Year Review 2021

  • 108
    Peer-reviewed articles
  • 75
  • 34
    International colleagues
  • 7971

Working together is the way forward

Co-makership will help us create better solutions

2021 was a year of achievements despite difficulties, and I am grateful for and proud of how we all at KWR weathered the storm and emerged more resilient and stronger. The ongoing pandemic has affected how we work and live for the second year running. At KWR, we remained committed to ensuring our colleagues’ health, safety, and well-being. We continued implementing extensive safety and hygiene protocols in line with the governmental regulations. We adopted physical distancing and invested in enhanced digital infrastructure and security measures. To enable our people to work safely from home, we invested in home office equipment, thus ensuring our colleague’s well-being and continuity of work. These efforts were rewarded by this year’s employee survey results showing increased scores for job satisfaction compared to the previous surveys.

Solid financial performance

We achieved a solid full-year financial performance, resulting from our effort and commitment to deliver value to our partners and clients. The impact of our research and innovation resulted in revenue growth of 7,7% compared to 2020. Our ability to attract the best talent in a highly competitive market resulted in an employee growth rate of 6,8%. Due to that growth and associated costs, our expenses were also up 5,2%, reaching levels comparable to before the pandemic.

Long-term strategy

In 2021, together with our stakeholders, we developed our new long-term strategy for 2021-2030, focusing on the vision of a water-inclusive society in which KWR contributes to the realisation of resilient water systems for current and future generations. Key concepts embedded in many of our current and future initiatives are circular economy, healthy people and the environment, biodiversity and citizen engagement. Building on our strong position in drinking water science and innovation, we work in a broad societal context of the water-food-energy nexus to bridge science to practice in the entire water cycle. Such an ambitious vision comes with elaborate goals: to maintain and improve water quality and access to water; to improve biodiversity, and to facilitate digital transformation in the water sector. These goals cannot be achieved by KWR alone but require top-level cooperation with partners and clients, both nationally and internationally.


If there is one thing two years of living with COVID-19 has taught us, it is that working together towards a common goal is the only way forward. This applies to overcoming the effects of a pandemic as well as finding answers to the complex challenges the water sector and the world are facing. Working together towards a common goal is also a basic definition of comakership, our preferred approach at KWR.

Creating solutions together

Last year tested our resilience and determination in striving for research, innovation and impact excellence. The pandemic often complicated the processes of connecting with our partners and co-makership, but we succeeded in finding new ways and technologies to bring the right people together and create the solutions the water sector needs. I urge our partners to continue working with us and develop further our co-makership model so we can develop more resilient water systems for the generations to come.

Dragan Savic

Dragan Savic

Also view our previous Year Reviews: 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015
+ Read more

The strenght of KWR

Facts & figures 2021

Selection of news from 2021