The Water Supply and Sanitation Technology Platform is a wide coalition of key industry players in the European water sector. Keith Hayward heard from director Durk Krol about how it is hoping to steer the sector towards an innovative new water paradigm and the impact it hopes to have on research funding.
As an industry-based group with some 170 members across Europe, the Water Supply and Sanitation Technology Platform, or WssTP, is well-placed to offer a view on the type of water sector the continent could seek to create, especially to take advantage of technology innovations. Indeed, it has done just that. Last year it set out a vision for the future of the sector, while at the start of this year it also published a strategic innovation and research agenda setting out activities to help achieve the vision.
The question then is one of what impact the vision and agenda will have, especially in the context of the European Union and the work of the European Commission.
Durk Krol is WssTP’s director. He explains that European Technology Platforms, of which there are now around 40, were originally instigated by the European Commission in 2004 as industry-led initiatives. For most of these, an existing European trade association took on the platform role. ‘As the water sector is very fragmented and diverse, WssTP did not have a natural harbour with a European trade association, so we became our own legal entity in 2007,’ says Krol.
‘That has driven us to be very much focused on services to members,’ says Krol. With membership initially at just 11, this was in a sense a weakness, he adds. But the focus has led to the growth to the current 170. ‘In the end it has become a strength,’ he says.
- Europe, WssTP, municipal water, municipal wastewater, innovation