The knowledge enterprise KWR
KWR generates knowledge to enable the water sector to operate water-wisely in our urbanised society. At KWR, we have a sense of professional and social responsibility for the quality of water. Our scientific findings and the resulting practical innovations contribute, worldwide, to a sustainable water provision in the urban water cycle.
Bridging Science to Practice
‘Bridging Science to Practice’ is KWR’s motto. Our researchers work at the interface of science, business and society. Their strength lies in their translation of scientific knowledge into applicable, practical solutions for end-users in the Dutch and international water sector. We have built a solid reputation as top-level innovation accelerators and international network builders, and increasingly play a coordinating role in national and international collaborations.
Our global, European and national ambitions, which are further explained in our mission statement, have been translated into 5 KWR research programmes that make a concrete contribution to this:
To make this water-wise world possible, KWR wants to build bridges between science and practice at all these levels. This is the only way we can realise technical and social solutions. We consider water in the broad context of the Water-Energy-Food Nexus. The Circular Economy is already leading in many of our research initiatives. KWR’s ambition is to be at the forefront of scientific solutions to global water issues, both nationally and internationally, through high-quality and excellent research.
The basis of the research at KWR is the Joint Research Programme (BTO) for the drinking water companies. The aim of the BTO is to carry out exploratory work in the above-mentioned themes and implement these in the individual water companies’ own practice and with added value for the collective sector. A subject from one of the themes can also be applied to one’s own practice to gain experience (launching customer).
KWR stems from Kiwa, a certification institute for water pipe articles, established in 1948. Initially, the drinking water research was carried out in Rijswijk. In 1973, premises were purchased in Nieuwegein, close to the Lek canal, where the ‘detective’ work started: research into the acute and chronic toxicity of surface water. This formed the basis for the present KWR. In 2006, KWR became an independent entity, with the Dutch water companies as its shareholders. On 18 September 2015, the Dutch Minister for Infrastructure and the Environment, Schultz Van Haegen, inaugurated today’s KWR building, ushering in a new age of greater collaboration, knowledge sharing and innovation. In 2016 we got our first foreign shareholder, the Belgian De Watergroep.