Vermont Business Magazine Vermont’s 2018 Clean Water Week, which kicked off Sunday and runs through August 4, celebrates Vermont’s lakes, rivers and wetlands, as well as the efforts of businesses, farms, communities and organizations to protect and restore clean water. Clean water is essential to Vermont’s health, quality of life and strong economy. It supports diverse recreational opportunities, serves as a major drinking water source and provides critical fish and wildlife habitat.As part of this event, the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets (VAAFM), Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) and the Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) are announcing the latest development of the Vermont Phosphorus Innovation Challenge (VPIC).The VPIC, conceptualized and launched by the Scott Administration, opened on April 27 and is one example of the state’s focus on clean water. The VPIC issued a call for innovative approaches for capturing phosphorus from manure or other organic waste streams, seeking solutions that ultimately reuse that phosphorus as a part of a value-added product, creating economic development opportunities.The initial submittal period for Stage One of the VPIC ended on July 6, and 27 proposals were received – not only from Vermont-based companies, but from entrepreneurs and innovators from multiple states and countries. The proposals presented a wide variety of potential opportunities and strategies for phosphorus capture and reuse.A list of the submitted proposals. Find more information on the VPIC website: agriculture.vermont.gov/Vermont_Phosphorus_Innovation_Challenge(link is external). “Clearly there is a lot of interest in, and recognized need for, the types of solutions VPIC is seeking and I appreciate the work of my team in developing this program and implementing its first phase,” said Governor Phil Scott. “I’ve called for my Administration to think differently about the challenges we face so we can better serve Vermonters and improve our state. The VPIC project is a great example of that innovative thinking, and I’m pleased with its success so far.”The Evaluation Committee will review proposals and decisions on finalists will be made by August 7. Selected finalists will present in person to the Evaluation Committee on September 6 in Montpelier. These presenters will be the ‘short list’ of innovators, from which the Evaluation Committee will select the final proposals moving onto Stage Two. These proposals selected to move forward to Stage Two will split $250,000 of funding for prototyping, business case development and a demonstration of the proposed technology.The Evaluation Team (listed below) is comprised of subject matter experts, scientists, entrepreneurs and State officials, including:Jeanette Brown, Manhattan CollegeJohn Cohn, IBM CorporationJed Davis, Agri-Mark/Cabot Creamer Co-operativeMax Herzog, Cleveland Water AllianceEric Howe, Lake Champlain Basin Program & New England Interstate Water Pollution Control CommissionKen Jones, Vermont Agency of Commerce & Community DevelopmentTim KenneyJulie Moore, P.E., Vermont Agency of Natural ResourcesBryan Stubbs, Cleveland Water AllianceGuy Roberts, Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & MarketsFor more information on the VPIC, including details and a list of submitted proposals, visit: http://agriculture.vermont.gov/Vermont_Phosphorus_Innovation_Challenge(link is external).