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Challenges for Water Usage in Global Industry

This research project began in 2011 in cooperation with Newtech and the Israel Export Institute and was designed to increase the competitiveness of the Israeli water industry in the world. The project aims to map industrial sectors that use large amounts of water, requiring innovative technological developments to reduce water consumption per unit of product, to allow the release of emitted water while preserving the environment, and to highlight the solutions to opportunities and needs that will enable businesses to grow and become more robust.

We looked at the global industries that are water intensive and where the barriers to their growth can be removed by applying innovative solution of water technologies. As an example, in the oil industry or gas production today, the need for the big amount of water inhibits the production of oil or gas from large potential new sites. Also in existing wells, deeper explorations require more water and it has become more expensive to produce the oil or gas from those sources when one of the main reasons for the high cost is the huge amount of water required for the process and the environmental care they require.

The project includes mapping water industries that can meet the defined challenges, linking industries to identified global challenges and initiating meetings with the companies involved, and holding dedicated training seminars. The study focuses on six sectors of water-intensive global industries that were identified as having growth barriers that require improvement and innovation in the field of water technology:

1) Gas and Oil
2) Mines
3) the pharmaceutical industry
4) Heavy metal processing
5) the semiconductor industry
6) Food Industry

The project aims to deepen the understanding of each industrial sector, and identify and map the different industry's needs, suggest market-focused solutions to Israel's water industries that will have a worldwide demand.

In addition, the three bodies, Newtech, SNI and the export Institute are working to identify local partners in the different target countries, to facilitate the penetration of water companies in industries that have been mapped. In each sector we recruited a consultant with practical experience.

Many consultants with expertise in various industrial sectors and the water industry worked together with members of the academe on the project.

Some of the research results were presented in the green table meetings, organized by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and the Ministry of Trade and Industry and Labor, as well as the Manufacturers’ Association. Additionally, the research findings were presented at Cleantech 2012 Convention in Haifa.

The first two chapters of the project, on industry oil and gas production and mining industry, were presented to the who's who of Israel's water industry conference held at the Institute of Export on February 7 2012, entitled: "the challenges of water in industry - leverage your technology". The conference was designed to create an open dialogue with the Israeli water companies and get their feedback and guidance to ensure that the study will really create a high business potential..

This research project main purpose is enhancing the Israel industry business and we have implemented it as part of our Center for Industrial Excellence policy applications.

The project was extended by Newtech at the Ministry of Economy for 2014 with a focus on expanding the sectors, and effective communication with the water industries, to provide innovative solutions by combining economies of scale, experience, and innovative technologies.