Last Monday, 1 July, the last tender for the Water Safety and Water Security Urban Deltas (Waterveiligheid en Waterzekerheid Stedelijke Delta's, WWSD) subsidy scheme was opened. The subsidy scheme is part of the Partners for Water 2016-2021 Programme. Programme Manager Guus Schutjes from the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO.nl) counts on rough diamonds with a lot of potential growth in terms of scaling-up and spin-off.
‘The subsidy scheme is intended to take innovative technology, methodologies or prototypes in the field of water a step further. A total of EUR 2 million is available for pilot projects and feasibility studies. And it is the last tender for the time being as this programme ends in 2021 and time is required for the honoured applications to be executed.
I am happy to call on companies, knowledge institutions and NGOs to come up with proposals. The water sector is very broad, ranging from coastal protection to drinking water and from waste water management to the navigability of rivers. We had remarkably few requests for the latter sub-field in the previous tenders – it would be nice if there would be more now.
Another important aspect is that the subsidy scheme encourages partnerships between Dutch and local consortium parties. A consortium is not mandatory, but our experience shows that cooperation like this is actually necessary to achieve a successful project, and especially a successful follow-up.
Most of all, I count on innovative proposals that have the potential to grow afterwards through scaling-up or spin-off. Our subsidy aims to make a difference. If the project is almost guaranteed to be a success, it doesn’t need a grant. And if the chance of upscaling or spin-off is simply too low, it makes little sense to grant a subsidy. So it is precisely that border area where our financial support can make a difference and can give a boost to get a promising pilot or a promising feasibility study off the ground. So we not only look at what happens during the project, but we look especially at what comes next, what potential growth can be expected. In short: we are looking for rough diamonds where quality comes first.
Previous successful projects
We draw great inspiration from the potential growth of recent projects that received a grant. The Metropolder Company for instance, for a pilot that builds water buffering roofs in New York in cooperation with the Central Park Water Authority. Or the very inspiring planned pilot project by KWR to remove arsenic during drinking water production in Argentina where high concentrations of arsenic occur naturally in the groundwater. KWR will test an energy efficient technology in the pilot that will bring arsenic removal within reach for local drinking water companies.
Of course a project idea must meet the subsidy scheme requirements. That is why a project intake telephone interview is mandatory. We go through the project together and see if it qualifies for a subsidy. We do not accept applications without this interview. My urgent advice is to act quickly. Friday 30 August is the last day of project idea interviews, but the tender closes one week later. So, with the summer holidays coming up, don’t waste any time!’
On 1 July 2019, the Water Safety and Water Security in Urban Deltas Subsidy Scheme will opened its last tender. Organisations interested in submitting proposals are advised to contact RVO.nl for a mandatory intake interview. Interviews will be held up to 30 August. The tendering period will close on 6 September at 12:00 p.m. The subsidy scheme is part of the Partners for Water Programme 2016-2021, which is jointly implemented by RVO.nl and NWP, and supports and promotes the Dutch water sector and its activities in urban deltas and catchment areas.
Friday, 30 August 2019: deadline for applying for mandatory project discussion
Friday, 6 September 2019 at 12:00: closing of tender
Friday, 6 December 2019: approval or denial subsidy request