Matchmaking for water solutions at high-impact marketplace event

Water industry challenges and solutions will take centre stage at the inaugural Australian “Innovate 4 Water” marketplace in Brisbane and online on Aug 5-7.

Held by Waterpreneurs in 7 cities since 2017, “Innovate 4 Water” is a multi-stakeholder, curated and outcome-oriented marketplace event. 

Over two days the event will bring together representatives from water utilities, water assets, industry solution providers and vendors, investment financiers, accelerating the process of matchmaking real industry challenges with actionable, investment-ready ideas.

Andrew Best, Innovation Development Lead (Asia Pacific) at International WaterCentre said “In Australia many technologies have looked overseas to access equity funding or have simply been unable to get traction because there are fewer opportunities here in a conservative market.”

“International WaterCentre are very excited to bring this model into Australia for the first time together with Waterpreneurs. Outcomes from hosted events have made a lasting impact on the water nexus in those regions from increased visibility of solutions for communities and end users, and partnerships that create stronger networks in the ecosystem,” says Best.

Best says the event fills a massive gap in the water innovation marketplace by making investment-ready solutions more accessible. 

“Our participants come with a practical and solution driven approach. We have a robust process in the lead-up to help them be prepared with a need or solution to be presented in the marketplace. We are focussed on impactful local solutions that can be implemented effectively.”

Nicolas Lorne, Waterpreneurs President and Co-founder, said the idea for the event is to activate meaningful connections and facilitate trust within the local water sector. Each “Innovate 4 Water” marketplace is co-organised with local organisations to ensure that it has the most impact within the region it is held.

“The idea behind the marketplace is to navigate through silos in the water ecosystem, build bridges between the private sector and industry stakeholders, and scale existing solutions,” said Lorne.

“By holding these events locally, we can activate local connections and accelerate projects. We have seen that local participants very quickly progress the discussions about the project, financing and next steps which usually happens at a much slower pace from larger conventions or general networking events,” he said.

‘Innovate 4 Water’ was originally planned as an in-person marketplace but now, adapting to Covid-19 restrictions, it will be a hybrid of live-streamed and in-person.

The marketplace is strongly supported by Trade and Investment Queensland and Office of the Queensland Chief Entrepreneur, as well as many other organisations including GHD, BHP, Water for Women, Australian Water Partnership, Australian Aid, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Water Utilities Australia and WaterStart.

For more information or to register for the event, go to https://innovate4water.net/brisbane-2020 or contact Andrew Best on +61 408 862 076 or a.best@watercentre.org

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