Global Water Center opens with fanfare

UWM researchers occupy top floor

The Global Water Center, a water research and business accelerator established by the Milwaukee Water Council, officially opened Thursday with a visit from Gov. Scott Walker.

The center, in the Walker’s Point neighborhood, brings together a confluence of industry, academia and government resources with the goal of provide leading-edge technology and solutions needed to succeed in the world water marketplace.

The 100,000-square-foot, seven-story building will be Milwaukee’s headquarters for attracting and creating new businesses, and for addressing local and global water-quality technology and policy issues.

Perched atop the new center, on the seventh floor, are labs from faculty and student researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s School of Freshwater Sciences.

But the building also houses offices of the Water Council, Badger Meter, A.O. Smith Corp., Veolia Water North America, UW-Whitewater’s Institute for Water Business, the Greater Milwaukee Committee and Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. The law firm of Michael Best & Friedrich also will open an office there.

It features high-tech, shared, core facilities, including a state-of-the-art water flow lab. In addition, the building has accelerator space for new, emerging water-related companies.

“The opening of the Global Water Center is another significant step forward for Milwaukee and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee,” said Chancellor Michael Lovell. “Our operations on the seventh floor will help our university engage in research and commercialization of research opportunities that previously were not possible.”

Lovell added that the center is less than a mile from a huge addition being constructed at the School of Freshwater Sciences, where occupancy is only 13 months away.

This building’s redevelopment also serves as a catalyst for the future development of the Reed Street Yards, which has been designated by the City of Milwaukee as a site for a water-technology research park.

The Water Council is a nonprofit organization coalescing the Milwaukee region’s water companies, research institutions and education programs to train talent and build new partnerships.

Major sponsors of the opening include UWM, A.O. Smith Corporation, Badger Meter, Veolia Water NA, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), MillerCoors, Siemens, UW-Whitewater and Wipfli.