Blog17 January 2019
Follow in the footsteps of many others such as the company Drainblock and apply for the 'Water safety and Water security in Urban Deltas' subsidy scheme of the Partners for Water Programme. Last week, the first tender of 2019 was opened. Interested organisations are cordially invited to present their ideas and plans. Drainblock received a subsidy for a project to reduce the chilling pollution of surface water in Jakarta and Bandung. Ivo Bastings from Drainblock explains in his blog.
"You just cannot imagine the scale and gravity of the water pollution in Jakarta and Bandung, with all its consequences for the environment and public health. Rivers are open sewers and receive the discharge of houses and factories. The water is dead and black. Cleanblock filters out much of the organic and chemical substances, in a very simple way and at low cost. We conducted a pilot last autumn with a subsidy from the Partners for Water Programme. Cleanblock does not produce drinking water, but we expect it to lead to a substantial improvement in water quality. Ideally, we would like to achieve high enough quality that the water can be reused in agriculture."
"Cleanblock is a mineral wool filter comprising 2% stone and 98% open space. The solid particles are trapped in the filter and the bacteria then starts its biological purification work. There is therefore a double effect."
"We have now installed the first filters at four locations near Jakarta and Bandung. We are experimenting with the shape and thickness, and are examining whether the enormous amount of dirt is not blocking the filters too quickly. This would create a dam and the problem would become even worse. The filters that we placed in October look like they are doing well. The water level is not rising and the filters are lasting quite a long time. We will now add extra filters made of active carbon, which can be made locally, for example by burning rice chaff. The project will run to the end of this year. We are working closely with TU Delft, a partner in our consortium, and with local universities. MSc students are assisting and helping with the research. A local contractor is making and installing the filters and the local authorities regularly inspect the filters and clean the rivers. This cooperation is important for further successful implementation. It is also one of the critical aspects for RVO.nl in the assessment of subsidy applications."
"Also important is what comes next, after the project, for example in terms of upscaling or spin-offs. The Indonesian market potential is huge and we have received very enthusiastic responses from the Ministry of Public Works and Housing. Of course it is by no means certain whether and when they would invest in our solutions. There are serious opportunities, but we realise that it takes time."
"Without the subsidy from the Partners for Water Programme, as an SME we probably would not have dared to do this, given the scale of the difficulties. For example, we had serious problems with TU Delft’s measuring equipment. Part of it was not allowed into Indonesia so half of it is back in the Netherlands and the other half is still in a depot somewhere. Something like this is a huge headache and costs money. You have to calculate these type of setbacks into your risk assessment and the subsidy is a very valuable support."
"They are very constructive at RVO.nl. This is clear from the start, right in the mandatory starting interview. This sounds somewhat official, but it does work well. You discuss the various facets of a proposal that will lead to a successful implementation. RVO.nl gives you tips on gaps in your plan and its potential weak spots, so your application is stronger and more convincing. After that you still need to compete with other applicants of course. For us it has been very rewarding. So my advice to the sector is to seriously consider applying for the 'Water safety and Water security in Urban Deltas' subsidy scheme of the Partners for Water programme. It gives you the opportunity to just take that extra step!"
Do you have an innovative water technology, methodology or innovative prototype? Do you want to test, demonstrate or explore its feasibility abroad? The subsidy scheme for flood risk management and water security for urban deltas offers opportunities for companies, knowledge institutions and non-governmental organizations. The subsidy scheme is part of the Partners for Water 2016-2021 Programme and is executed by RVO.nl.
The first tender of 2019 closes on 8 February at 12:00. The mandatory interviews for the first tender need to take place before the end of January 2019. A second tender will be opened later this year - from 1 July to 12:00 on 6 September 2019.
Click here for more information about the subsidy scheme.
The Dutch governmental Partners for Water programme aims to increase the impact of the Dutch water sector abroad. The activities under the Partners for Water programme are being executed by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO.nl) and the Netherlands Water Partnership (NWP).