can organizations join wetsus?

In the Wetsus cooperation model, a distinction is made between company, platform and know-how institute participants, as described below. Specific IP rights for each participation form are part of the Wetsus IPR regulations. For the available participation forms, dedicated model agreements for cooperation in the Wetsus program are available (interested parties can contact Johannes Boonstra, Wetsus Executive Board;

All participants have free access to the following services offered by Wetsus:

• Early access to all Wetsus’ scientific publications and other member information
• Dedicated workshops
• Admission to internal (members only) conferences and webinars
• Free access to Wetsus’ public congresses
• Membership of an exclusive water technology network containing specialists from about 130 partners

Company participants

Companies participate in Wetsus per research theme. Knowledge resulting from pre-competitive research defined and co-funded by these participants, is commercially implemented by these companies and made accessible to third parties through patents and scientific publications. The participating commercial and research organizations are listed on the following pages. Wetsus’ aim is to extend the number of company participants in order to further increase the commercial relevance and momentum of the scientific research. Wetsus has a collaboration policy that focuses on protecting the interests of the participants.

Cooperation in Wetsus is open to all companies. As per 2024, companies from, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Monaco, USA, Sweden, Switzerland, China and the Netherlands participate. Much attention will be given to further internationalization, particularly in Europe.

As per January 2024, the following rates apply for participation (these rates are subject to inflation correction):

Company Participants: € 32,900/theme/year

Platform participants

Further, a platform membership with network function is a participation form companies can choose for. The platform participants have no voting rights on the research program and indirect access to the intellectual property of Wetsus (to patents that are not transferred to relevant theme participants). They have a privileged position with respect to information. Each ‘regular’ company participant automatically is a platform participant.

Platform participation is often used as a first step into Wetsus for companies who are not yet sure in which Wetsus research theme(s) they want to participate. As Platform participant companies get acquainted with Wetsus and the research program, and from that basis they can make a motivated choice to ‘upgrade’ to theme participant.

The 2024 annual rate for platform participation ranges from € 3.950 (company turnover < € 1.5 million/year) to € 9,250 (turnover < € 3 million/ year) to € 13,200 (turnover > € 3 million/year).

Know-how institute participants

The research in Wetsus is performed by the know- how institute participants. Leading university research chairs from all over Europe are invited for this purpose. This results in a multidisciplinary and excellent scientific workforce with a clear focus. The research is mainly performed by PhD students, who are recruited from Europe and the rest of the world. Access to research facilities of 26 research institutes and a very large scientific network are important added advantages of this approach. As per 2024, 48 principle investigators and professors from 26 know-how institutes from 10 countries participate. The strategy is to maintain  this network of EU chairs and to further increase its relevance and impact.

Participants (January 2024)

Platform participants (January 2024)

Know-how Institute Participants (January 2024)

Towards an economy of value preservation | By Niels Faber


The realisation of a circular economy has thus far unfolded under the assumption that it would fit within existing economic arrangements. In practice, we witness many circular initiatives struggling to give shape to their ambitions, let alone develop to maturity. These past months, various material recycling organisations terminated their activities, seeing virgin alternatives from other parts of the world flooding the market at prices against they cannot compete. If the transition towards a circular economy (i.e. an economy of value preservation) is to be taken seriously, a new perspective on value in our economic system seems unavoidable, as the rewriting of the rules of the economic game. At this moment, current perceptions of value stand in the way of this transition both at micro as well as macro levels. Several contours for a collective exploration of new directions of value and economic configuration that foster circular transition will be addressed.

Searching Innovation for the Common Good | By Cees Buisman


In his key note he will conclude after a life of innovations that it is impossible that humanity will stay within the save planetary boundaries with innovation only. We should be more critical about the behaviour of the rich population in the world and more critical about new innovations that prove to be dangerous, like the PFAS crisis shows at this moment. In his keynote he will investigate how to look at the world that can stay within the save planetary boundaries, how should we change ourselves? It is clear if we only talk about the words of science and systems we miss the essential words of how we should cooperate and change ourselves. And his search for coherent save innovations. Which innovations will be save and will lead to a fair and sustainable world? And will lead to a world we want to live in.

Future-fit economic models: What do they have in common – how can they join forces? | By Christian Felber


There is a growing number of new sustainable, inclusive, cohesive, participatory, just and humane economic models. A possible next step in the discourse about them is the comparative analysis in order to find out key commonalities, potential synergies, and “requirements” for a future-fit economic model. The author and initiator of the Economy for the Common Good provides an overview of these „new sustainable economic models“ and compares them according to underlying values, principles, and practical ways of implementation. The keynote addresses the cooperative spirit of the conference and prepares the ground for its public highlight on the eve of June 3rd, the round table with representatives of diverse future-fit economic models.

The era of postgrowth economics | By Matthias Olthaar


The scientific debate on whether economies should always continue to grow increasingly becomes a political and societal debate. On the one hand further growth for the most affluent countries seems neither possible nor valuable, but on the other hand there is still lack of understanding and knowledge what a non-growing economy should look like and could best be governed. In this lecture we discuss various policy measures that can be realistically implemented, take into account government finances and aim at a higher quality of life despite a non-growing economy.

Democratic principles for a sustainable economy | By Lisa Herzog


Democracy is under pressure, and less and less able to stir the economy into a sustainable direction. Therefore, to stabilize democracy and to make possible the socio-ecological transformation of the economy, democratic principles need to be implemented directly in the economy. This is not only a matter of morality, but also has practical advantages. Democratizing the economy can increase legitimacy and take advantage of the “knowledge of the many” to accelerate the transformation. Democratic practices, especially deliberation, allow bringing together different forms of knowledge, which is crucial for the local implementation of principles of social and ecological sustainability. This talk explores what this idea means in more concrete terms, from democratic participation in the workplace to the democratization of time.

Market, state, association, and well-being. An historical approach | By Bas van Bavel


Over the past decades, markets have conventionally been seen as the best instrument to stimulate economic growth and enhance prosperity and well-being. The automatic link between markets and economic growth is increasingly questioned, however, as well as the automatic link between economic growth and enhancement of well-being. This has led to attempts to capture well-being development more directly than through GDP per capita figures and has produced a more variegated picture of well-being growth. Also, this has led to a shift of focus to other coordination systems than the market, as primarily the state but increasingly also the association. Analyses of the historical record suggest that especially the latter could be a vital component in future well-being.