The consortium consisting of Wetsus, University of Groningen, Deltares and NOM will receive €8 million from the state to better bring knowledge from water technology research to the market and society in order to accelerate the transition to a circular, sustainable and climate-neutral economy.
The Netherlands Enabling Watertechnology (NEW) consortium stimulates start-ups and initiatives in the field of water technology: water treatment, water and resource reuse, production and storage of energy from water and smarter management of the water system are the main themes.
Water is a finite resource, without clean and safe water we cannot live on earth. Water also plays a major role in various sectors such as agriculture, horticulture, food, health, energy and chemistry. Due to climate change, pollution, waste, a sharp increase in use and depletion of finite resources, acute water shortages already exist in many parts of the world. Many economic sectors will therefore have to undergo a transition to circular and climate-neutral production in the coming decades, where clean water resources are not depleted or polluted. This will require water technology innovations that can be deployed on a large scale and at acceptable cost. This need for breakthrough innovations provides opportunities for innovative Dutch start-ups and entrepreneurs.
The NEW plan has two parts: knowledge transfer and a fund. The partners in the knowledge transfer part will scout out promising knowledge start-ups, accelerate their development, and nominate the most promising start-ups to the NEW fund. Without the financial support from the NEW fund, many good ideas in water technology will ultimately not make it to the market. In the NEW knowledge transfer plan, coordinated by Wetsus, three international top institutes (Wetsus, RUG and Deltares) combine their valorization strengths and ambitions. Through the combined knowledge and broad expertise, stronger innovations will be developed by the knowledge start-ups. This, combined with the NEW fund managed by NOM, will lead to more promising knowledge startups and a faster transition of startups to the growth phase.
In the second tender of the Thematic Technology Transfer (TTT) scheme, several dozen new knowledge-intensive companies can get off the ground in the coming years. This is done on the basis of excellent research by universities and other knowledge institutions, together with private investors. The Netherlands Enabling Watertechnology (NEW) consortium is one of the three consortia receiving €8 million each, Minister Van Engelshoven (OCW) and State Secretary Keijzer (EZK) announced. The Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland (RVO) and the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) selected the consortia.
Wetsus is the European center of excellence for water technology. Wetsus creates open innovation communities around the NEW theme with all relevant knowledge institutions, technology companies and public and private end-users, and has extensive experience in IP transfer and scaling up and valorizing new technologies.
Deltares is the knowledge institute for applied research in the field of water and subsoil, has unique research facilities and a broad network of public, private and knowledge parties both nationally and internationally. Knowledge transfer is central in this, towards governments, entrepreneurs and increasingly startups.
RUG represents a wide range of scientific disciplines relevant to NEW, is leading in the Enabling Watertechnology sectors Energy and Health, and runs a successful valorization program (Northern Knowledge) and the "accelerator program VentureLab North. Also, the RUG Holding Company is involved in the NEW fund.
NOM has more than 40 years of experience in investing in SMEs. Currently, NOM has €58.5 million under management. About 60% of the portfolio consists of companies financed in the start-up or (pre-)seed phase. In addition, NOM also invests through several other funds and has successfully performed fund management for them for years. A highly experienced team of investment professionals has been assembled for the NEW fund.