The coming months we would like to introduce a new item. We would like to give you a more personal insight, a tip of the veil if you will, on the work of team Water Alliance and it’s employees. We start of with of Hein Molenkamp, Managing Director at Water Alliance. What does his work look like on a daily basis, what happens in a regular week (and beyond)?
So Hein, what makes Water Alliance distinctive?
Where to start, maybe at the beginning. Water Alliance started 11 years ago as a cluster organisation for Dutch water technology companies from the north of the Netherlands, but quickly became a national network organisation. We are part of the innovation ecosystem within WaterCampus Leeuwarden. The main purpose of Water Alliance is to accelerate the business of its members. Globally the demand for healthy, clean water keeps rising and rising. This provides ample opportunities for innovative solutions from Dutch companies and international collaboration.
What do you like most about your profession?
The best part of my job is to help people connect and advance their companies through collaborations. The water sector is global, so international contacts also play a big part of my job. As Water Alliance we know our members and have a broad overview of the market. One of our specialities is to match our members to the demand from the market. There are a lot of helpful tools for this, but ultimately this is human work. Our team makes the difference. We are just a cog in the machine, but without this cog the machine wouldn’t work.
There are so many opportunities, also for the supplying industries like in the metal processing industries and automation industries. Water Alliance member Wafilin Systems is a good example, after years of research and development they created a new technology to recover protein from process water streams, in this case in the potato processing industry. Currently they have realised a largescale project for Avebe. A few weeks ago they also won a prestigious innovation award for it. The tech was conceived and developed locally, tested at a client and used as a stepping stone for international success, a lot of supplying companies are local. This is typical for the Dutch SMEs innovativeness.
Where do you want Water Alliance to be in 5 years?
Water Alliance will grow into an important cluster organisation which globally promotes the Dutch water tech sector as the frontrunner of innovative technologies. Water technology is the so called ‘enabling technology’, water plays an important role in many sectors, like agri-food, health care, energy and many more industries. Without healthy and clean water there is no food, no quality care, water shortages even sparks war. Even in the Netherlands water is starting to become scarce, topics like water re-use are becoming much more important. The Dutch are widely known for being innovative frontrunners in water tech. Companies that are willing to go international have great chances of success. Water Alliance can play a key part as the linking pin between these (inter)national parties. We make connections.
Can you tell us something about your current schedule, a meeting, what are you looking forward to and why?
Next week I have an appointment regarding a new project where Water Alliance is a partner. This is a national project funded by a federal organisation, the main focus is to grow the water technology export for Dutch companies in the coming years. Me and my colleagues are looking forward to make a substantial contribution to the project.
Do you have any pro tips/inspirational insights?
‘Where water flows economy grows’, I am calling everyone in the water tech industry to seize the opportunity to collaborate world-wide. There is nothing more fulfilling than working together on a futureproof economy in a thriving environment.
What is the latest movie you watched that impressed you and why?
Since a few months the interesting documentary ‘Brave Blue World’ is on Netflix. It’s about the importance of clean water. Water Alliance is proud to be co-production partner of this documentary, it’s really inspirational and worth a watch.
After hours: what do you like to do in your spare time?
I like to spent time with family and friends, walking the dog and spend time in nature. Also I like traveling and experience different cultures. Which of course at the moment is impossible, but I hope we will all soon be able to meet again in person. Because new things will happen if people meet.