• Water innovation
  • innovation

The diffusion of water innovation: a university perspective

Organization International Water Association
Author Mark Van Loostrecht
Year 2018
Topics Water & society
Level of action Water & Sanitation services/ Utility level


The diffusion of innovation remains a big challenge. This is as true for the dissemination of new policies as for technical innovation. Which are the technical innovations that have been rapidly adapted by water and sanitation practitioners and what are the lessons learned that can be applied to other, less successful innovations? What are the obstacles to the diffusion of innovation?

From the perspective of the university researcher, Professor Mark Van Loosdrecht illustrate how there is potential for water innovation when the curiosity and knowledge from researchers is matched by a felt market need by the water sector. Illustrated by cases, he talks about the success factors for innovative applications on the water field, as well as two major obstacles for water innovation.

Mark van Loosdrecht is Chair professor in Environmental Biotechnology within Delft University of Technology. He has been awarded the 2018 Stockholm Water prize, for revolutionizing water and wastewater treatment, leading to a new generation energy efficient water treatment processes. In specific, his research has led to the widely used Anammox and Nereda technologies for wastewater treatment.
He is also been awarded with the 2014 Spinoza Prize and the 2012 Lee Kuan Yew Prize. He is chief editor of the scientific journal Water Research and a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the Dutch and USA National Academies of Sciences