3/26/13 and 3/27/13: IAB Spring meeting: Notification of awards
- Award period: 7/1/13 - 6/30/14
Application Process: Email the completed proposal application in a single PDF file to Dave Marsh: email@example.com
Current IAB members and contact information:
Bob Heideman, Senior Vice President of Engineering and Technology, RHeideman@aosmith.com
David Drew, Principal Engineer, Gannett Fleming, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dave Averbeck, Director, Pentair, email@example.com
Fred Begale, Vice President of Engineering, Badger Meter, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bill Epley, Director, Baker Manufacturing, email@example.com
Chris Magruder, Liaison, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewage District (MMSD), firstname.lastname@example.org