Plug and play....

Around the city of Leeuwarden, in the north of the Netherlands, there are a number of sites where water firms can test there latest technology.

Any firm can bring in a pilot installation and conduct field tests at a water facility, e.g. a municipal waste water treatment plant, a drinking water production plant or a hospital.

These demonstration sites are an initiative by Dutch water technology research centre Wetsus, to give a boost to promising new water technology. There are now four such locations as well as plans for several more.

Promising new formula
“The idea is to give companies with new water technologies easy access to a water stream where they can carry out field tests”, Heleen Sombekke explains. She works at Wetsus in Leeuwarden. Sombekke is in charge of this promising new formula.

"I invite water technology firms from all over the world, to ‘plug in and play’.

Easily linked to specific water flows
“We provide the facilities, such as a solid floor, connection points with the host plant and the required permits. A company that wishes to carry out tests only needs to bring its water treatment installation, which can simply be linked up to a water flow”, says Sombekke. Wetsus wants to bridge the gap between lab tests and the construction of a first full scale installation.

Faster to market
Using the demo site can considerably reduce the time required for new water technology to go from laboratory to market. As an example Sombekke mentions the firm Aqua Explorer.

“This small company was able to make use of our facilities and deploy their test rig to carry out practical tests on the thickening of the membrane concentrate released from salt water. Soon after, the company already had its first customer, a Texan oil company.”

Desalination pilot plant at drinking water station Noardurgum.

Save the hassle
According to Sombekke, the demo sites are ideal for small businesses. “Large water technology firms can usually carry out field tests at plants belonging to their existing customers. SMEs do not have such relationships, which is why we set up this solution for them. Since all the basic facilities are present at the demo sites, we reduce costs and save them the hassle of requesting a licence.”

Short lines with research centre
Another important advantage of the demo sites is that they are all situated close to Leeuwarden, keeping short lines with research centre Wetsus. Sombekke: “This means that our scientists have easy access to the data provided by the field test and can adapt their further research to the results of the field tests. Alternatively, a water technology firm that encounters a problem can quickly turn to the Wetsus lab and staff for help."

“The demo sites are open to everyone, also to foreign companies”, Sombekke assures.

More information
Heleen Sombekke, Wetsus
Leeuwarden, the Netherlands
+31 58 284 62 11