Scottish Water takes lead in European innovation network
A five-nation partnership will see Scottish Water play a leading role in a new network of test centres that will accelerate innovation across the industry.
The North West Europe Water Test Network will see experts at sites across the UK, Belgium, Germany, France and the Netherlands working in collaboration with businesses to develop and introduce new products to market more quickly.
Two Scottish locations – a water treatment works at Gorthleck, near Inverness, and a wastewater treatment works at Bo’ness – form part of the collaboration.
The network will offer operational-scale demonstrator sites featuring new technologies that could transform water quality and management for decades to come.
In the competitive global water market, pre-commercial testing can be difficult and costly at operational scale with investors reluctant to support unproven technology. It can take up to 20 years to bring new solutions to the market. By advancing access to operational-scale test sites, it is hoped the scheme can reduce the time to market to between five and eight years.
Both sites in Scotland, which were once operational assets, are run by Scottish Water Horizons. They are not connected to the live operational network but are on an operational scale that allows innovators to be able to validate their findings and research for the benefit of future investors.
The network was formally launched on 11 December in Scotland House, Brussels, by Barry Greig, the manager of the Scottish Government’s Hydro Nation team.
Scottish Water Horizons' Paul Kerr said: “Innovation is at the heart of our industry, as the challenges around water and wastewater management in an ever-changing world become even greater. So we’re delighted to be involved in this exciting programme which opens the door to SMEs to develop technologies which have the potential to truly transform the way we manage water and waste water.
“Water is a precious resource and how we manage wastewater in the future can positively impact on our environment. The importance of sites like Gorthleck and Bo’ness, as part of a multi-nation test centre network, is vital to ensuring solutions for ever more effective and efficient ways of delivering real benefits for customers.”
The project will run until December 2021. SMEs will receive integrated support which links them with the best facility which meets their specific needs.
More information on the Water Test Network can be found here.
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