Organised by the Commercial Office at the Embassy of Israel, London, representatives from British Water and MATIMOP, the Israeli agency for industrial R&D, on Monday signed an agreement which will enable the water industries of each country to collaborate more closely on tenders and research projects, hopefully leading to projects which boost each country’s economies.
The Memorandum of Understanding signed by British Water, which represents the UK water industry supply chain, and MATIMOP, the Israeli Industry Centre for R&D, sets up a framework for both organisations to work together on a range of areas of common interest. It will also facilitate greater joint projects to develop new product applications and processes to be commercialised in the global market.
Israel Shamay, Executive Director of MATIMOP, said: “We are pleased to be working closer with British Water than we have worked with any foreign trade organisation before. The UK water sector is well respected internationally for its world-leading capabilities, solutions and services, making it the perfect partner to help commercialise and market Israeli innovation and R&D in this sector.”
Ian Bernard, Technical Manager for British Water, said: “The agreement with MATIMOP ensures both parties have access to some of the best technological solutions to implement in both the UK and Israel, and will also enable world leading experts in both countries to cooperate for European and international research, development and technical projects.”
Israel has been coping with water scarcity since its founding, leading to the development of novel and efficient water technologies. Many of these technologies are now coming to the fore internationally, as concerns about water scarcity increase throughout the world.
Areas of common interest include: water management technology, which increasingly uses ICT to aid water monitoring and fault identification; desalination, water reuse and the use of renewable energy sources in water purification, reclamation and desalination.
In the UK, the government recently published its white paper, “Water for Life” which sets out plans to reform the UK water industry to meet increasing environmental and water stress demands, amid warnings that some regions of Britain are already facing water scarcity and environmental damage.
According to industry experts the global water industry is expected to grow rapidly during the next five years, with capital expenditure on water infrastructure increasing from US$90 billion in 2010 to $131 billion in 2016. Water scarcity will be among the main problems faced by the world during the 21st century. According to the United Nations, by 2030 almost half of the world’s population will be living in areas of “high water stress”, where water supply is inadequate to meet all of society’s needs.
Oded Distel, Head of Investment Promotion Centre, Ministry of Industry Trade and Labour, Israel said: “This agreement is in line with the overall concept of smarter solutions for the water sector. We want to support the upgrade of water management technology in the UK. We have successfully achieved this in Israel by bringing in technology from other sectors.”