“Israeli companies are very well-perceived in Germany for their innovative technologies, be it in IT, biotech, or water,” so says Flérida Regueira Cortizo, Senior Manager Environmental Technologies, Germany Trade and Invest. Cortizo spoke with us about the new trends and developments in the German water sector, and the opportunities that Germany’s evolving needs present to Israeli companies.
One of the emerging needs of the German water market is water treatment, especially against micropollutants. “Just a couple of days ago Germany’s Channel 2 TV had a segment on the problem of micropollutants,“ said Cortizo. “This is turning into a challenge, for a couple of reasons: the population’s use of medicine is increasing, and these medicines eventually find their way into Germany’s water system. Another source of micropollutants is agriculture – the hormones given to livestock is something that we also need to prevent from reaching Germany’s water bodies.“ Cortizo sees a real opportunity for Israeli companies which can offer solutions for microfiltration and water treatment in Germany.
Another arena Cortizo cites is water efficiency. The global climate change situation brings with it to Germany problems like occasional massive rainfall which can create oversaturation and, again, a streaming of impure water into Germany’s water bodies. Water management and efficiency technologies, which in Israel were developed to deal with water shortages, can be implemented in Germany to manage the opposite scenario. Another arena Corizo cites that is of interest to Germany’s water market is water monitoring and analysis. There are a number of Israeli companies active in this arena, and they bring with them Israeli expertise in both IT and water.
In general, with a population of almost 82 million people and a wide range of provided industries and services, the German economy is Europe’s largest economy and one of Europe’s most interesting markets for Israeli companies. And today the environmental and water technology sector is one of Germany’s fastest growing markets. The country sets itself ambitious standards to establish Germany as a leading player in all green markets worldwide.
Hemdat Sagi, Israel’s Economic Officer in Berlin, tells more about the German water sector: “The German water utility system is characterized by the large number of players in the water sector. Germany’s cities and municipalities no longer hold a monopoly in water distribution and water treatment and many private companies have been established to take over their services throughout the last years. In contrast to the centralized Israeli model there are a huge number of water supply companies acting independently in Germany.” This presents an opportunity for Israeli companies, one which Sagi and her team in Berlin intends to take full advantage of by bringing Israeli water companies to Germany and opening doors for them.
Cortizo also cites the different ways in which the German and Israeli government bodies cooperate to promote cooperation and development between the two countries. One such example is the interministerial cooperation between the BMBF (German Federal Ministry for Education and Research), the Israeli Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Economy (formerly- Ministry of Indusry, Trade and Labor). This cooperation focuses on scientific and technological fields such as, environmental research and water technologies. For several years now, the funding of German-Israeli collaborative projects between science and industry has focused on application-oriented, industry-related research.
The upcoming international trade fair Wasser Berlin International will be a key opportunity for Israeli companies to present their technologies to German and other markets. This trade fair focuses on water and wastewater technologies and management and will take place on April 23-26 in Berlin. 600 companies, organizations, public institutions and universities from over 30 different countries will attend this major international event.
24 Israeli companies will present their products at Wasser Berlin at an Israeli Pavilion organized by the Israel Export Institute in cooperation with the Israeli Trade Center Berlin. Among these companies are a wide range of innovative companies including the Israeli national water supply company Mekorot, Amiad, BlueI and others.