from the July 2014 issue

Massachusetts teams up with Israel on water technology issues

Officials from Massachusetts clean technology firms will work with Israel to launch a global network focused on innovations that address global water issues.

Governor Deval Patrick unveiled the initiative Wednesday while on a trade mission in Israel. The trip was a follow-up to a 2011 visit during which a longtime Israeli water executive pushed Patrick to turn Massachusetts into a water technology hub that could help Israeli startups and other companies gain access to world markets.

The water industry today generates revenues of up to $600 billion a year, according to Boston market intelligent firm Lux Research Inc.

As a result, the state has worked with its business community to bring together some 300 companies in Massachusetts to form an organized cluster. An industry group, the New England Water Innovation Network, grew out of that effort.

"Water technology I personally didn't even get until we were here the last time," Patrick said. But on Wednesday, the same Israeli executive who once took the governor to task instead praised him. "He made me feel like a proud father figure,'' Patrick said. "He said, 'You know, you've done well. You've done well.'?"

Massachusetts also has wooed Israeli firms, including Desalitech, a water treatment company that relocated to Newton. Chief executive Nadav Efraty said he has hired about 10 people in the last year and revenue has soared.

Reprinted from the Israel High-Tech & Investment Report July 2014

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