The Blue Gateway Initiative is the recognition that 20% of the worlds fresh water comes from the Great Lakes, between which we are positioned. Our focus is to leverage technology for the betterment of industry and agriculture while working to conserve our incredible resources for generations to come.
With the Great Lakes accounting for 20% of the world’s surface freshwater, human life and commercial activity in Michigan are inextricably linked to these bodies of water. The global freshwater economy, which is part of the broader water economy, is worth over $2.5 trillion annually and growing, according to a recent UN Conference on Trade and Development (2021).
This large economic impact is often driven by industry clusters, or “geographic concentrations of interconnected companies and institutions in a particular field.” In coastal areas across the US, Blue Economy industry clusters are driven by population and activity centers, robust natural assets, and critical infrastructure for commerce, R&D, and collaboration. Often supported by public-private partnerships and other authorities, industry clusters support local and state economies, drive innovative thinking, and position the US as a leader in Blue Economy activity.
As a port city on Lake Erie, the City of Monroe stands out as a vital “Blue Gateway” to the state, seamlessly blending its unique maritime role with its status as a gateway to Michigan. The Blue Gateway Initiative is focused on fostering growth and innovation in the Blue Economy and AgTech sectors.
Located in the heart of Monroe, we provide resources, mentorship, and networking opportunities to startups and entrepreneurs dedicated to sustainable Great Lakes and water-based industries. In line with our commitment to a sustainable future, we also actively support AgTech businesses and startups, providing them with the tools and guidance necessary to foster innovation in sustainable agriculture, leveraging our unique position at the nexus of water and land-based ecosystems. Our mission is to drive innovation that makes farming, production, and living, in the Lake Erie region easier and more effective.