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Your Ideas and Our Priorities: Smart Stormwater Systems

Simon Bélisle, Project Development Manager

A few weeks ago, the Fund released a strategic plan that looks forward to our fourth decade and a continued commitment to innovation and meaningful impact in our region. Many of you read it and saw the strategies we want to develop to ensure the sustainable use of our water resources.

There is evidence, based on literature and on projects we have supported, that we can use connected systems to control water, improve water quality, and achieve other ecological benefits. A great example comes from a Fund-supported team working on intelligent cyberinfrastructure to control stormwater. You should check out their website open-storm.org if you haven’t already.

We encourage you to read about our strategic priorities and our funding guidelines. It will help you to understand the characteristics we look for in a GLPF project.

Now is a great time to get in touch with us to talk about your idea.

A conversation is the best way to get the ball rolling with us. We have a few things for you to consider before you contact us.

  • What is the problem you want to solve? Tell us exactly what Great Lakes ecosystem health problem you want to tackle. Pinpointing the problem will also help us connect you with potential team partners.
  • The way we see it, smart infrastructure is about more than sensors, valves, and other equipment. They are tools to optimize work and monitor impact, but it takes more to generate sustainable, regional improvements. Even if you want to test a new technological advancement (and we are very open to that), we want to know how it fits within with a broader theory of change.
  • We also want to know who will be the end users of the product, technique, or methodology you want to create, and are these users included in the development phase? Two questions in one, but most importantly this is the key to drive adoption of what you develop, and getting early feedback from those who will be using it later is essential. We always ask teams to include users in a project, so get ahead of us and consider them from the start!

As always, consider the Fund as a partner in your project, and do not hesitate to contact us to discuss a project idea. Our most compelling projects start with a conversation.

–Simon Bélisle, Project Development Manager