With City Digital, DMDII, and the Beta City Initiative, Chicago is aiming to cement itself as the world’s civic lab, a destination where solutions to the globe’s biggest problems can be tested, developed, and scaled.
Today, the city announced yet another effort designed to strengthen this reputation – Current. Current is a new multi-party campaign, with partners from across the public and private sectors, that’s focused on driving innovation and research to address the world’s water issues.
According to the City, Current will be initially working on three main objectives – to advance the efficiency of water systems, to develop and deploy innovative water technology solutions, and to drive increased investment and employment in the industry. To achieve these, Current is launching with three programs, a research consortium, a network of resources and assets, and a campaign to incentivize businesses to execute sustainable water practices. The initiative says that these three programs will create “more than $250 million in economic value over 10 years.”
Explained Mayor Rahm Emanuel, “Chicago’s strong water economy puts our region in a prime position to become the global leader in developing technology for the next generation of water infrastructure. As global demand for water technology increases, Current will ensure we are all working together to put Chicago at the forefront of the water economy and create jobs and drive innovation.”
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