Fostering cooperation between scientists, technology developers and end-users

About the Forum

Water professionals, from all areas of the water sector, and in all regions of the world, are increasingly being called upon to deliver solutions to water related problems. The sector’s response is complicated by a disconnect between the leading science and technology research, and water utilities, cities and river basins where it might be applied to solve the challenges facing water resource management.

The main purpose of the forum is to identify mechanisms and approaches that enable uptake of scientific knowledge and technology expertise into practically applied innovation. Through this forum we would like to identify elements during this translation process such as: main challenges and barriers, processes that could lead to success, lessons learned from failures, and experiences to translate success into other expertise areas and regions.

Who will attend?

The Forum is open to all participants of the World Water Congress. Due to limited space, pre-registration to this forum is required.

It can be of particular interest to visionary researchers and technology enthusiasts.

Confirmed presenters and case study leads: 

Mark van Loosdrecht, TU Delft, Netherlands
Qing Hu, Southern University of Science and Technology, China
Francois Gouws, Trility Water, Australia
Per Halkjær Nielsen, Aalborg University, Denmark
David Bergmann, South East Water, Australia
Dhesigen Naidoo, Water Research Commission, South Africa
Tony Wong, CRC for Water Sensitive Cities, Australia
Christian Loderer, Wasser Berlin, Germany
Jurg Keller, CRC for Water Sensitive Cities & University of Queensland, Australia
Kim Soerensen, WABAG, Switzerland
Olaf van der Kolk, Aquaminerals, Netherlands
Jose Vazquez, Aqualia, Spain
Ana Soares, Cranfield University, UK

Main organisers

  • Prof. Jurg Keller, Chief Research Officer, CRC for Water Sensitive Cities & Deputy Director Research, Advanced Water Management Centre, University of Queensland
  • Prof. Mark van Loosdrecht; Professor at Environmental Biotechnology, Delft University of Technology
  • Dr. Hong Li, Manager, Science, Technology and Specialist Groups, IWA
  • Dr. Kim Soerensen, Chief Technology Officer, WABAG, Switzerland

Expected outputs

The main outcome of the forum will be a summary paper compiling approaches and experiences on how to effectively connect science with practice in the water industry. This paper will identify general and specific challenges/barriers and how they could be overcome. It will also list a number of key factors that lead to success, as well as what could be learned from initially failed attempts to potentially still achieve successful applications of scientific knowledge and innovation in practice.

Get involved

*An IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition 2018 registration is compulsory for Forum attendees.

Forum agenda
Wednesday, 19 September 2018 – 13:30 – 17:15 – Room 101

Session 1
Innovation hot-spots

The first part of the forum will highlight some current or potential approaches being explored to address key industry needs or innovation hot-spots.

Key questions to be addressed by each speaker:

  • Is there an industry pull or a science/technology push in this area?
  • What practical issues/needs are have been identified in this field?
  • What science breakthrough or new knowledge is needed or being used in this area?
  • What success has been achieved so far and what are remaining key challenges?
  • What failed attempts have been made and what has been the learnings from these?
  • If you could have one wish to be granted, what would it be to create a breakthrough success?

Presenters and presentation titles

  • Mark van Loosdrecht, “Resource Recovery factory “
  • Per Halkjær Nielsen, “The DNA-based tools: Monitoring microbes and operation of full-scale wastewater treatment plants and anaerobic digesters”
  • Qing Hu, “Big data and the Future of environment protection”
  • Francois Gouws, “The use of data in treatment plant operations”
  • David Bergmann, “Turning passive into active – smart solutions to deliver integrated water outcomes”

Each talk will be up to 8 minutes, followed by a Q&A (another 8 min) and a closing discussion (10 min).

Session 2 
Enabling science-to-practice implementation

The second part will showcase a range of examples about approaches on how to establish collaborations between scientists/technology developers and end-users in practice to enable science-to-practice translation and implementation.

These examples will range from country-wide R&D organizations over local collaboration initiatives to individuals with particular relevant experience. They will also cover different segments (academia, utility, government, private sector companies, etc.).

This session will run as a ‘World-Café’ style discussion whereby up to 12 table-based discussions will be held in parallel, each on a particular case study/example. There will be short (2 min) introductions at beginning of each table (20 min), followed by 15min discussions and 10 min reporting to plenary. Then another 15 min round (participants should move between rounds, but topics stay on tables) plus 10min reporting will be held, with a 20 min closing discussion to capture key learnings from both sessions.

Key questions to be discussed at each table (1-page answers should be prepared by the table hosts and handed to each participant to enable quick discussions):

  • What was a critical success factor in getting effective collaborations established?
  • What is driving the collaboration, science/technology push or industry pull, or both?
  • What challenges and failures had to be overcome or are still being experienced/looming?
  • What are the key values to be gained by both collaboration partners?
  • How transferable would this approach be to other locations/situations?

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