Dutch water technology was once again fully represented during the WEFTEC in Chicago, that took place between 2 and 4 October. The power of Dutch innovation is highly-praised in the U.S., and, as a result, Dutch innovations were placed in the spotlights on many occasions.
On the trade fair floor, the Netherlands Water Pavilion was set up as a result of a collaboration between NWP, Envaqua and Water Alliance, with excellent support from the Dutch Consulate in Chicago and the Dutch Embassy in Washington. There was particular attention for innovations by Dutch companies in the ‘Holland Inspiration & Innovation Hotspot’. Here, Water Alliance members Cirtec, Benten Water Solutions and NXFiltration were able to generate a great deal of attention for their innovations in a low-threshold setting.
Cooperation between worldwide water clusters
The symposium ‘Water Cluster leaders meeting’ was held during the run-up to the WEFTEC. During the symposium, which was organised by the US EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), Hein Molenkamp (Managing Director Water Alliance) spoke about the opportunities for cooperation between water clusters in the United States and worldwide. Water Alliance represents water technology clusters centred around the WaterCampus, and is highly regarded, often serving as an inspiration and example to other water clusters in development around the World. Hein Molenkamp sees opportunities through cooperation between various water clusters in the U.S. and worldwide: On the one hand, to investigate if business can be done, at the instigation of both clusters, between the Dutch and American companies. On the other hand, to use the collaboration between the clusters to develop new innovations and hopefully to exchange pilot research which, in turn, will lead to new business.
Dutch innovation in the spotlights
The WEFTEC conference took place alongside the trade fair. A number of Dutch organisations played an active role during various sessions. A great deal of attention was paid to innovative Dutch water technology during the event entitled ‘The Netherlands’ Water Technology Ecosystem, the success of collaboration’.
Alex Berhitu of Water Alliance took part in the panel discussion ‘Technology Innovation and Demonstration Hubs around the World’. He offered a number of examples of the upscaling of new technologies in order to portray the WaterCampus innovation ecosystem as one of the expanding water technology hubs around the World.
Leon Korving of Wetsus presented their innovative approach to phosphate removal. Wetsus has developed the NaFRAd technology as part of an international consortium in order to remove entire layers of phosphates from surface water. This has earned them a place in the next round of the George Barley prize.