Water Journal : Water Journal June 2015
water June 2015 48 workshop reports Young Water Professionals WorkshoP and Breakfast By Robbie Goedecke, NRC President The YWP program at Ozwater is always a highlight as it brings together the next generation of water industry professionals to share their knowledge and explore how changes in social, economic and environmental conditions play a role in future industry decisions. The workshop was held on the Monday afternoon prior to the official Ozwater program, allowing Young Water Professionals the opportunity to attend the technical streams. The theme of this years’ workshop was ‘Megatrends and Strategic Directions for the Water Industry’ and we were fortunate enough to have Matt Pearce, Director of Management Consulting, KPMG, speak about his recent work undertaken in partnership with water utilities across the country. Matt provided some background to megatrends that already exist in society and then offered examples of future megatrends that have the potential to impact on the way water utilities conduct their business. Megatrends thought to impact on society were split into three key themes: changes in the individual; changes in the physical environment; and changes in the global economy. One of the key conversations raised was around public debt and the ability for governments to be able to meet future growth in water resources. The rise of the individual brought forward multiple discussion points around how changes in technology and access to information may change the way business is undertaken, and the need for water utilities to adapt. Due to an uncertain future, Matt highlighted the importance of undertaking scenario analyses to reaffirm some of these societal changes on a consistent basis. As such, water utilities must consider moving towards a more proactive, agile and customer-focused business and operating model. Other speakers at the workshop included: • Jerome Moulin, the Australian Water Association’s Industry Innovation Programs Manager, who hosted a discussion on future innovations required within the water industry to enable greater productivity, and sought input from the attendees as to particular themes that could be considered prior to releasing the next round of innovation platforms within the Association; • Scott Morath, Head of Water & Environmental Business, Jacobs, who provided an overview of his career working within the water sector and encouraged participants to find the right opportunities to grow their career within the industry; • Geoffrey Gray, the Australian Water Association’s National Manager – Industry Development, who gave us an update on the Professional Development/Accreditation scheme currently being rolled out to members. As such the workshop was used as a trial to facilitate the accruing of points for those attending the workshop. A breakfast was held the next morning to introduce participants to the five innovation pitch winners selected as part of the Water Innovation Forum held in March. Thanks to Jacobs for their ongoing support with this program. innovation WorkshoP By Jerome Moulin, Australian Water Association Keeping pace with its comprehensive innovation agenda, the Australian Water Assocation’s Innovation Workshop was an opportunity to find out more about the role of innovation and the embedment of innovative approaches in a range of organisations. The session was also a platform to introduce the Australian Water Assocation’s industry innovation programme, which includes: • Innovation Incubator Program: This 12-month schedule of activities aims to facilitate and accelerate the adoption and commercialisation of novel water technologies. Aligned with Australia’s major water events QWater (Brisbane, November 2015), Water Innovation Forum (Sydney, August 2016) and Ozwater’16 (Melbourne, May 2016) the program is specifically designed to give innovators exclusive access to the most relevant and influential industry representatives and investors across three major markets and through tailored business-to- business meetings and pitching opportunities. • The Water Innovation Forum: The Water Innovation Forum and Exhibition provide a platform to share water innovation and provide a showcase of best practice solutions that can be adopted by Australia’s water-using industries. The Forum is an opportunity to identify needs and future challenges, and develop solutions that could help address those, encouraging collaboration and the development of new technologies. The exhibition provides the right environment for innovators to display their products to potential buyers and investors. • Innovation Webinars: A series of focused webinars to provide Australian water sector access to international innovation know-how and expertise. • Innovation Challenge: Through an online platform and open to all with no eligibility restriction, the Australian Water Assocation’s Innovation Challenge calls for entrepreneurs and established companies to enter their most innovative water technology solutions to transform the sustainability of communities and businesses, in Australia and around the world. • The National Industry Water R&D Roundtable: The National Industry Water R&D Roundtable aims to build improved co- operation and collaboration between industry and the research community by sharing information on R&D projects, results and new R&D opportunities based on industry needs. The workshop also offered an opportunity for the winners of the pitch session at the Water Innovation Forum (Sydney, March 2015) to present their products to a wider audience (those winners are outlined in a separate report). The five companies each had seven minutes to pitch the key benefits of their technology. Following the pitch session, Simon Cashion, Manager, Research and Commercial Development at the Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence, Michael Scott, Manager Water and Environment at GHD and Anthony Gibson, General Manager at IXOM (formerly Orica Chemicals), each gave a short presentation to provide an insight into the role of innovation in their organisation.
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