Business in the water sector (quality monitoring, depollution, integrated management) is highly competitive and companies are often reluctant to adopt technological innovations developed by SMEs, which, moreover, do not have the technical means and funding they need to support key stages in product development for the market.
The Water Test Network project was selected under the priority "Innovation" topic by the Interreg North-West Europe programme, covering the period from March 2018 to December 2021.
Reducing time-to-market for SME products and services
The aim of this project is to shorten the time needed to take SME products and services to the market, while identifying key needs in the sector. The project is creating a network of facilities suited to a wide range of topic areas, water types, processes, contaminants, etc. Assistance to SMEs ranges from expert diagnoses of files describing an innovation to additional testing of varying complexity, up to and including full verification of specific product features. Costs of access to the relevant infrastructure for SMEs are covered by the project up to a ceiling of 50k€.
The targets in figures are to provide support to 120 SMEs, test 90 new technologies and bring 30 of these to the market.
BRGM's PRIME platform for remediation and innovation at the service of environmental metrology (Orléans, 2017).
© BRGM - Didier Depoorter
BRGM platforms made available to the project
The project partners are from the UK (including Scottish Water, the Scottish public water company, which is coordinating the project), the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France and Ireland.
The BRGM, the only French partner, is contributing its PRIME platforms with 800 m² of experimentation facilities, including pilots for sub-metric to multi-metric scales and a wide range of analytical tools, as well as experts in physics and chemistry, microbiology and hydrogeochemistry.