On Thursday the 18th February Water Alliance organised its annual WaterLink event. This (Dutch) event is an invitation to the whole Dutch water technology sector to exchange knowledge, to inspire and of course to network. In light of the corona pandemic WaterLink 2021 was a hybrid online event. Over 100 participants gathered in the virtual lobby to attend this event. A quick conclusion, corona has an impact on daily live but the watertech sector is not easily discouraged and is full of exciting plans.
Water Alliance and partners ENVAQUA and the NWP conduct a monthly survey as part of a corona barometer, main question; how is corona impacting the sector? Jantienne van der Meij (CEO TKI-Water technology, liaison officer WaterCampus) presented the most recent results. The logical anwser is that there is an impact, but a noteworthy 40 percent of respondents do not expect revenue loss or financial problems.
Bianca Nijhof (director NWP) also sees a lot of positives, ‘we are getting a lot more participant in our trade missons, within the missions easy connections are made. In that sense you could call the current corona situation a blessing in disguise.’
Roundtable talks were next, entrepreneurs discussed current and future outlooks. Harro Brons ( int. business development) and Ronald Wielinga (manager entrepreneurship WaterCampus) conversed with Marissa de Boer (CEO SusPhos), Rudy Dijksta (ceo ACQUAINT), Steven van Rossum (projectmanager Upscaling Dutch Water Technology Export) and Tim van Leeuwen, Head of Sales of Semiotic Labs.
The company Samotic (formerly known as Semiotic Labs) won the prestigious WIS2020 last December, but the physical award was still missing. This gave Tim a change to receive the award from Water Alliance director Hein Molenkamp. ‘Winning the WIS award has already given us a big boost, but the real acceleration started before that, the moment when we started working together with Water Alliance.’ Tim said smiling, ‘We received help with matchmaking, because of this we are now working on a big project in the United Kingdom (in cooperation with Anglian Water).’
When the plenary session ended the participants were able to attend specific themed sessions. Detailed sessions on; water technology in the climate adaptive city, ways to go international, how to better performance in factories using digitization and a specific session on South Europe.
WaterLink(ed) to Southern Europe
During this session the roadmap from 2021 until 2022 for these three southern European countries was presented, following this presentation three international speakers filled the virtual stage.
PWACS‘s José de Castro de Antonio, technical Director brings 25 years of experience in the fields of the integral cycle of water, environment and waste, gave an introduction to the Spanish market .
From Spain we traveled to Italy. Godelieve Cooymans is managing partner at Proaxxes. Ms Cooymans talked about the diverse challenges in Italy and where the Dutch could step in. Italy is a very large user of water, due to covid prices of water are going up. Italy is a geographical long country with diverse challenges, Italy is high on industry and factories, which are using a lot of water, industries like textile. Here lie many opportunities.
Portugal is developing rapidly, it also offers much more than just access to Portugal. It is a portal to a much wider reach, all Portuguese speaking nations. José Saldanha Matos , President of the Portuguese Water Partnership spoke about this, he also gave a glimpse into the Portuguese water market. After the presentations were concluded there was room for a Q&A which was eagerly used.
Did you miss WaterLink or do you want to view a specific sessions? It’s now available at WaterProof TV