Amane Advisors has conducted a survey among 64 senior water professionals to understand their views on innovation trends.

Based on conversations with industry peers, we pre-identified the growth sectors facing technology challenges. Result shows that sludge management has largest innovation needs, with the focus on salvaging value from sludge. In oil & gas sector, the innovation opportunities are identified to be in the advanced treatment, mainly driven by the tightening of regulation, public awareness and water scarcity.

Sludge management has largest innovation need given ROI opportunity

Sludge management:
With increasing sludge volumes and higher disposal costs, innovative solutions to gain value from sludge and reduce volumes are attractive

Desalination is expected to recover from 2015. Innovative desalination technologies are likely  the focus of innovation

Smart Water:
A rapidly growing market with broad innovation needs

Water in Oil & Gas and Mining:
In O&G, most innovation is predicted in advanced treatment (e.g. water reuse in EOR), while mining requires recovery technologies, desalination technologies for processed water

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Cost-focused, conservative water market is a challenge to expansion

To minimize risks for their clients, innovative water companies adapt new innovative business models such as performance based contracts and delivering technologies as a service.

To prevent having to compete mainly on price, it is important to define and clearly communicate the unique value proposition to your customers.

Question: What do you think are the main challenges facing companies in the water industry who want to bring innovative solutions to the market?

<h2>Israel and USA are perceived as the major innovative waterhubs</h2>
Israel and USA are seen as being the most prominent government supported innovation centers globally.

Netherlands is ranked second and Singapore a close third.

Question: <strong>Which country do you see as the centre of innovation for water? </strong>

<h2>Strong financial resources are a key strength of Japanese firms</h2>
One of Japan’s strengths is the role it can take as an equipment supplier, engineering firm or investor. Hence, it has the flexibility to participate in the water market through various business models (such as BOT).

Their main weakness is the understanding of local needs. To overcome this weakness, it is important to conduct market research to develop an in-depth understanding of customers’ needs prior to entering a new market. It also vital to find the right local partner to address informal barriers.

Question: <strong>What are the competitive advantages / weak areas of Japanese water technology companies when doing international business?</strong>

About our survey

We conducted a 5 minute online survey with 64 senior water professionals globally.

Companies interviewed include Operators, Developers, EPC, Equipment, Consultants, etc.