On April 4, Danish Minister for Higher Education and Science Ulla Tørnæs inaugurated a new cross-Atlantic partnership, the Water Technology Alliance (WTA) California in San Francisco, CA. The aim of the cross-Atlantic partnership is to share knowledge and to develop water technology solutions targeting the current water crisis caused by climate change.
Denmark and Danish companies are leading in efficient, sustainable and energy neutral water solutions, however, they are still able to learn from their American colleagues in places such as the dynamic water technology-surrounded Silicon Valley. As such, a close collaboration between Danish and American water companies and organisations can be beneficial to all involved parties.
Danish water technology companies, public bodies, and higher education and science institutions in the water sector constantly develop new, sustainable solutions for the management of water in the future. Marselisborg wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) in Denmark is an excellent example of how the cross-collaboration is vital in creating unique solutions. The WWTP produces 90% more electricity and heat than consumed – and this is without adding organic matter to the plant as is custom in the U.S. Denmark is further leading in sustainable management of water resources and avoiding water waste.
A number of Danish companies in the water sector will now be making their expertise on water available to their American colleagues. A California-based alliance established by the Danish water distribution company Aarhus Vand, and supported by The Danish Industry Foundation and the Danish Trade Council in Chicago, will serve as the foundation for a close partnership between Danish and American companies, public bodies, and education and science institutions in the water sector.
The alliance, called Water Technology Alliance (WTA) Califonia, further consists of the companies Kamstrup, Applied Biomimetec, Danfoss, Grundfos, Ramboll, Smith Innovation, Skytem, DHI, and Leif Koch A/S, all of which are ready to take part in the partnership with their American colleagues.
The Danish Minister for Higher Education and Science Ulla Tørnæs inaugurated the alliance on April 4 in San Francisco, CA, as part of the conference “Water / More for Less – Sharing knowledge and best practice from the U.S. & Denmark”.
– I am happy to see that Danish water technology companies have the expertise to help with the demand caused by the drought in California. The collaboration is a good example of how Danish research can take on international tasks beyond the borders of Denmark. Denmark and California can benefit from each other’s knowledge, and in the meantime also create jobs, Minister for Higher Education and Science Ulla Tørnæs says.
First stop, California
The alliance’s first priority is to concentrate on the water crisis in California where focus will be on the shortage of water. In this context, Danish research and expertise will prove very attractive.
“I am looking forward to sharing San Francisco’s story with our colleagues from Denmark, and learning more about their one water approach at the ”Water / More For Less” program on April 4. This type of in-person cultural knowledge exchange, while rare, allows the world’s most sustainable practices to be shared and implemented across the globe so we can achieve more together,” says Karen Kubick, Director of the Wastewater Enterprise Capital Improvement Program for the City and County of San Francisco’s Public utilities Commission (SFPUC) & Water Environment Federation (WEF) Board of Trustee Member ahead of the April 4 Event.
Partnership with perspectives
The Danish Industry Foundation has made a DKK1.4 million commitment to support the project, and it is their hope that the gains from the project will be considerable, and that the solution to the water crisis in California will further be able to benefit others in the end.
“A close collaboration between the companies in question will be able to accelerate trade, and the same applies when establishing development partnerships with large public sector companies, just to take an example. To us, the partnership in California is a pinprick operation undertaken in a select geographic region. If the project develops as desired concerning close collaboration, increased trade and the discovery of new findings, we can transfer the methodology of the project to other sectors and regions”, CEO of the Danish Industry Foundation Mads Lebech says.
Aarhus Vand is responsible for managing the project, and the water distribution company plays an important role in sharing their knowledge and expertise on efficient water management and treatment.
– In Denmark, our wish is to expand our position as the powerhouse to clever and efficient water solutions on a global scale. As such, we create growth and Danish jobs, and we help other countries to reach their targets for reducing pollution and improving water use efficiency. In turn, we discover new findings and ideas that help to further our efficiency back in Denmark. Our experiences have shown us that cross-partnerships open doors and benefit many parties, and this is exactly the objective of the WTA California, CEO of Aarhus Vand Lars Schrøder says.
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