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Opening new markets for water technologies

By: Mickey Chesla

Israel Newtech, the Israel Export Institute and The Samuel Neaman Institute in cooperation with The Israeli Water Authority and the Grand Water Research Institute at the Technion have joined forces to map out Israel’s future water technology needs. This collaborative project has now progressed to the dialogue stage involving major water industry representatives. The objective: to bring much needed water solutions to new industries with high water use (such as mining, medical, etc.), and open new markets for water technology companies.

A seminar was held in Israel on February 7th, sharing the initial findings of the research with local water industry leaders. This session was an opportunity to both share the valuable learnings, and to hear from attendees their inputs and questions.

Israel has long led the way – long before the rise of ‘hi-tech’ – in the field of water technology. The current climate crisis has now brought the issue of water needs to center stage globally as well. Fields such as smart water management, water production in areas which are becoming more arid, and water crisis management (water contamination and water safety issues) – have created a huge market with plenty of business potential. This new multi-million dollar industry means that many businesses are keen to play their part.

The Israel Export Institute and The Samuel Neaman Institute are dedicated to ensuring that Israel maintains its leadership status in the quickly changing water arena. In order to further this they have decided to evaluate types of industries do not have optimal water solutions, and could therefore potentially greatly benefit from solutions tailored to their needs. Understanding how to funnel existing solutions and create new technological solutions in relatively new fields – in terms of water technology, are key to remaining number one in the water niche.

In an earlier post, we wrote about this industry mapping project, and reported on a seminar that the project leaders intend to hold in light of the findings in the first two chapters of the research. Each chapter deals with an industry perceived to be water-intensive and in need of innovative water solutions. In the seminar, project organizers launched a dialogue with representatives from the local water industry, in order to produce practical research that would instigate some kind of collaboration between local water solution providers, and those who require solutions, such as municipal and federal entities, and infrastructure companies.

Leading the research are Dr. Gilad Fortuna and Shiri Freund Koren from the Neaman Institute. During the seminar they outlined the characteristics of the Mining Industry and Oil & Gas Industry – both water-intensive industries – whose exceptional need for water represents a serious growth barrier for them. There are quite a few findings, and more information about them can be found in the Neaman Institute’s website.

During the seminar, representatives from the local water industry raised a number of questions, such as: “Are monitoring and tracking solutions part of the mine’s routine activities, or are they required as part of the solution? Today, I’m well aware of who my end-customer is, but I still don’t know who to sell to – who my direct client is”. Dr. Perry Lev-On, an energy specialist who serves as research consultant, addressed this issue “Infrastructure is a very conservative sector, which is why you want to work through a local integrator or contractor”. Dr. Fortuna reiterated the fact that as part of the project, companies will be provided with relevant solutions which also include assistance in creating ties with relevant entities in different countries.

This is how the dialogue began, which Oded Distel, Director of the Investment Promotion Center of the Israeli Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor and of Israel NewTech, described as “…super critical in the continuous efforts to achieve progress in the water industry, and cement Israel’s position as global leader in this field”.

Companies interested in contacting the research leaders are welcome to send an email to Dr. Gilad Fortuna and Shiri Freund Koren.

We will continue to cover progress made in this research inside the Israel Newtech Blog, and will post discussions on further findings.

 


    Education, Water, Water IT, Water Security
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