Internet of Water Flanders takes collaboration between water actors to a new level

Internet of Water Flanders is a large-scale research project that enables knowledge institutions and important players in the Flemish water world to collaborate in an unprecedented way. In addition to the concrete project objectives, this will add important value in the long term.

Bernard De Potter (VMM): “Everyone in the water world is always talking about the need for collaboration. Despite the goodwill that undoubtedly exists, this isn’t very easy to achieve in a structured manner. By being partners in Internet of Water Flanders, VITO, imec, De Watergroep, Aquafin, VMM and Vlakwa can achieve this in a sustainable and structural way.

“Really solid collaborations are only forged when you’re collaborating on something with concrete goals.”

Today, we can say that this collaboration has often proved challenging, but something is being developed here that will endure in the long term, even after the project has ended. It’s my hope, and also my conviction, that even after the project, the partners will talk to each other more easily about their challenges and also initiate new collaborations.”

Koen Triangle (imec City of Things): “It’s our mission to help public authorities develop IoT applications for various policy domains. With Internet of Water Flanders, we were given a unique opportunity to deploy our technology and know-how and gain new insights into the specific needs of this sector. Such a measurement network doesn’t exist on an international scale either. We’re also eagerly looking forward to the governance that the partners will develop as the measurement network generates data on a daily basis.”

Piet Seuntjens (VITO): “In Flanders, we’ve never yet succeeded in bringing all these parties together for a project of this size. This is a challenge for every partner and certainly doesn’t happen by itself. This project also has to overcome (corporate) cultural barriers. Moreover, various studies on technological innovation have already shown that these cultural barriers often impede technological innovation. The Internet of Water Flanders also shows that sustainable collaboration takes time. But over time, you also get a lot back for the efforts made.”

Bernard De Potter (VMM): “Water is becoming increasingly central to social debate and policy. A platform that provides all the stakeholders with useful information for their challenges will be of great utility. But the road is long and not an easy one.”

“Collaboration between researchers, governments and companies is proving essential for building expertise that ensures international exposure.”

Bastiaan Notebaert (Vlakwa): “Internet of Water Flanders offers us the opportunity to put Flanders on the map as an exceptional water knowledge region. This project emanates from the image of Flemish water expertise, our know-how and our innovative products.”

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