Recap Aquatech Amsterdam

Last week the RAI was buzzing with activity, Aquatech Amsterdam was on! As an exhibition it was the place to meet water professionals (from all over the world) and the spot to stay on top of the latest trends in water technology, it also provided a much needed socializing and (face to face) networking opportunity. With the vibrant and hospitable city of Amsterdam as a backdrop, it certainly was a not-to-be-missed event.

Typically Dutch

As in previous years, the striking Netherlands Pavilion with its typical ‘royal’ orange and blue color scheme was impossible to overlook, rightfully the innovation hotspot at the world’s largest trade fair. Whether it’s about water processing, drinking water or wastewater. The pavilion was co-organized by NWP, ENVAQUA and Water Alliance. In the heart of the Netherlands Pavilion stood Water Alliance’s Holland Innovation Park (HIP), the place to meet pioneers and to stay on top of the latest trends, developments and technologies from the Netherlands. Considering the attention the eight participants received, it certainly was a real eye-catcher. If you looked closely you could even spot visitors reading the WaterProof Aquatech special, giving the limelight to the eight innovators participating on the HIP:

Who exhibited at the HIP? You can of course still get to know the pioneers.

Acquaint with Pipe Scanner and the Acquarius
DeSah with 2 systems for wastewater treatment
EMI Twente with DoReMi (Donnan Dialysis ReMineralization)
Ferr-Tech with Ferrate (VI)
Hydraloop with the  Hydraloop a revolutionary greywater recycling system
ROLAPAC, is an innovative and patented floating layer remover for sewage pumping stations
Van Remmen UV Technology with Advanox- MicrOx
UVOX with UVOX Redox

The HIP provided a unique atmosphere for the companies to showcase their tech, furthermore at the end of each day there were also ample opportunities for the HIP-ers to pitch their innovations to the gathered audience at the Aqua Lounge.

In case you weren’t able to make it to Aquatech, here is your chance to go on a tour of the HIP

An integral part of the pavilion is of course the WaterCampus, with its informal catchphrase and interesting demo’s there’s was no way around its presence. The WaterCampus ecosystem is here to help anyone who has a challenge in water tech or for anyone who wants to accelerate their innovative water technology business via one of the partners Wetsus, CEW, CIV Water or Water Alliance.

The full 4 day packed programme spread out over 4 HUBs and many conference rooms made for interesting knowledge sharing sessions and countless business opportunities. Water Alliance hosted several activities during this year’s Aquatech. First up was a breakfast session for the European water sector, getting up early is not for everyone, but a session fueling the mind, body and possibly business was certainly very popular. The main goal was to facilitate cooperation and form business connections.

The concept was simple, imagine 4 round tables and per table one main topic. Seated at each table was one case owner, a moderator and 12 companies from 4 different European countries. During these sessions companies with complementary tech networked and identified possible cooperation opportunities.

 The topics discussed during these sessions were the following;

  • Water reuse in the dairy industry – Friesland Campina
  • Resource recovery – regional water authority Waterschap Brabantse Delta
  • Removal of organic micro pollutants from WWTP effluent – Waterschap Aa en Maas
  • Intelligent piping systems – Iot Senors

On Thursday the 4th Olympic medal winner and pro-sailor Marit Bouwmeester visited the Netherlands Pavilion, she did so in her role as ambassador for the Future Is Water. Following a brief Q&A session, Water Alliance director Hein Molenkamp took her on a guided tour the Holland Innovation Park, Marit even got to test a few innovations herself, like Acquaint‘s Pipe Scanner.

About the Future is Water
Awareness is the greatest agent for change, and the Future is Water aims at just that. It utilizes the power of sport to make a sustainable and environmental impact. The Future is Water is a new Dutch initiative set up by the Royal Dutch Water Sports Association and TIG Sports.

Dutch programme
On Friday the 5th of November, the final day at Aquatech, the Dutch took centre stage at the Netherlands Pavilion as part of the Dutch programme (by ENVAQUA, TKI Water and Water Alliance) Although this programme was in Dutch, there was quite a turnout for these sessions.

Future vision of laws and regulations for Legionella control by Envaqua
The rules and regulations for legionella control are being revised. This month the Ministry of I&W is sending two important reports on this subject to the Minister Barbara Visser and to the Tweede Kamer. The Legionella Expert Group has been actively involved in the development of these reports. During this session the white paper was unveiled and you are now able to read it yourself. Egbert Leiting set out three key topics on Legionella non-pneumophila, European regulation and harnessing the potential of technology. David van Petersen from the TKI Urban Energy gave his vision on Legionella in the energy transition.

Water in the energy transition by TKI water & Water Alliance
The energy sector is in the middle of the biggest transition ever, the call for sustainable energy is growing. In addition to wind and solar energy, water offers a source of heat and energy, even in a flat country like the Netherlands. What role does aqua thermal energy play in the energy transition and what developments are taking place?

Henk Looijen – Rijkswaterstaat spoke about Aqua thermal energy: using heat and cooling from water in the energy transition. In the multi-faceted session even more forms of aquathermal energy were discussed, Frank Oesterholt from KWR  spoke about Thermal energy from drinking water: opportunities, effects and research questions, furthermore energy from wastewater and sludge chain was discussed by Josien Ruijter – HVC. Following the session, the speakers also presented their challenges and there was of course room for discussion, during the discussion pressing questions led to a shared sense that there are still many opportunities.

Cold Water Fears’ in the industrial water transition by Water Alliance & Industrielinqs
Water is becoming more and more and topic of discussion. Is it available? What is the quality of the water discharged? Business users and consumers have to be more conscious and economical with drinking water in the coming years. In a live discussion format Lamb Weston Meijer, RWB Water Services, Wageningen University & Research, Industrielinqs and Water Alliance dived into these topics.

Where lie the obstacles regarding water (re)use within the industry, but also outside the sector? What can we do to break through these barriers? The right technology is already available combined with awareness, but the business case (think in terms of waste water costs and recovery of nutrients/energy) and more local cooperation could perhaps give a good boost here.

Final thoughts
When we asked participants what they take home from this year’s Aquatech, one of the most heard observations is that the sheer volume of visitors might be somewhat lower, but the quality of the (business) conversations is that much higher. ‘Many visitors are clearly at Aquatech on a ‘mission’, or so to say they have clear goals. Normally you (sometimes) barely have enough time to speak to your business relations, this year’s Aquatech provided a better balance, we spoke to a lot of potential customers and have many leads to follow up.’

Weren’t able to make it to Aquatech?

You can already mark 6 – 9 November 2023 in your agenda for the next edition.