€ 8 million for consortium Enabling water technology

A consortium, consisting of Wetsus, University of Groningen, Deltares and NOM receives € 8 million to faster translate water technology research results into society and the economy. This will accelerate the transition towards a more circular, sustainable and climate neutral economy.

The Netherlands Enabling Watertechnology (NEW) consortium stimulates startups and other entrepreneurship initiatives in water technology: water treatment, reuse of water and raw materials, production and storage of energy from water and smart management of the water system are the main topics.

NEW has two pillars: knowledge transfer and an investment fund. Promising initiatives are scouted,, guided in the valorization process and after selection nominated for a review by the NEW-fund.  Without the financial support, a lot of good ideas may not make it to the market.

The NEW consortium is one of three consortia to receive € 8 million, was announced by the Dutch ministry of Education, Culture and Science and the Dutch ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy.

Press release in Dutch:

Netherlands Enabling Watertechnology consortium krijgt € 8 miljoen van het rijk

Samenwerking van Wetsus, RUG, Deltares en NOM gehonoreerd

23 maart 2021

Het consortium bestaande uit Wetsus, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, Deltares en de NOM krijgt € 8 miljoen van het rijk om kennis uit watertechnologie-onderzoek beter naar de markt en de samenleving te brengen, om zo de transitie te versnellen naar een circulaire, duurzame en klimaatneutrale economie.

Het Netherlands Enabling Watertechnology (NEW) consortium stimuleert starters en initiatieven op het gebied van watertechnologie: waterbehandeling, water- en grondstoffenhergebruik, productie en opslag van energie uit water en slimmer beheer van het watersysteem zijn de hoofdthema’s. 

Water is een eindige bron, zonder schoon en veilig water kunnen we niet leven op aarde. Water speelt daarnaast een grote rol in diverse sectoren, zoals land- en tuinbouw, voedsel, gezondheid, energie en chemie. Door klimaatverandering, vervuiling, verspilling, een sterke toename van gebruik en uitputting van eindige bronnen bestaat op vele plaatsen in de wereld al een acuut watertekort. Vele economische sectoren zullen daarom komende decennia een transitie moeten ondergaan naar circulair en klimaatneutraal produceren, waarbij schoonwatervoorraden niet worden uitgeput of vervuild. Hiervoor zijn watertechnologische innovaties nodig die op grote schaal en tegen aanvaardbare kosten kunnen worden ingezet.  Die behoefte aan doorbraakinnovaties biedt kansen aan innovatieve Nederlandse starters en ondernemers.

Het NEW-plan bestaat uit twee onderdelen: kennisoverdracht en een fonds. De partners in het kennisoverdrachtsdeel gaan kansrijke kennisstarters scouten, hen versneld laten ontwikkelen en de meest veelbelovende starters voordragen bij het NEW-fonds. Zonder de financiële ondersteuning vanuit het NEW-fonds zullen veel goede ideeën op watertechnologiegebied de markt uiteindelijk niet halen. In het NEW-kennisoverdrachtsplan, gecoördineerd door Wetsus, bundelen drie internationale topinstituten (Wetsus, RUG en Deltares) hun valorisatiekracht en -ambities. Door de gecombineerde kennis en brede expertise zullen sterkere innovaties worden ontwikkeld door de kennisstarters. Dit, in combinatie met het NEW-fonds dat wordt beheerd door de NOM, leidt tot meer kansrijke kennisstarters en een snellere transitie van startups naar de groeifase.

In de tweede tender van de Thematische Technology Transfer (TTT) regeling kunnen de komende jaren enkele tientallen nieuwe kennisintensieve bedrijven van de grond komen. Dit gebeurt op basis van excellent onderzoek door universiteiten en andere kennisinstellingen, samen met private investeerders.  Het Netherlands Enabling Watertechnology (NEW) consortium is een van de drie consortia die elk € 8 miljoen krijgen, zo is bekend gemaakt door minister Van Engelshoven (OCW) en staatssecretaris Keijzer (EZK). De Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland (RVO) en de Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO) hebben de consortia geselecteerd.

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.