The EU project "Water Test Network" is funded within the framework of the Interreg North-West Europe Programme and supports small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in developing market-ready products for the water sector. A transnational network of demonstration facilities in five European countries is available for testing innovative products. TZW is integrated into this network as a German test facility. The project is now in its final phase.
Aim of the project
In the global water sector, large-scale pre-commercial testing is difficult and expensive. It can take 15 to 20 years to bring a product to market. To increase market opportunities, the Water Test Network project supports small and medium-sized enterprises from North-West Europe in testing innovative technologies at an advanced stage of development by creating a transnational network of demonstration plants. The demonstration sites represent different water types, environments and applications. SMEs will be offered an integrated support package that will put them in contact with the best possible demonstration plant for their specific needs.
Activities of TZW
A total of about 20 SMEs from Germany expressed interest in applying for funding within the Water Test Network. The application procedure has two stages. For the first application (stage 1), a short product description and a de minimis declaration from the SME is sufficient. Here, a total of eleven applications were submitted by companies from Germany, all of which were approved. However, only some of the SMEs then also submitted the application for stage 2, which requires a more detailed justification and market research.
The products of several German companies have already been tested at TZW, and others are in the application phase for stage 2. Currently, an analytical device from a French company is being tested at TZW with real samples and compared with standard testing procedures.
It is planned to maintain the transnational network of demonstration plants beyond the project duration. For this purpose, a corresponding business model must be developed. This would provide SMEs with a fee-based transnational network for testing their new technologies.