Get smart: Tech company wants to expand smart city capabilities in Milwaukee

Downtown Milwaukee. Photo by Jeramey Jannene via Flickr.

Internet of Things company Caravela wants to add a second antenna in Milwaukee to expand its free smart city network, reports Wisconsin Inno. The network allows the government and the public to access data collected by sensors to improve the environment and public safety. For example, the network detects changes in water quality and air pollution. The network uses a wireless radio frequency network to connect the sensors so they require little energy and can run on solar or last for years on batteries, compared with other systems that use battery energy at a high rate.


  • Northwestern University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers developed “hybrid” materials, consisting of both organic and inorganic components, that fine-tune the properties of perovskite materials, which are considered next-generation materials for solar cells and light sources.

  • Researchers at several national laboratories, including Argonne National Laboratory, partnered with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to study soil organic carbon as a predictor of climate change. They generated new models involving scaling algorithms and artificial intelligence that reduce the uncertainty in predicting climate change impacts.

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🏆 COMPETITION: A project in Illinois is one of the 10 winners of phase one of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Water Resource Recovery Prize. Kishwaukee Water Reclamation District moves to the second, and final, competition phase for its employees’ proposal that combines heat, solar, and micro-hydroelectric technologies to allow the agency to reach net-zero by 2025.

💰 FUNDING: Projects in Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, and North Dakota are among the 31 to receive $21 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy to advance research and development in underserved parts of the country. Topics include wind energy grid resilience and carbon nanotube production.

🚗 TRANSPORTATION: The Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization Innovation Hub for Advanced Transportation at the University of Michigan awarded a total of $710,000 to eight early-stage transportation tech projects. The projects cover a variety of topics including vehicular hydrogen fuel cells, clean automotive paint, and reducing the production of scrap materials.

🎉 PRODUCT LAUNCH: Columbus, Ohio-based Global BioProtect, which develops environmentally friendly industrial cleaning products, released a new hand sanitizer that comes in a 100% recyclable can powered by compressed air, not chemicals.

Let me know which other entrepreneurs are advancing tech in the Midwest so I can include them in our coverage. Send news tips, press releases, and feedback to or connect on LinkedIn and Twitter @centereddottech.

Centered is a publication of the Energy News Network, in partnership with the Illinois Science and Energy Innovation Foundation and mHUB.