The WRC and DST hold the first water technology innovation showcase
While water underpins the prosperity of our community and health of our environment, it has long been recognised as a scarce resource in South Africa. Together as a community our challenge is how we can use our water smarter. The Water Research Commission (WRC) and the Department of Science and Technology (DST) brought together researchers and investors to showcase new water technologies on 20 March 2012 at Emperors Palace, Kempton Park.
This unique event aimed at fostering collaborations, between the proponents of WRC-funded research into water technologies and the South African commercialisation community, around the theme of sustainable water use, treatment and management. The WRC/DST Technologies Showcase provided attendees with valuable trade opportunities with like-minded innovative companies and research and development organisations. The country’s universities’ key research groups availed themselves for one-on-one meetings with businesses wishing to explore collaboration opportunities.
Drinking water and commercial activities have a high cost and assurance attached to them, as well as growing competitive demands. The WRC has opened opportunities to new technological inventions, using what it calls the ‘WaterSmart Fund’. The WaterSmart Fund supports research, demonstration and development of any innovative, idea, technology or process which supports the efficient use, reuse and conservation of our precious water, as well as related energy efficiency, in the domestic, industrial and mining sectors.
Jay Bhagwan, WRC Director managing the WaterSmart Fund, said “The objective of the fund is to promote and support the creation of new gadgets and tools to enable more efficient use of water. The fund includes all aspects of water use - drinking water, industrial uses, mining and agriculture - and is open to garage inventors as well as all kinds of researchers”.
WRC CEO, Dhesigen Naidoo, commented that there is a need to support the commercialisation of technology in South Africa. The WRC aims to ensure that water technologies get to the market venture capitalists and this platform ensures that this marriage occurs.
Henry Roman from DST added, “Water security in South Africa is a big challenge; DST has considered opening a new venture of funding water technologies through its Technology Innovation Agency (TIA). Through this, DST could step in and fund the demonstrations for projects in rural areas.’’.
Dr Jo Burgess
Research Manager, Water use and Waste Management
012 330 0340