Joint Research Programme Incubator Function

Together with the water companies, KWR has defined various objectives for the Joint Research Programme, including the ‘Incubator’ function. The ‘Incubator’ function is directed at realising innovation in the Joint Research Programme. ‘Incubator’ projects are at the narrower and deeper end of the ‘funnel’ of exploratory futures research at KWR.

KWR and the water companies test promising developments and make them applicable for water companies (e.g. via lab tests and demonstration projects). ‘Incubator’ projects include more fundamental research and/or multi-disciplinary research to develop an understanding about the potential impacts of a specific development and to design new options and (technological) solutions. The more fundamental projects are also used to maintain ties with the partner universities in KWR’s network. To form the bridge between science and practice, KWR needs strong links with fundamental research at universities. In addition, incubator projects bring promising technologies from the labs and academic institutes a step further towards application in the water sector.

In the current Joint Research Programme, the ‘Incubator’ function is divided into thematic and integral projects.

Integral incubator projects

The subjects of recent integral incubator projects include:

  • Data Mining
  • Radical New Sources
  • Water quality maps
  • Resilient Piping Networks
  • Contaminants or Emerging Concern
  • Valorisation of research results
  • Summer droughts
  • From knowledge transfer to nudging
  • A complete picture of AC leaching thanks to CT scans
  • Water reuse and freshwater supply
  • Water-based epidemiology
  • Smart Water networks

Thematic incubator projects

The subjects of recent thematic incubator projects include:

  • Leaching and subsurface geo-chemical buffer capacity
  • Exploring “big water data” for smarter drinking water preparation
  • Nanostructures on pipe walls against regrowth
  • Citizen Science 2.0
  • Application of the MinION sequencer
  • Integration of non-target screening, statistical analyses and bioassays to globally asses chemical water quality
  • Possibilities for improving supervision and certification of seals for geothermal systems
  • Purification efficiency for micro and nanoplastics
  • Opportunities for collaboration between behavioural sciences and hydroinformatics
  • Characterization of biodegradable organic compounds
  • Implementation of bioassays at water companies