Over 20,000 water professionals from all over the world gathered at Aquatech Amsterdam, the world’s leading trade show for the global water sector. As the network organisation representing the Dutch water sector, the Netherlands Water Partnership (NWP) was automatically heavily involved in Aquatech Amsterdam, driving opportunities for the sector to make an impact. NWP co-hosted the Netherlands Pavilion, coordinated a tailor-made programme for international incoming delegations, and held many matchmaking activities and knowledge exchanges.
Showcasing Dutch proven technology and the latest groundbreaking innovations
The Netherlands Pavilion, hosted by NWP, Water Alliance, and Partners for Water, was a buzzing hub amidst the vast international expo and was instrumental in connecting international water experts. From early morning until late afternoon, the Pavilion was filled with the lively chatter of networking water professionals. Many visitors dropped by to meet old acquaintances and to make new connections over cups of coffee crafted by skilled baristas. The Netherlands Pavilion showcased the latest in innovative and proven technology solutions from 22 Dutch companies.
One of the Dutch companies exhibiting at the Netherlands Pavilion was NORIT Activated Carbon. Bjorn Kalka, NORIT Activated Carbon’s Area Sales Manager, was excited about exhibiting in the Netherlands Pavilion. “Aquatech is an important exhibition to present our activated carbon solutions to the water industry. We had our own NORIT stand at previous Aquatechs, but this time we opted for having it at the Netherlands Pavilion. And we liked it very much and are now considering joining other Netherlands Pavilions as well. For us, the added value was that the organisation of our booth was taken out of our hands. That gave us more time before the show to ensure that our business contacts would visit our stand in the Pavilion. It also gave us more time during the trade fair to network, send emails, and make appointments at our booth. In addition, we benefited from the matchmaking activities that NWP arranged at the Netherlands Pavilion. The conversations with other exhibitors at the Pavilion were also very useful in keeping abreast of the current market. In fact, being part of the Pavilion brought us more than if we had had our own stand at Aquatech.”
Being part of the Pavilion brought us more than if we had had our own stand at Aquatech.
Area Sales Manager at NORIT Activated Carbon
Bringing international delegations closer to the Dutch water sector
More than 70 per cent of Aquatech attendees came from outside the Netherlands. The international visiting water professionals included policymakers, operators, specialists, and users of technology in practice. NWP played a leading role in coordinating international delegations from 13 countries, including Oman, Malaysia, Brazil, and the United States. As a network organisation, NWP put together a bespoke programme for international groups comprising guided tours, company visits, roundtable sessions, matchmaking, and network drinks.
These missions served to strengthen the relationship between the Dutch water sector and its international counterparts and led to fresh perspectives on water-related business opportunities overseas. Winnie Huang, Manager of Strategic Partnerships and Events at Dutch Royal Eijkelkamp shared her experiences. “The incoming delegations programme organised by NWP this year was great, and it certainly highlighted Royal Eijkelkamp’s week at Aquatech Amsterdam. Aligning with NWP and receiving the delegations at our booth really made our company’s approach to integrated water management solutions stand out and advanced our company approach to the country's eye on Dutch water management integrated solutions. We showed the delegations our advanced water resources management technology and even had the honour of bringing the Malaysian delegation to our factory and showing what else we could offer. All the countries' delegations we met showed interest in our offer. They came prepared, they knew what they wanted, and they asked the right questions. We look forward to the next event meet-up and further alignment with NWP.”
The incoming delegations programme, organised by NWP this year was great, and it certainly highlighted Royal Eijkelkamp’s week at Aquatech Amsterdam.
Manager of Strategic Partnerships and Events at Dutch Royal Eijkelkamp
Ronaldo Novaes Ferreira of Isle Utilities, a technology consultant for a Brazilian consultancy company specialising in innovative water technology for water utilities and industries, was one of the Brazilian delegates. He looks back enthusiastically. ‘’Aquatech offers a unique opportunity to get to know the trends and interesting technologies in the water sector and to show Isle Utilities’ capabilities to new and current clientele. We made several new connections with technology providers and potential customers. NWP was a key partner in organising the sessions for the Brazilian delegation with the roundtables and the visits to Dutch companies around Aquatech. They put together a very interesting programme for the Brazilian delegation. I hope we can work together more often in the future.”
NWP was a key partner in organising the sessions for the Brazilian delegation with the roundtables and the visits to Dutch companies around Aquatech. They put together a very interesting programme for the Brazilian delegation.
Ronaldo Novaes Ferreira
Technology consultant at Isle Utilities
Facilitating numerous insightful presentations
Next to showcasing Dutch innovative technology and hosting the incoming delegations, NWP, in cooperation with Partners for Water, and Water Alliance, was actively involved in knowledge exchange at the NL Lounge and other stages around the Aquatech exhibition floor. Over the course of the week, numerous insightful presentations and discussions took place with topics ranging from AI and robotic solutions to water energy consumption and socio-technical integration. One of the highlights was the session on ‘Opportunities from Dutch energy from water solutions’, convened by SeaQurrent, EWA, REDStack, Slowmill, and MARIN. The speakers taught us that the waters in the oceans and seas have an enormous energy potential that can be harvested with new solutions being developed in the Netherlands.
When at the Netherlands Pavilion, attendees could bump into a robot walking around the Pavilion. Quasset, a Dutch company exhibiting at the Netherlands Pavilion, designed a process for the robot to inspect water installations. In the ‘End-to-end digital inspection system for multiple robots’ session, they illustrated how robotics can be enablers for a safer, and more efficient inspection process.
Obviously, robots cannot take over all the work. Young people are much needed now and in the future to make an impact. Young Expert Programmes (YEP) and Wavemakers United (WU) are dedicated to constructing a global impact community and fostering connections among young professionals in the water sector. In their ‘Youth Combating Climate Change and Water Challenges’ session, they showed how they contribute to innovation and increasing our workforce.
It was not all Dutch at the NL Lounge though. The Oman Water and Waste Water Services Company convened a session about doing business in Oman’s water sector to lead up to Oman Water Week, which will be held in January 2024.
Another interesting session held at another stage on the Aquatech exhibition floor was hosted by the Nutrient Platform, a cross-sector network of Dutch organisations, initiated by NWP, that believes in a pragmatic approach towards nutrient recycling. Speakers from LeAF, KWR, Semilla Sanitation/Nijhuis Saur Industries, and COLSEN elaborated on the legal aspects, technological hurdles, and short to medium-term opportunities and innovations that are relevant to nutrient recycling.
For four days, Aquatech Amsterdam 2023 again showed the world state-of-the-art water treatment technology. The dominant topics included the removal of PFAS, the quaternary treatment of municipal wastewater, the carbon footprint, and new ways to reuse water. Read more in the series of articles that Dutchwatersector.com published during and after Aquatech Amsterdam 2023.
NWP looks back on a fruitful week, and we extend our heartfelt thanks to our collaboration partners, the participants in the Pavilion, the incoming delegations, and other visitors for their enthusiasm and commitment to solving global water challenges together.
We look forward to the next Aquatech in March 2025. If you want to know more about participating in the Netherlands Pavilion coordinated by NWP at either the next Aquatech or at various events worldwide, contact Marieke Leenhouts.
Do you want to connect with the Dutch water sector? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org