EU-Gulf Water Innovation Exchange Successful in Abu Dhabi
The Arabian Gulf is planning investments of US$ 200 billion over the next decade to secure a more sustainable water supply, reduce demand and slash the high amount of energy consumed for water production, treatment and transportation. Countries in the region are looking to Europe for solutions to the significant challenges faced in arid regions.
EIP Water led a delegation of innovators from the Action Groups to the International Water Summit in January 2018 to showcase early-stage European innovations to the 10,000 visitors and delegates descending on the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week. They were joined by Frederico Fernandes from Aguas do Porto who explained how EU policies are being implemented within the utility.
Topics covered in the delegation include groundwater recharge and management, industrial water reuse, the use of municipal wastewater for cooling systems and smart water technologies.
The programme consisted of:
- a panel session in the main conference
- showcasing innovations in the exhibition
- 17 scientific-style seminars for visitors (schedule)
- one-to-one meetings with end users and partners from the region
- media interviews
With 17 seminars, an exhibition, a session in the main conference and dozens of arranged meetings, the delegation had a busy time sharing their knowledge, But they also came away with business opportunities, improved market knowledge, more branding of their work, improvement ideas for the innovations, new and stronger relationships, technology transfer projects and a widened professional perspective. One delegate stated, “experiences made in the EU translate well to the situation in the Gulf and we’ve effectively helped accelerate innovations that solve societal challenges whilst enhancing Europe's competitiveness, job creation and economic growth.”
Naji El Haddad, the director of the International Water Summit, said: “through the EU-Gulf Water Innovation Knowledge Exchange, visitors and delegates from around the Middle East have learnt how innovation is helping to implement EU water policies - some of the strictest in the world. Numerous collaboration opportunities were formed and the delegation was a vibrant highlight that helped to still a great thirst for knowledge about solutions for the challenges of arid regions.”