“If we could have access to real-world scale, actual test beds, we could do a lot better job preparing new technologies for market cheaper and faster,” Per Suneby, president of waste-to-energy firm BioConversion Solutions LLC and one of the executives behind the proposal, said in an interview Tuesday.

The idea for the network was developed by several executives and presented at the second Symposium on Water Innovation in Massachusetts at Northeastern University.

While a still relatively small part of the state’s innovation economy, the water technology sector already generates roughly $4 billion in revenue.

Water technologies monitor, treat, and transport drinking water, storm water, wastewater, industrial water, and coastal waters.