A global hub for excellence in water education, research, and innovation.
The Blue Institute is a Registered Nonprofit 501(C)(3) located on Cape Cod in the Harwich Cultural Center, and a second location sharing oceanfront space with the Blue Incubator, PBC in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Designed to be an "open access" hub for excellence in water education and research, the Blue Institute is a strategic consortium of dedicated “Triple Helix” partners on a mission to create solutions for clean water and climate change issues, and to educate the “NextGen” or next generation of water-thought leaders through hands-on training in the unique fresh and saltwater ecosystem at and surrounding Cape Cod Bay.
830 million people around the world do not have access to safe drinking water. 2.3 billion do not have access to sanitary facilities. For every $1 invested in water and sanitation, an average of at least $4 is returned in increased productivity. (Sanitation returns $5.50 from $1 and water returns $2 from $1). (WHO 2012)
With the existing climate change scenario, by 2030, water scarcity in some arid and semi-arid places will displace between 24 million and 700 million people. (UNCCD). Increased pressure on water security as well as the opening of Arctic channels are areas of great concern.
Locally, our coasts are our economy. Innovative technology designs are needed to strengthen existing decentralized wastewater systems or the implementation of centralized sewering.
Globally, 80% of wastewater flows back into the ecosystem without being treated or reused (UNESCO, 2017).
39% of the global population (2.9 billion people) use a safely managed sanitation service. Most of these people (3 out of 5) live in urban areas. (WHO/UNICEF, 2017). It is estimated by 2050 85% of the global population will live in coastal areas.
Global water demand (in terms of water withdrawals) is projected to increase by 55% by 2050, mainly because of growing demands from manufacturing (400% increase). The opportunities from exploiting wastewater as a resource are enormous. Safely managed wastewater is an affordable and sustainable source of water, energy, nutrients and other recoverable materials. (UNESCO, 2017).
71% of the earth's surface is water, and only 5% of that is drinkable, the rest is salt-water. Microplastics are small plastic pieces less than five millimeters long which can be harmful to our ocean and aquatic life. Plastic is the most prevalent type of marine debris found in our ocean and Great Lakes.
Our unique water-centric undergraduate “semester away” program will be comprised of hands on experiential learning drawing from cross-disciplinary fields integrating science, art, policy, engineering, humanities, economics, and technology to introduce students to the burgeoning opportunities for the “blue economy" & to create a generation of “water knowledge ambassadors" to better serve the World. Introductory level, advanced undergraduate and graduate courses available.
Research residencies will be open to scientists, graduate students and advanced undergraduates completing capstone projects. Access to BlueTech and water security innovation incubator, fresh and salt water testing sites, and marine environments. The Institute supports sustainable water research bringing together private and public sector projects and scientists in a unique academic and environmental ecosystem fostering collaborative exchanges.
K-12 special curriculum events for kids, and educational support for teachers through hands-on research focused workshops. Cross-generational collaborations through classroom and onsite experiential learning incorporating schools, community, and senior citizen area programs.
Testing - Both water quality and aquaculture pathology testing labs will support municipal and commercial customer’s water testing needs as well as the regional aqua farming community.
At the end of the day - it's all about their future.
We aim to help educate young people to be the next generation of water thought leaders for their communities and the wider world. That could be as simple (and important) as serving on a local water resource committee, or exploring the burgeoning opportunities and career pathways in the water and blue tech infrastructure and innovation sectors.
Participating in the 2017 CleanTechOpen Accelorator convinced us to pull the innovation pillar out of the non-profit business model, and set up a separate legal entity called the Blue Incubator - a Public Benefit Corporation committing 10% of its profits towards scholarships & fellowships at the Blue Institute. Our sister institution, creating regional and global economic development, supports innovation and entrepreneurship in clean water, aquaculture, and marine technology. The Blue Incubator is the first oceanfront "Blue Tech" incubator on the eastern seaboard!
Are you passionate about what we're doing? Are you ready to dig in? Let us know! We are always looking for volunteers to help us make our vision a reality. We'll help you find a way to volunteer that best suits you. We're excited to have you join the team!
Join us next summer on Cape Cod to learn more about the water all around us & in Plymouth to explore STEM related BlueTech and underwater robots. Email us for info:
Whether you help through monetary donations, volunteering your time with us, or spreading our mission through word-of-mouth, thank you. We couldn't accomplish our goals without the help of supporters like you.