NRRI and Tech Comm Help UMN Startup Become Market Ready

UMN startup Sustainable Water Infrastructure Group (SWIG) teamed up with the University’s Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI) to fine-tune an innovative method for removing phosphorus from water using aluminum sludge. SWIG CEO Bill Lucas developed the process while conducting research for his doctoral degree, but he needed help to develop the aluminum sludge into a material that was more easily handled, durable, and cost-effective. Lucas worked with NRRI engineers to do just that and turned his idea into a more market-ready method.

UMN Tech Comm executed an agreement with SWIG ensuring that the company retained rights to the removal method while also allowing the University to continue using the broader technology for research. SWIG also has access to Tech Comm’s Venture Center, which helps early-stage companies prepare to seek funding and begin to scale-up an idea or invention. SWIG is currently deploying its technology in Florida, where the company is working with two of the state’s water management districts and building a five-acre commercial processing facility.