Boston: An Oasys of Water Innovation
We love Boston. It goes beyond duck boats, wicked good clam chowdah, and our very own Green Monstah. This 400 year young city is a spectacular place for an emerging desalination company, and not just because of the (formerly) dirty water.
The water treatment industry has a storied history in Boston leading back to 1949 when Ionics of Watertown developed its first desalination membrane. Today, Boston is one of three integral water innovation cities in the country. Water companies with offices in the area range from large equipment and service providers like Veolia, to engineering firms such as CDM Smith, and dozens of emerging startups. So what is it about Boston that makes this city so attractive to the water industry?
One of the most defining factors of Boston is our appeal to be revolutionary. No – not our propensity to throw tea into the Four Point channel. We are referring to the result of the city being home to over 100 colleges and universities. These centers of academia are hotbeds of forward thinking. They recruit premier talent and draw significant capital; both of which are rudimentary tools of innovation. Local colleges and universities are a key reason to why Massachusetts churns out more water patents per capita than any other state in the country. Being at ground zero for so many disruptive ideas really sets the bar high and drives us to maintain the innovative spark that Oasys was founded on.
As Boston continues to grow, City Leaders are committed to developing infrastructure to foster development of companies founded on the innovative ideas of young entrepreneurs. The goal is to usher ideas from campus laboratories out into the private sector. In 2010, Oasys moved from Cambridge to the South Boston Waterfront, an up-and-coming neighborhood that Mayor Menino has worked hard to rebrand as the Innovation District. We now reside in the Boston Marine Industrial Park (BMIP) with several other cleantech companies developing industrial innovations from solar power to energy storage. Aside from the many exciting companies, the BMIP has a very cool industrial chic feel that any forward-thinking start-up Company would relish to call home. Plus, down the street there are some truly spectacular buildings under development including Seaport Square and 100 Pier 4.
Oasys and its employees could not feel more at home in Boston. We are surrounded by cleantech entrepreneurs and water industry veterans; the rich traditions of a city already established during the revolutionary war, yet a constant influx of youth and new ideas. Matt Damon’s character would probably ask, “How you like them apples?”