Water and Friesland
Friesland and water go back to the beginning of human civilization within the area. First it was the fight against water. Around the time of the industrial revolution this changed to the fight against water pollution. These days the province has found many solutions to water issues. The province has developed a thriving sportive and touristic sector on water (e.g. sailing boats, ice skating, swimming in the sea, etc.) and at the same time a large water technology SME community focussed on breakthrough water technologies. Many of these SMEs are niche players that are very successful on the European and global market.
Role of Water in Friesland
- Water is essential for various economic sectors within the region, such as the chemical sector, the dairy industry, tourism and water technology as a sector by itself.
- The water technology industry within the region is mainly formed by innovative water technology SMEs. Many of them are of world class and deliver solutions in specific niches to the global market. At the same time new breakthrough research leads to innovative solutions and business concepts. Several startups are developing into even more successful SMEs in the field of sustainable water technology. There is increasing interest to develop joint ventures on the WaterCampus. The region expects the water technology industry to continue growing in the years to come.
- The region is actively involved in various societal challenges linked to water. It focusses on the water-energy-food security nexus, where any answer should preferably provide a positive outcome for all three of these pillars. In more detail the region has developed a roadmap for cross-over solutions (e.g. water & energy, water & agri, water & health)
Link with RTD & Innovation
Ferd Crone, Mayor of Leewarden: Leewarden is slowly but steadily developing into the European capital of water technology
Wetsus is a facilitating intermediary for trend-setting know-how development in the field of sustainable water treatment technology. It combines the research capabilities of over 90 European Companies and 45 European research chairs in the Wetsus research program, focussed on developing breakthrough water technology.
Companies associated to the Wetsus research program develop innovative products and solutions based on the knowledge and patents developed in the Wetsus research program. Many of these new products and services have been introduced to the world market. Within the next 7 years, leading to 2020, these developments are expected to increase. The combined funding from the participating companies, the region and Horizon2020 would form the basis for this step up in research and innovation.
Water actors in the Region
Wetsus, centre of excellence for sustainable water technology
Water Alliance, alliance of innovative water technology SMEs
CEW, centre of expertise water technology
WaterCampus Leeuwarden, Water technology campus, combining education, research and business development. Over a hundred companies are actively involved on the WaterCampus.