Xylem Becomes First J-WAFS Research Affiliate

Nov. 30, 2016
Xylem joins MIT Industrial Liaison Program

The Abdul Latif Jameel World Water and Food Security Lab (J-WAFS) has announced the signing of its first corporate research affiliate agreement with Xylem Inc. Xylem recently joined the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Industrial Liaison Program (ILP), and this represents a step up in their engagement with the MIT community.

J-WAFS was established by the MIT administration in 2014 as an institute-wide effort to bring MIT’s strengths to bear on the many challenges of food and water supply. J-WAFS aims to improve the security, safety, and efficiency of the world’s water and food supplies and works to reduce environmental impact of water and food systems. 

At MIT, J-WAFS stimulates and coordinates water- and food-related research across the entire institute by connecting sponsors and collaborators to faculty members and research groups working on problems of mutual interest and by managing large-scale research relationships. J-WAFS’ new research affiliate program offers companies the opportunity to partner with MIT around food and water research. The program is central to J-WAFS' efforts to engage across sector and disciplinary boundaries in solving real-world problems.

“As the world grapples with the challenges of climate change, resource scarcity and economic development for a growing population, new solutions are needed to meet today’s urgent needs while building a sustainable future,” said Xylem President and CEO Patrick Decker. “We are pleased to be working with MIT and tapping into the deep knowledge and innovative approaches to problem-solving that are hallmarks of this global institution. It is incumbent on all of us—individuals, private businesses, non-governmental organizations, academia and governments—to work together to scope and solve these challenges.”

With coordination and guidance by J-WAFS, Xylem will start out by identifying and refining two to three research projects to sponsor. Additional projects will be undertaken over the duration of the three-year agreement. Potential research topics include sensors for water contaminants, distributed energy management, sustainability and data analytics. 

John H. Lienhard V, director of J-WAFS and the Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Water at MIT, added: “With this agreement, J-WAFS is furthering its role of providing resources to the MIT community and thereby strengthening MIT’s ability to solve real problems in securing clean and plentiful water supplies around the world.”

Funding will also be directed to support the MIT Water Club. The leading student network on campus for water research and innovation activities, the club organizes conferences, lectures, research showcases, and entrepreneurship events addressing the most pressing issues in water technology, policy and science. Interacting with MIT students is a priority for Xylem and beneficial for the students.

“We greatly value not only the financial support, but also the access to Xylem professionals for mentorship, networking and career opportunities,” said Water Club President Brendan Smith, a doctoral student in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

Additional funds will support J-WAFS seed research grants and broad integrative J-WAFS activities such as studies, workshops, and conferences that engage industry, government agencies and other research institutions around critical water issues.

Source: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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