|WssTP participated at theResource Nexus Policy & Cluster Workshop that took place at EASMEpremises on the 27th of November.
The workshop started with a short presentation of the three Horizon2020 projects organising the event, SIM4NEXUS, MAGIC and DAFNE and featured four panel sessions that brought forward, amongst others, the following key messages: Nexus thinking requires both mind-set change but also institutional change; it is necessary to break existing technical, social, regulatory and institutional silos. These silos put challenges to the governance of the nexus.
There are different ways of producing knowledge; to address theWEF nexus governance we need not only technical knowledge but also tap into other types of knowledge: multi-actor engagement is necessary. Contextualisation: When it comes to nexus governance, there is not a ‘one size fits all’ approach but it needs to be tailored to each situation.
There is limited conceptual and practical guidance about the nexus. Two main challenges that are to be addressed:
1) the complexity of the nexus itself and,
2) the issue of policy fragmentation.
The workshop concluded with some follow-up actions, including a possible event in 2019, and the launch of a website of the NexusProject Cluster, which is accessible here. The presentations of theworkshop can be found here.
To read the whole overview from the workshop, please click here.
During the session of “Relations of Rural Water and Food Security to the Water SDG“, A. Lo Porto gave a presentation on “SDGs implementation in Europe” which was held in parallel with the CEWP Joint Steering Committee.
The audience was of around 150 participants, with among others Chinese researchers and practitioners. In the presentation A. Lo Porto discussed the differences between the current approach based on SDGs and the previous one based on MDGs.
It was showed how “water” is a transversal subject present in all the SDGs. Furthermore, the SDGs, in which the issue of water use in agriculture is prominent ,were also discussed and analysed.
A. Lo Porto also showed that to achieve the goals a new “model for water-smart society” must be conceived and implemented in which the innovation must play its role based on a multi-stakeholder approach.
On the 28th of June, A. Lo Porto participated at the session of “Game Changers for the Future Market – setting the scene“, at the CEWP PI ACCESS Program, with about 250 attendees.
Antonio Lo Porto gave a presentation on the WssTP Water Vision and on its SIRA. The concept and the meaning of the ETPs was introduced and a short story of the WssTP was highlighted summarizing current achievements and structure. The three different programmes constituting the backbone of the WssTP activity (Collaboration, Advocacy and Innovation) were descripted.
The value “of” the water and “in” the water were discussed, showing how reusing water sources, adopting the multiple water concept, recovering the valuable goods in the used water streams and advancing the innovation can achieve the goal of creating a future-proof model for water smart societies through the development of water smart communities, the increasing of the circularity in the water economy and the rationale use of multiple water sources.
These concepts are the basis on which the WssTP SIRA has been developed. The major references to water in agriculture, in food production and in the bioeconomy present in the SIRA were discussed and analysed. In the conclusions, the aims of the newly developed “WssTP International Water Dialogues” were discussed.
After this presentation, a cluster of other presentation followed given by representatives of the European Investment Bank, the China Industrial Bank and others, after which a panel debate of around 40 minutes took place.
The Water Innovation Europe 2018 edition dedicated to “The road towards a water-smart society: “Overcoming the water challenges of the future” was concluded on the 14th of June in Brussels, with about 200 participants joining us from the whole water sector.
The two special ingredients woven into the fabric of this year’s programme: a strong and visible inclusion of water in HorizonEurope (FP9) including a possible Mission on Water, and provision of a more central place for water in the governance structures at all levels were enthusiastically received by the water community that was present to prove that the sector can become less fragmented and more united on occasions as such. Patrick Child, Deputy-Director General for Research & Innovation, European Commission opened the conference with his key-note speech, highlighting that the next years will be significant for the water sector and that the new programme Horizon Europe will offer the opportunities that the sector urgently needs.
What are the WIE2018 take-home messages?
Built upon the main concepts of the new WssTP Water Vision 2030, the programme of WIE2018 featured high level speakers and panellists who exchanged insights on how we can overcome the future water challenges and achieve a zero-water stress society.
The outcomes emerged out of the five panel sessions: Water Crises; Water -Smart Industry; Water-Smart Cities; Water-Smart Agriculture; Water-Smart Society, keynote speeches and discussions during the WIE2018 conference can be summarized into the following messages:
- Even though in the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report 2018, the water crises were ranked for the 7th consecutive year among the top 5 global societal risks in terms of impact, the value of water for our society is still not sufficiently recognized.
- The impact puts at risk our well-being, health, food production, and our economy, and may lead to social instability and uncontrolled migration.
- To address the water crises at EU level, water needs to be better anchored in the institutional build-up of the Europe Union in a way that does justice to the value of water for our society and all its different uses (urban, industry, food, and nature). The combination of water and energy in a DG Energy & Water seems the logical way forward. Research and innovation are essential to develop better and more affordable solutions and the complexity of the water crises make water a self-evident topic for a HorizonEurope Mission “Securing water for all”.
The whole WIE 2018 Press-Release can be viewed here.
Interview with Business Mathematician Nicole Annett Müller on TRUST’s Financial Sustainability Rating Tool
Solid financial position of water and wastewater utilities builds the basis for their sustainable services in the future, because it allows adequate investments into infrastructure renewal, technical innovations and ecological measures. The Financial Sustainability Rating Tool (FSRT) offers water supply and/or wastewater removal companies an opportunity to rate the utility’s financial sustainability. Business Mathematician Nicole Annett Müller was part of the team that developed the tool and she explains the benefits of it.
Why was there a need to create a tool like the Financial Sustainability Rating Tool?
On one hand, if financial performance is evaluated internally, subjective influences cannot be totally avoided. On the other hand, most external measurements are either binding, e.g. in the context of evaluating a utility’s creditworthiness, or they are chargeable and linked to a certain certificate or official rating result, which hinders especially water utilities with poor financial performance and missing budgets from participating.
The Financial Sustainability Rating Tool is freely available and has a non-binding nature, which shall prevent participation barriers and create incentives to prove if the current financing strategies and related economic measurements ensure a sustainable operation of urban water systems in the future. Especially, water utilities that expect a poor financial sustainability rating result shall not hesitate to make use of the rating tool.
What does the tool do?
Main purpose of the tool is rather a good public image than a self-rating. Accordingly, it has set itself the goal to uncover economic deficits and/or best practises to show the user where potentials for development are and which financial strategies are already viable for the future. The tool considers 37 input variables, 14 inner calculations and 21 indicators with an actual scoring result and thereby gives the user an indication, which area from financial situation over asset management to business operations and forecasts needs optimization.
Whom is the tool made for?
The tool is directed at water and/or wastewater utilities, which provide either only one of the two services or are able to split up the information and costs related to each service. Otherwise, meaningful results cannot be achieved.
Why using a tool like this? If I look at my numbers, I can see how I am doing financially so what does the tool offers me additionally?
The internal assessment of quantitative values is always characterised by an element of subjectivity. The use of external scoring intervals and weights, as developed within the FSRT offers the inclusion of an objective component, which can be used for internal or external debates and may support a rethink of certain historically evolved concepts.
What happens after the financial assessment? Does the tool suggest improvement actions or best practices?
The FSRT encompasses 21 selected performance indicators, which help to analyse a utility’s financial position. If the tool detects deficits in one of the evaluated areas, specific recommendations help to take the first step to improve financial stability. Moreover, the recommendations come together with advice on further reading to support the implementation of certain improvement measurements.
Is the tool suitable for every utility from Norway to Africa?
Since the Financial Sustainability Rating Tool is a standardised online tool, it cannot reflect every specific national regulatory framework, e.g. in the context of prices and tariffs. However, the tool can also be used by regulated utilities, so results can be the basis for discussions and debates with the economic regulator on potential system adaptations.
[quote align=”center” color=”#999999″]Taking nanofiltration to the next level[/quote]
The EU-funded research project CeraWater with eight (inter-)national partners has developed honeycomb-like ceramic nanofiltration (NF) membranes with anti-fouling coating for the application in water treatment and process technology. The project now successfully came to an end. Marcus Weyd from the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany was the project coordinator. Marcus, why was there the need for a project like CeraWater?
The main idea of CeraWater was to increase the efficiency of water treatment processes by using large membrane elements, focussing on drinking water treatment as well as treatment of industrial wastewaters. Core idea was the development and application of filter elements with a strongly enlarged area, which is an improvement compared to the use of small areas because the investment costs can be reduced strongly. The production of ceramic filter elements is a personnel intensive process. Each filter element has to be extruded, dried, sintered and coated by several layers. After each layer the elements have to be dried and treated again. Therefore, the use of large scale elements reduces handling costs and helps making thermal treatment steps more efficient by better use of kiln capacity. For the development of large scale elements all manufacturing steps have to be adjusted and optimized. We looked on all steps of membrane manufacturing, the extrusion of larger ceramic membrane supports, the sintering of large membrane supports, the coating of the elements and the mass transfer through these elements and their application.
Why did you focus on ceramic membranes instead of e.g. polymeric?
Ceramic membranes offer advantages in terms of higher permeate fluxes and better chemicals stability. The latter is of special interest for membrane cleaning and the application of the membrane with aggressive wastewaters. Furthermore, ceramic membranes offer considerably higher lifetimes.
What were you hoping to achieve with this project and what are your main outcomes?
We were aiming at improving the efficiency of water treatment using ceramic nanofiltration membranes by the improvement of membrane properties and optimized process parameters and we reached that aim. There are three main results to mention. First of all, we developed ceramic nanofiltration elements with a strongly enlarged membrane area. By the help of these membrane elements investment cost for membranes and for stainless steel membrane modules, that house the membranes, can be strongly decreased. Furthermore, especially for large scale applications, plant design can be simplified because fewer modules have to be installed and maintained.
Our second main result is the effective anti-fouling-coating on these ceramic membranes. The anti-fouling coating makes the life of filtration easier. In membrane processes membrane fouling effects caused by components of the feed mixture lead to a decrease of membrane performance, especially membrane flux. Then the membranes have to be cleaned by physical and chemical processes. The developed anti-fouling coating helps to reduce the negative influence of the feed components, leading to higher and more constant permeate fluxes and a reduced demand for membrane cleaning. For me personally I am very happy that the anti-fouling coating was successfully developed also on membranes of larger geometry. This allows us to go on in the development of those membrane since the results of membrane characterization and testing show that the developed membranes have very similar properties as smaller geometries, which means that the efficiency per membrane area stays constant.
And last but not least, we applied the results and knowledge of membrane economics and ecological data for selected processes and therefore gained more knowledge on membrane usability, properties and performance in various applications. Within the project, membrane processes using the new membranes were successfully developed and evaluated in crucial (but exemplary) fields of application processes in these media.
Are there any other success stories?
The combination of the nanofiltration coating with large membrane sizes increases efficiency in terms of investment costs and plant space. A NF-membrane layer inside of a honeycomb geometry HCNF2a is not described in literature and is a worldwide new development, according to our knowledge.
Also, in CeraWater, a unique combination was further developed, the combination of real ceramic nanofiltration membrane layers on membrane supports of large membrane area. In this case this means membrane pore sizes below 1 nm, so only 3 to 4 water molecules fit geometrically in the diameter of a membrane pore. These small pores allow the purification of water by a physical treatment process without using chemical additives. Next to bacteria and viruses also macromolecules are easily removed from the liquid treat. So far there is only one producer of this kind of product worldwide, this company is a partner of CeraWater.
What are the potential fields of applications for your research results?
We aimed at drinking water treatment and the treatment of different industrial waste waters.
In case of drinking water treatment the water quality can be improved by the help of the membrane process and in some cases several treatment steps can be substituted by the ceramic NF-process. Due to the flexibility of the membrane steps this technology is also of interest for smaller treatment plants. Further improvements in terms of membrane area per element and permeate flux will make the technology advantageous for large scale water purification systems. The field of application in the waste and process water sector is very broad. Fields of application can for example be found where high chemical and/or stability of the membrane material is required, a very sharp separation of molecules by the membranes is necessary or a recycling of value products can be established by the physical filtration process.
How was the cooperation between the partners within the project?
It was very good. CeraWater consisted of a quite small consortium of only eight partners. Some of the partners knew each other from earlier projects and some entered a new community. The cooperation was very reliable and it got faster and more intensive during the project lifetime. During the final project meeting almost all partners announced that they would like to go on with the development. There are no follow-up projects planned so far but we will definitively go on with the topic and hope for further fruitful cooperation with CeraWater partners in the near future.Read More
Paving the route to successful exploitation, intellectual property (IP) takes an essential role in the entire life cycle of R&D projects funded through Horizon 2020, the new framework programme of the European Union (EU) for research and innovation for the period 2014-2020. With Horizon 2020, the EU aims at strengthening the European scientific and technological base and fostering benefits for society as well as better exploitation of the economic and industrial potential of policies of innovation, research and technological development. In fact, it is essential that the public resources and efforts used in research are converted into socio-economic benefits to the EU. For this reason Horizon 2020 establishes commitments from the participants in terms of exploitation of the projects’ results, including their protection through IP. Proper IP management should therefore be carefully considered from the very beginning of a project. Major issues to be considered in this context are:
- How will results be protected? How will Joint Ownership be treated?
- How will the exchange of existing knowledge and know-how (i.e. “background”) and results among partners and external stakeholders be managed? What are the best conditions to grant access rights?
- What are the best and most viable routes for exploitation of Horizon 2020 results?
Horizon 2020 is a very attractive and flexible programme to develop creative solutions to incorporate intellectual assets into proper business strategies. Horizon 2020 is very open for Business. More than any of the former EU RTD framework programme initiatives it is calling for ideas and strategies to identify proper exploitation routes. There are great opportunities and there are not many limits to design the most suitable exploitation strategy at consortium and/or individual participant level.
Exploitation channels may encompass a wide range of different paths to bring research results to the marketplace such as:
- Improving existing/developing new products and services to be more competitive in existing and/or emerging new markets
- Creating new businesses for further exploitation, i.e. Spin-offs or Joint Ventures among project partners or involving third parties outside of the project
- Taking advantage of licensing opportunities by negotiating the right type of licence to be granted, e.g. exclusive, non-exclusive or sole licence, and whether it should be limited by the field of use and/or territory. By nature, licensing is a viable and the most common approach to create business opportunities out of research results.
It’s all about IP – the key to sustainable success
Horizon 2020 collaborative projects differ in their innovation dimension, but as a common principle, they bring partners with different business mind-sets and interests around a table. Expectations and strategies regarding the commercial use of project results are driven by the value and exploitability of IP generated in the project on the one hand and the overall business orientation of the participating institution on the other hand. An IP exploitation strategy at project level can only be successful if institutional IP policies are carefully incorporated and respected in the overall approach.
Usually, most of the institutions involved in Horizon 2020 projects have preferred or established IP exploitation tools and channels, and it is a recommended practice to exchange information within the consortium about those strategies at a very early stage of the project. Obviously, a sustainable and successful IP exploitation strategy at project level has to derive from, and be embedded in, the overall business development strategy of the individual consortium institutions. In the case of small and medium sized-enterprises (SMEs), for which Horizon 2020 has reserved a driving seat to stimulate innovation in Europe, it is not obvious to find proper internal management structures and capacities to turn IP into business. Therefore, specific support measures (i.e. Enterprise Europe Network, European IPR Helpdesk) are available at European, national and regional level to enhance the innovation capacity of SMEs.
Besides the risk of IP conflicts among consortium partners that might hinder the smooth implementation of a project, a lack of expertise in IP management and knowledge transfer also poses a threat to the successful exploitation of project results. Far too often the full potential of commercialising research results remains unrecognised and thus not fully tapped due to inadequate experience and expertise in IP management. This insufficient exploitation of research results contrasts with the rising importance and demand of professional exploitation strategies, which are already an inherent component of collaborative research projects at the proposal stage.
Therefore, with the start of Horizon 2020, the European IPR Helpdesk has implemented an extended focus on IP aspects of downstream activities. Based on an increasingly market-driven approach, more emphasis is placed on turning research outcomes and technological developments into value-creating products and/or services.
For more information, please visit the EU IPR Helpdesk’s website.
Jörg Scherer is Chief Executive Officer of the European Research and Project Office GmbH (Eurice) and consortium member of the European IPR Helpdesk, the official IP service initiative of the European Commission providing free-of-charge, professional first-line advice and information on Intellectual Property (IP) and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) to researchers and SMEs. For the European IPR Helpdesk he is coordinating a comprehensive capacity building programme for academics and entrepreneurs with over 50 training sessions a year in the field of IP & Innovation.
Mr. Scherer has been working as a research manager in both the academic and industrial sector for the past fifteen years, and has a strong track record in research and innovation management issues within EU RTD Framework Programmes.Read More
[quote align=”center” color=”#999999″]Richard Seeber, MEP and President of the first Intergroup on Water of the European Parliament[/quote]
Why did you found the Intergroup Water? What were your ambitions and expectations for it?
My commitment to water began with the Bathing Water Directive, where I was a Shadow rapporteur. Subsequently, I was rapporteur to the Commission’s Communication on Floods and Droughts in 2006. At that point I realised that water was of crucial importance to our citizens and the economy. I therefore decided to found the Parliamentary Intergroup on Water, today’s “EP Water Group”, in order to put water higher on the political agenda.
Were your expectations fulfilled?
The EP Water Group is today a very recognised inter-institutional platform in the European water sector. In every meeting, we had between 50 and 150 visitors from the Parliament, other EU Institutions, national and regional representatives, industry, environmental organisations and other stakeholders. In over 20 very fruitful meetings, we have discussed issues of great significance to water in general – energy, agriculture, concessions, financing, innovation, water reuse etc. I can proudly say today that the EP Water Group had its fair share in shaping EU water policy.
More generally, if you reflect on your activity on water issues in the EP, to what degree do you think they were efficient?
Apart from the legislation mentioned above, I was also responsible for the Implementation Report on Water ahead of the Commission’s Blueprint. In this report, I called upon the Commission to work on three objectives: firstly, improving the implementation of current legislation, secondly taking regional criteria better into account and thirdly, mainstreaming water policy into all other relevant EU policies. This has been included in the Blueprint and will be implemented accordingly.
Also, I was rapporteur on the “Priority Substances” dossier, i.e. the Environment Quality Standards Directive. Today, our waters contain an alarming number of harmful chemical substances which need to be monitored and, potentially, phased out. Together with the Commission and the Council, we elaborated a satisfactory compromise to establish a watch list, where Member States could place suspicious substances. We further achieved that pharmaceutical products of concern for water will in the future be analysed through a General Pharmaceutical Strategy.
How do you see the opportunities of the water sector for the European economy?
The European water sector is already a global leader in terms of service provision and technology development. Its growth potential is huge – the annual global turnover in the water sector amounts to 375 billion euros. The water sector further contributes considerably to job creation. In order to secure these achievements, we need to boost innovation and R&D. Only by promoting these drivers we can address infrastructure, efficiency and recycling needs in water management. Several water-related societal challenges, such as the water/energy nexus, will only be met by promoting innovative technologies and research. This might require substantial investment at first – but will inevitably solve key issues in water management while maintaining the competitiveness of the European water sector. Initiatives such as the European Innovation Partnership on Water are therefore highly appreciated, also at the EU Parliament.
What are your plans after the European elections?
Looking back at the past ten years in the European Parliament, I am first of all proud to have been a member of this institution, especially an EPP Coordinator in the ENVI Committee, thus contributing to improve and facilitate life for the European citizens and the raise the environmental performance of the EU. In all, I would like to say that my time in the European Parliament was extremely rewarding. I hope to also be able to serve the European citizens with my activities for the environment in the future, possibly as Director of the Euregio office Tyrol – South Tyrol – Trentino.
[quote align=”center” color=”#999999″]
Peter Gammeltoft: Head of Unit for Water, DG ENVIRONMENT[/quote]
What do you consider to have been the most remarkable change in water management in the EU Member States since you started in this position?
In the first place, a major development has been the implementation of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) through the River Basin Management Plans (RBMPs). The tools which the WFD offers for water management have been largely implemented by most Member States, although there remain significant gaps in achieving the WFD objectives. Still, I would consider the glass to be half full considering the steps that have been made. The remaining gaps will now be addressed in the second cycle of RBMPs. Another major development I have noticed is the shift in the awareness of the general public about the need to treat water as a precious resource that needs to be managed wisely and efficiently.
What do you see as the key challenge for the future to reach the objectives of the WFD?
The key challenge for the coming years will be the implementation of the programmes of measures by the Member States, using cost efficient solutions that will address the key pressures. Funding will need to be made available for this, which is becoming increasingly difficult in times of economic downturn, but the long term benefits should not be ignored because of short term vested interests. Another important issue is that in many places ageing water infrastructure needs to be upgraded, adapted to the changing climate and new standards of resource and water efficiency.
Which role do you think innovation can play in the implementation of water policy objectives, have you already seen the benefits of innovations in the implementation in the past years ?
The WFD is innovative in itself, through the implementation of the river basin management approach, international coordination and stakeholder involvement. Furthermore, as the Blueprint to safeguard Europe’s water resources indicated, innovation is recognized as a key tool to support the implementation of water policy. The EIP Water is an important driver in this respect. It does not only refer to technological innovations, but also innovations in the field of governance or water management. And innovations are not only needed in the water sector itself, but also in connected sectors, such as agriculture, where innovations can play a very important part in reducing the pressures on water quality and quantity.
What do you consider to be the role of stakeholders in the development of policy and in the implementation?
Stakeholders have a direct interest in our waters being well managed. This places them in a position to have very valuable information about specific aspects of water management that is needed to develop sound policy. For example, the WssTP is a much valued organization as it can support in delivering the technical solutions and innovations that are needed to deal with our water challenges. Furthermore, we do not only need cooperation between the authorities and the stakeholders, but also between stakeholders themselves to support the development of holistic policy and its implementation.
How do you see the state of EU waters in 2027 after three full cycles of WFD implementation, do you expect strong improvements or even being close to having reached the objectives?
We need to remain ambitious and keep the goal of meeting the objectives of healthy water ecosystems and resources that we have set together. It may not be realistic to expect that the objectives have been fully met everywhere, but I prefer to focus on the achievements that have been made and will be made by 2027 and the opportunities they will bring.Read More
[quote align=”center” color=”#999999″] Frank de Winne, Astronaut and Head of the European Astronaut Centre of ESA[/quote]
What is the importance of water recycling technologies for Space Exploration? Where are we today and where are we headed?
Water is, in time, after oxygen, the second consumable needed by a crew to stay alive aboard a spacecraft and from far, the most critical with regards to mass. So far, since the beginning of human space flight, water has always been brought to space from Earth, and very little has been recycled on-board; today, aboard ISS, water recycling is limited to water recovery from cabin condensate and urine. Recovered water is typically recycled up to potable water quality. In the context of future long-term manned space exploration on a planetary/lunar base, the frequency of crew rotation and re-supply will drastically decrease. Therefore, the Life Support System will probably offer additional hygiene equipment to the crew, such as a shower and/or a washing machine. These additional equipment will generate grey water, of which the daily amount is estimated to be three times superior to both urine and condensate. In this context, high efficiency water recycling systems becomes a critical, mission enabling technology.
What has the technology programme of the European Space Agency demonstrated so far in terms of water recycling? What technologies are used? Does Europe has operational systems?
Anticipating long-term manned exploration mission, the European Space Agency (ESA) developed a high efficiency, membrane based water recycling unit. This unit, known as Grey Water Treatment Unit (GWTU) comprises a series of membrane filters: one stage of Nanofiltration and two stages of Reverse Osmosis, and is able to recover water for hygiene purposes. GWTU has been extensively and successfully tested in real life conditions. Validation tests was run over a six-month period using real shower water.
The test results showed that more than 93% of incoming grey water was recovered and that the quality was always compliant with water quality standards for hygiene water, despite two simulations of microbial incidents. Based on these promising results, the development of a similar water treatment unit for the Condordia station (French-Italian Antarctic base), which is considered a representative analogue for long term Moon/planetary manned habitat was initiated. This unit has been sized to meet the needs of the Concordia crew (15 – 70 persons) and comprises a series of ultrafiltration, nanofiltration and two reverse osmosis stages. It is in operation since March 2005 and has been remotely monitored by ESA with support of the Concordia crew for the first four years of operation. Monitoring proved the technology to be extremely robust and to constantly produce water within specification for hygiene water. This unit is still operational today and helps limiting the ecological impact of the Concordia station on the Antarctic environment.
What are the next steps? How can space technology help the water resource problem we are facing this century?
ESA will continue to invest in research and technology of closed loop life support systems. The MELiSSA programme is currently the ESA flagship in this area. We also need to look how these technologies developed for long term human space exploration missions to the Moon and to Mars can best service the European and world citizens. An operational testbed could be installed at the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) to demonstrate the capabilities of these new systems. In this respect, the EAC is interested to work together with the WssTP. It could function as a highly visible showcase for the much needed technological solutions offered by the WssTP partners and ESA to the growing water problem.
[quote align=”center” color=”#999999″]Current Trends in the Water Industry.
Interview with Oded Distel, Director of ‘Israel New Tech’
Where is the world’s water industry headed? What are its most pressing needs, and what technologies, and companies, are most in demand?
We sat down with Oded Distel, Head of Israel’s national program for the promotion of Israel’s water and energy industries, to get his insight into the latest trends.
“The direction of the industry today is clearly maximizing resources,” says Distel. “Budgets are shrinking, or at least being very carefully watched, and those companies who can offer technologies that bring added value by being cost effective, will prevail. Today there is a growing understanding that all resources are precious – water, energy, even land. A company can offer amazing water technology, but if it requires a heavy budget, or high financial cost, or even a large amount of land to implement, it will find itself waging an uphill battle.” According to Distel, Israel is ideally placed in this arena, as resources (both natural and budgetary) have always been in scarce supply, and Israelis have had to be creative in developing not only effective, but efficient water solutions.
On a continuation of this theme, there is also growing awareness on the part of different industries that they must be efficient in their use of water resources. Industries like Mining, Oil & Gas, Food & Beverage and others, are massive consumers of water. Their growing interest in optimizing their use of water also creates opportunities for water technology companies. Israel NewTech has been working to bring Israeli water technology companies to these industries, through targeted business delegations, in Israel and abroad. Delegations from these and other industries, in search of innovative water technologies, will be visiting Israel in October for WATEC 2013, the international water exhibition and conference.
And which companies are raising most interest on the part of the water industry?
“Another growing trend in the water industry worldwide puts mathematical algorithms, and ‘big data’ to work in order to make water use efficient,” says Distel. Here too Israel is well-positioned, with a workforce highly skilled from Israel’s successful hi-tech arena, some of which is finding its way to cleantech. Distel points out Israeli companies including Arad, Bermad, Iosite, Peak Dynamic, Powercom and Takadu as some of the companies whichstand out in this arena. “There is a process of crossover happening between different industries: energy and water, hi-tech and cleantech…experience in one discipline lends to improving another. All of this makes for more effective, and more innovative, water solutions,” concludes Distel.
For more information on WATEC 2013, please click hereRead More