“The growing global challenge of water scarcity is driving water industry leaders to seek out new technologies for water efficiency. Perhaps the most exciting place in the world for new technologies in water is Israel, and next week many of the leaders in the world’s water market will be in Israel to check out the cutting edge solutions being offered by mature companies and Israel start-ups,” said Adi Yefet-Beeri, head of the water sector at Israel Newtech, which is one of the driving forces behind WATEC. The bi-yearly event has grown dramatically, from 17,000 visitors at the first event in 2007, to 27,000 in 2011, and even more expected this year.
Israel NewTech will be hosting the Innovation Pavilion again this year, where 35 Israeli start-ups have booths will be presenting their technologies to international representatives of water utilities, investors, potential partners and customers. Some of the technologies in focus this year include energy efficiency in water (with companies like Peak-Dynamics and Reali Tech offering solutions in this arena), wastewater treatment (Applied Cleantech, Aquanos, Advanced MemTech, AMS), identification and solutions for leads (Eltav) and water conservation (Smartap) and others.
The WATEC conference also promises to be a significant industry event, focusing this year on water solutions for industrial needs in oil & gas, mining and pharma/food & beverage. The conference will focus on management of urban water systems, and for the first time, the OECD will be running a seminar at the conference. The conference has been growing in prominence: in 2007 there were 500 participants, and by the third conference in 2011 the number grew to 1300.
Israel’s unique ecosystem in the water sphere, in which industry, government and academia work closely together, is one of the reasons the OECD has chosen to run a seminar at WATEC. “Israel has a unique system of water governance, with the Water Authority overseeing a national water grid. The system is highly centralized and helps to ensure coherence and coordination across different policy areas, including water, energy, agriculture and industry. Israel’s experience can provide interesting lessons for other OECD countries,” said OECD Secretary General, Angel Gurría, “Israel should be proud of being at the forefront of green innovations for water management; these innovations can be decisive in managing scarce water resources.”
One example of the collaborative nature of Israel’s water ecosystem is the Samuel Neaman Institute of the Technion’s project to map out water needs
of different industries such as oil & gas and mining (the project was undertaken in collaboration with Israel NewTech and other government programs). “This project has enabled us to map the needs of industries and so help Israeli water technology companies offer relevant solutions, which in turn creates business opportunities for them,” tells us Yefet-Beeri. “There is growing realization on the part of these industries of the need to use water efficiently, and indeed there are many companies active in these industries who are sending representatives to WATEC to seek out new technologies relevant for them.”
WATEC will take place in the Tel Aviv fair grounds October 22-24. Click here for registration information