Unlocking Industry Innovation

30 January 2019
Two Scottish innovation centres help deliver North West Europe Water Test Network

Our Development Centre at Gorthleck, near Inverness

Two Scottish innovation centres help deliver North West Europe Water Test Network

Seven trials have been completed at Bo'ness facility

Two cutting edge Scottish development centres and a world-renowned research institute are at the forefront of an international drive to unlock innovation potential in the global water industry.

Experts from Scottish Water and the James Hutton Institute have teamed up to lead  the Water Test Network which also links specialists in Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and France.

Fourteen locations across North West Europe form the network of operational-scale facilities which allow pioneering technology to be brought to market-ready status quicker for the benefit of water users and consumers.

Our waste water and water development centres in Bo’ness and Gorthleck, near Inverness, provide  facilities to test and develop  processes and products under live conditions  in a safe and dynamic environment without  risk public health or safety. They are Scotland’s first full-scale testing facilities dedicated to supporting research and innovation in water and waste water treatment. 

The first trial to take place via the new network is due to start in February. Belgian company AcquaNovus will test their technology which deals with waste water contaminated with organic pollutants such as leachates from landfill sites and other industrial operations.

The James Hutton Institute will provide expertise in the area of laboratory testing, verification, accreditation and regulation as well as working with SMEs to improve their understanding of the market they aim to enter and prepare the ground for new technologies.

The UK’s role in the Water Test Network is being highlighted at the 5th annual Industrial Biotechnology for a Sustainable Future conference in Glasgow today and tomorrow. 

he conference provides a forum for the Scottish joint team to speak to hundreds of professionals, experts and academics and highlight the new innovation network.

Paul Kerr, of Scottish Water Horizons, our commercial subsidiary which operates the development centres, said: “Bringing bold new solutions to market that will benefit water users wherever they are will significantly enhance how we protect and enhance water quality and ensure our environment is safeguarded.”

Dr Richard Allan, of the James Hutton Institute, highlighted that the Water Test Network represents a unique partnership  focused on supporting small to medium businesses to accelerate their innovations to market.

He said: “For the first time industry and academic partners have created a network of assets that come under a common virtual campus and provide dynamic testing facilities tailored to the water sector ambitions.” 

The five-nation link-up was unveiled in Brussels in December and today marks the launch of the network in the UK.

To date there have been seven trials completed by Bo’ness (waste water treatment) and Gorthleck (water treatment). They have included trials by DeMontfort University and Californian company Microvi MicroNiche Engineering.


Read more news on our Development Centres

Read more about the work of De Montfort University Leicester

Find out more about the Water Test Network