Water-Resource Management Capacity Development : A Small-Systems Technology-Transfer Model


The Center for Water Resource Studies at Western Kentucky University promotes and facilitates a public/private sector partnership focused on the development and transfer of water resource management technologies that specifically target the small to medium sized industry market. This market includes municipalities, water and wastewater utilities and districts serving populations less than 25,000, local and state government agencies, commercial and non-profit organizations providing engineering, scientific, technical, financial, managerial and analytical services, and the industry relevant trade associations. The size and scope of services needed/offered in this market sector tend to limit the rate of return of product development investment, and, as a result, only a few companies tend to invest in this sector. The partnership integrates small technology startup entrepreneurial firms with the end-user/target market sector and the water resource technology development capacity of the partnering universities to facilitate the translation of market need into technological concept, development, transfer and commercialization. The needs and capacity of the target market dictate a high-volume, low-margin approach to be commercially feasible, and so is typically under-served. By relying on small startup firms for commercialization, and minimizing licensing burden, the partnership promotes a technology development and transfer model process that is sustainable. The partnership focuses on developing processes for rapid identification, development, transfer and commercialization of incremental advances in technology that have an immediate benefit on the target market. The key to success of the partnership is the adoption of the successful "Red Hat Business Model", that relies on integrating the end-user into an open product development process. Key principles incorporated into such a business model include a "first-to-market" philosophy, a highly responsive consumer feedback process, and a balanced reliance on product service and intellectual property protection for commercialization. " American Society for Engineering Education. 2009.

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ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings

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Article; Proceedings Paper

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85029124463 (Scopus)

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