When it comes to water technology, ‘Bring in the Dutch’, is a cry that you hear resounding ever more frequently around the World. And that is music to our ears. In actual fact, this is what we at Water Alliance have been involved with for years: international matchmaking. And the work goes on.
For example, we attended the International Water Summit (IWS) in Abu Dhabi between 15 and 18 January. We presented WaterCampus Leeuwarden at the Smart Water Pavilion, along with the Dutch companies Flovac (Vacuum Systems), Holland Water, Witteveen + Bos, Aquastill, Isle Utilities and Hydraloop. Pitches were made, with success. Witteveen + Bos and Hydraloop were among the prize winners with their innovations and had a lot of work to do as a result. “What we’re experiencing here in Abu Dhabi is pretty overwhelming!” according to Sabine Stuiver, the sales & marketing director at Hydraloop.
Hydraloop has developed a water recycling system that collects bathroom and washing machine water, then purifies and disinfects it. This system allows for a big reduction is the use of tap water, as up to 55% of the tap water is recycled within the system. The company is a member of Water Alliance, the Dutch network organisation for water technology that is located at the WaterCampus, and it makes impressive use of the international network which the Alliance has set up. “Since winning the award, I’ve been talking to people constantly”, says Sabine Stuiver. “I’m just running on adrenaline!”
‘There are plenty of opportunities here, but you have to stay on your toes.”
The other companies were just as positive about the trade fair. Willem Gooren of Flovac concludes: “It was an extremely efficient idea to set up a collective pavilion. It saved a lot of time and energy, and it was great that we had backup from Water Alliance when we wanted to explore the trade fair ourselves.” Peter van der Linde of Holland Water was equally enthusiastic. He does note that mutual cooperation could be improved, and he is realistic when it comes to conquering the market in the Middle East: “There are plenty of opportunities, but you have to have a lot of patience, because negotiations take a long time. You have to stay on your toes. That’s why we’ve set up a dedicated position, especially for this market.” Hydraloop’s Sabine Stuiver: “We expected that our water purifier would go down well in this region, and we were right! We have plenty of leads, an excellent project, and we’ve been asked to partner the University of Sharjah to enter a competition for a fantastic project for sustainable villas in Dubai. And winning the Innovation Award Real Estate has certainly put us in the picture. So, it’s been a good trade fair, with promising leads.”
Top 25 Global Water Leaders
The trade fair was the occasion for an extra celebration for Water Alliance director Hein Molenkamp. He attended the fair as a member of the UAE Green Tour, a trade delegation to the United Arab Emirates of about twenty Dutch enterprises, all active in the sustainable sector. He had barely had time to unpack his bags when the news broke that the influential magazine Water & Wastewater International (WWI) had added him to the list of ‘Top 25 Global Water Leaders.’ Molenkamp entered the list in a very respectable twelfth place.