Cleveland Innovation Project moves to scale up water-related industries

by | Sep 27, 2020

Jay Miller, Crain’s Cleveland Business

The latest approach to rejuvenating the regional economy began a quiet rollout last week when the federal Economic Development Administration (EDA) awarded a $600,000 grant to the Cleveland Water Alliance (CWA), a 6-year-old nonprofit that will use the money to support the scaling up of the region’s water-related industries.

It’s the first visible step in a plan to stimulate the region’s struggling economy developed by the Cleveland Innovation Project (CIP), a collaboration among two philanthropies — the Cleveland Foundation and the Fund for Our Economic Future — and three business and economic development groups — the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP), JumpStart Inc. and Team NEO.

The alliance was a reaction to several stark, public reminders that the region’s economy is not reversing its long-term decline.

In February 2018, the Fund for Our Economic Future issued its ”Two Tomorrows” report that argued that maintaining and growing the region’s economic vitality will depend on the ability to provide training and equal opportunity for jobs for everyone in the region. Then in June 2018, attorney Jon Pinney offered an unvarnished assessment of the regional economy in a City Club of Cleveland speech.

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