Imagine H2O, a nonprofit organization that provides a path-to-market platform for early-stage water technology companies. announced Oct. 1 that it is accepting applications from water entrepreneurs worldwide for its 2013 Food & Agriculture Competition. The fifth annual competition seeks to identify and support promising water innovations in the food and agriculture sector.

The deadline to submit applications is November 15; applications can be submitted here. Winners will be announced March 22, 2014, at which time the top companies will present their innovations to the program’s pilot partners. Wells Fargo, Imagine H2O’s Headline Sponsor, will be joined by the organization’s philanthropic supporters and other corporate sponsors to support the program.

On its Food & Agriculture Program web page, Imagine H2O provides two important statistics:

  • A 2012 UN World Water Assessment Program survey indicates that agriculture currently accounts for more than 70% of global water usage.
  • According to Global Water Intelligence, the Food and Beverage industry’s annual capital expense on water technologies is expected to grow from $3.3 billion in 2011 to more than $6 billion by 2020.

At the launch of its Food & Agriculture Program this past May, Imagine H2O’s chief operating officer, Scott Bryan, said, “This program will advance innovations in how we use, supply and treat water to improve our food system. Catalyzing entrepreneurial water innovations is an essential step toward securing future food supply in a water-constrained world.”

The BlueTechValley, an Imagine H2O Accelerator Hub Partner, will introduce the competition’s top companies to a select group of pilot partners for the purpose of establishing demonstration programs at commercial food facilities. “All too often, emerging water businesses struggle to secure pilot demonstrations to prove their innovations,” explained Henrik Skov Laursen, BlueTechValley chairman. “For promising startups, this will be a world-class opportunity to work in partnership with leading commercial growers and food processors.”