MILWAUKEE — U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker announced The Water Council is among the first 26 recipients of the 2014 Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program grants, according to a press release.

The RIS program is run by the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE) of the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA), stated the release.

It is a new initiative designed to advance capacity-building activities and innovation in regions across the U.S. through three different types of grants, including: “Cluster Grants for Seed Capital Funds,” “i6 Challenge grants” and “Science and Research Park Development Grants,” continued the release.

Under the Cluster Grant for Seed Capital Funds, The Water Council received $71,625, which will help to offset portions of the initial marketing and legal costs related to the launch of its Water Seed Fund, reported the release.

“This award from the U.S. Economic Development Administration confirms that Southeast Wisconsin is the nation’s leading cluster for the development and commercialization of water technology,” said The Water Council President and CEO Dean Amhaus. “The launch of the Water Seed Fund will add the missing piece to the puzzle — technology, entrepreneurs, markets and now capital. We are very pleased to be able to continue our work with the Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Administration.”

You can find the release here.