On Thursday, 18 May, during the HydroGaïa International Water Exhibition, the Water Alliance and French water cluster Pole Eau from Montpellier signed a letter of intent (LOI) for expanded cooperation. The two cluster organizations already meet with some regularity at a variety of expos worldwide.
Pole Eau, like the Water Alliance, is very active with several hundred companies and organizations in the area of water technology. The French cluster is particularly active in the southern region of France. Interestingly, it and a number of other related French cluster organizations seeks collaboration with other countries. Pole Eau works closely within the region with, among others, the French Swelia, WSM (Water Sensors & Membranes) and others, and is involved in a process of forming the French Water Team, which is to have nationwide coverage. Traditionally, this region in particular is very active in many African countries, which could also be of interest to Dutch water technology suppliers.
The aim of the LOI is to further explore and strengthen collaboration between Dutch and French actors, both for business and also for knowledge and education. The collaboration could also lead to easier access to joint European projects and strengthened cross-border cooperation.
At HydroGaïa, two Dutch companies were represented: AkaNova from Sneek (decentralized wastewater treatment) and Wiefferink from Oldenzaal (flexible storage and covering). The Water Alliance, in collaboration with the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN), had arranged a matchmaking programme for them. Both participants were able to conduct dozens of valuable talks with French companies.