The programme improved the competitiveness of the companies and research institutions in the sector, by activating the actors to cooperation in domestic and international networks, by coaching the actors in communication and pitching skills, by producing surveys and reviews of current themes in the sector, by increasing information dissemination and networking in numerous programme events and seminars, and by promoting the Finnish water sector in domestic and international media.
The projects have reported creditable results: domestic and international cooperation increased in companies and in research organizations, significant amount of new and improved products, services and business concepts, and changes made to operational strategies due to successful results. The companies participating to Water programme have estimated that the results of the RDI-project will have an influence to their revenue with an increase of about 1 billion euros by 2020. The majority of the increased revenue will be generated from export and the SME companies will have a significant share out of this. The benefits from the projects can be evaluated in more detail only after all the projects will be completed and will have reported their results to Tekes. About a half of the projects are still running at the time of Water programme completion at the end of 2012.
Water programme financed RDI-projects with a total of 49 million euros, amounting to 92 projects for companies (33,1 million euros) and 30 projects for public research organizations (15,9 million euros). The total volume of these 122 water sector development projects was 94,2 million euros.
Based on the content of the financed projects, some key knowledge areas were identified. The two biggest themes were water/wastewater treatment concepts and related technology, and so called water –ICT (Smart Water) that represents a large area of opportunities to solve various challenges and to rationalize operations in the water sector. It is foreseen that also the Finnish actors will have a significant role especially when cracking the global water challenges in these two areas.
Water programme mission and objectives that were set at the beginning of the programme have proved their relevance to guide the Finnish water sector to the right direction. Although water sector activities were clarified and enhanced during the programme, some of the development challenges identified at the beginning of the programme are still valid. Investments to knowledge and innovation development as well as to international cooperation are still needed in order to have the programme vision of successful Finnish water business in the global market materialized.
For further information
Mr Tuomas Lehtinen
Tel. +358 2950 55695
tuomas.lehtinen (at) tekes.fi