Water Innovation Europe wrapped up recently in Brussels, organized by The European Water Platform (WssTP). Israel was chosen to present its approach to innovation at the event, together with representatives from Canada, China and South America. Yossi Yaacoby, head of WATEC at Israel’s national water utility Mekorot, presented the different projects underway. According to Yaacoby, “Israel has been promoting innovation in the water arena for decades, at first not as a choice but as a necessity, in order to provide for the country’s growing water needs. As a country which promotes technology entrepreneurship from academia, through to research institutes, start-ups, SME’s and through to mature companies, through the creation of a holistic ecosystem for innovation, we attach great importance to building a strong knowledge base and spreading this knowledge. One of our key tools in doing this is cooperation with European countries and we look forward to increasing the cooperation with Europe through existing channels. We see a major opportunity and huge potential in the cooperation between Israel and Europe in the water arena.”
We spoke with Moran Buganim, Israel’s Economic Attache in Brussels, following the event. “Yossi Yaacoby’s presentation, and our activity at the WssTP event, raised tremendous interest, and I really feel it put Israel ‘on the map’ in the European discussion on water,” said Buganim. “The event has already generated practical follow-up opportunities – for example Israeli filtration solution provider Amiad has decided to join the WssTP organization and we’re helping them with this process. When it is accomplished, Amiad will be the first Israeli company to join this important European water association.”
Buganim also told us that Mekorot will be running a conference in Israel in September, and has decided to invite representatives from WssTP to the event. Additionally, Palgey Maim, an Israeli water and wastewater project management company which also attended the event, is planning an event of its own. Overall the Israeli companies participating in the delegations came away with an optimistic forecast on the potential for increased cooperation in Europe’s water arena, through collaboration with WssTP, according to Buganim.
WssTP is the European Technology Platform for Water. Initiated by the European Commission in 2004, WssTP strives to promote coordination and collaboration of Research and Innovation in the European water sector.