FinNode Global 2012 Smart Water Project, Phase 2
Short description of the topic
Evidence pointing to the growing global water crisis is widely reported, and the development and application of 'smart' solutions for water management in nations, communities and industries presents a rapidly expanding opportunity for Finnish water technology companies. In light of the later, the first phase of a global FinNode smart water project was approved in late 2011, and beginning in early January of 2012 and running through April 2012, a project team representing the five FinNode countries – China, India, Japan, Russia and USA - investigated the major water challenges and described relevant and interesting case studies for their respective countries. The case studies were selected based upon feedback obtained from the project's senior advisors and their constituent companies in March 2012. And both the challenges and case studies were presented during a futures ('signals') session on 20 April 2012.
The futures session identified the need to focus on innovative niche technologies and applications, where Finnish companies could be competive - e.g., remote monitoring, industrial water efficiency, etc. - as well as the need to identify potential value chain partners, both locally and internationally, that could facilitate market entry. Geographically the BRIC countries - China, India & Russia - were obvious targets, but there was also an interest in emerging niche markets, such as U.S. small city smart water applications as well as the wider international marketplace. The full details of the futures session and its associated discussion notes are posted on www.finnode.fi, and they are briefly summarized in the goals noted in the next section below.
Goal and strategic compliance
The goals of the second phase of this project are to:
•Target areas/niches within the respective FinNode Countries as well as the broader international smart water marketplace where Finns can be competitive - e.g., industrial water efficiencey, remote monitoring, water quality (arsenic removal), small city smart water applications, integrated turnkey solutions, etc.
•Define potential prospects that are relevant to the Finnish smart water offering based upon the expressed interests and capabilities of Finnish technology companies.
•Indentify potential alliance partners within both FinNode countires and the wider international marketplace as defined by the World Bank, etc.
This project fits into the National innovation strategy and with the strategic objectives of FinNode partners. The project team will coordinate their work with the Tekes Water Programme, Finnish Water Forum, VTT and other relevant and/or interested stakeholders - e.g., CLEEN Ltd., companies, etc.
Project Managers: Michael Lovejoy (Finpro USA), Inkeri Huttu (Tekes). Project Administrator: Maija Arelano (Finpro USA). Project Team: Tony Yao (Finpro China), Parikshit Shrivastava (Finpro India), Dharmesh Sharan (Finpro India), Sergey Chernega (Finpro Russia) and Annamari Paimela-Wheler (Finpro USA/PAS).
In line with the company interests expressed by Finnish water technology companies in the Finnish Water Forum's May 2012 kick-off meeting as well as feedback and observations from the senior advisors and FinNode Directors, the second phase of the FinNode smart water project will underteke a hybrid approach in order to both meet the FinNode foresight mission of looking at what kinds of ‘smart water’ opportunities will emerge 3-5 years into the future as well as to meet the interests of Finnish companies and other stakeholders.
The general tasks can be defined as follows:
•BRIC Countries (China, India & Russia): Conduct 3-5 year foresight analysis of emerging opportunities in each country's ‘smart water’ sector, identifying relevant projects in the early stages of feasibility analysis/planning, which match with the competitive capabilities of the Finnish smart water offering.
•World Bank Countries: Conduct 3-5 year foresight analysis of potential smart water applications that are relevant to the developing world, identifying 2-3 smart water hot spots and noting potential projects in those countries that are in the early stages of feasibility analysis/planning. [Note: Morocco, Tanzania & Vietnam have been suggested as targets; however, discussions with the bank may indentify better project opportunities in other countries.]
•USA: 3-5 year foresight analysis of smart water ICT technology trends, with special emphasis on potential solutions for small communities, noting opportunities to link with important international players.
The specfic tasks for each FinNode country and associated team member will be defined in June following feedback from the Finnish smart water technology companies.
At a minimum, the project team will define future opportunities within their respective geographic areas that are competively relevant to the Finnish offering and company interests and lay the ground for participating Finnish companies and their cooperation and supporting partners to the pursue future development of specific opportunities in the countries included in this study.
•Early-to-mid-June: Project Manager to gather feedback and opinions from Senior Advisors and other relevant parties in order to specify the project's overall research requirements that are relevant to both the FinNode mission and the feedback obtained from the companies participating in the Finnish Water Forum's 31 May kick-off meeting.
•Late-June: Organize virtual meeting with project team prior to the summer holidays in order to review the project's goals and research requirements for each FinNode country, including the World Bank in Washington, D.C.
•Mid-to-Late-October: Organize virutal workshop between project team and senior advisors for the purpose of reviewing preliminary findings and establishing the Future Session's presentation content and format.
•Early-December: Hold Futures Session and dessiminate observations and findings.
•Late-December: Establish next steps and deliver final summary report.
•Workshop presentation package in PPT format distributed to senior advisors and other participants in the October workshop.
•Futures Session presentation package in PPT format distributed to senior advisors and session participants, and subsequent session discussion notes posted to www.finnode.fi for public dessimination
•Brief summary report in word format will be prepared and posted to www.finnode.fi website and made available for distributions to the FinNode partners and their stakeholders.
•Senior advisors have been and will continue to be included from the following organizations in the Tekes Water Programme (Tuomas Lehtinen), Finnish Water Forum (Katri Mehtonen & Saija Vuola), VTT (Mona Arnold), Finpro Finland (Risto Huhta-Koivisto), Vaisala (Kimmo Ristolainen) and Pöyry Finland (Anne Salminen). Additional companies may be added - e.g., Keimira.
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