South African Network of Water Solutions Test Beds
There are a range of technology demonstration activities happening across South Africa, i.e. at different metros, utilities, state-owned entities and in the private sector. Some of these demonstrations are driven by individual partnerships between the user and the innovator. Other demonstrations are managed through intermediaries such as the Water Technologies Demonstration Programme (WADER), which has recently taken two important steps: i) it has launched a technologies communication and matchmaking website that aims to showcase emerging solutions in the water sector and connect innovators to demonstration opportunities; and ii) WADER and the WRC have launched a technologies co-hub with the Water Research Foundation (WRF) in the United States. This provides access to a wider scope of international technology and demonstration partnership opportunities. Both these opportunities can be streamlined and strengthened by identifying and consolidating a focused and activate network of national test beds
This led to the establishment of a South African Network of Water Solutions Test Beds. Test Bed facilities that are interested in forming part of the test bed network and directory are encouraged to complete an application form which summarizes the different types of information we draw on to discern a test bed. Specific information is collated about the test bed and its capabilities. Once the test bed is assessed and accepted, the test site information is posted on our publicly accessible directory. The directory and network facilitates the connection of researchers, new technology providers, funding agent and funding partners and other innovators in the water resources recovery industry with potential test facilities.
There are five (5) categories of test beds to be considered:
- Level 1: A university or research lab that can assist with bench-scale work but is not dedicated to piloting new technologies
- Level 2: A facility that is interested in innovation and willing to host a project, but does not have a dedicated test facility
- Level 3: A water solutions testing facility or research lab with a dedicated physical space available for piloting innovative water technology
- Level 4: A staffed facility dedicated solely to R&D/piloting of new technologies
- Level5: A municipality or entity that has the capacity, capability and experience to test community/service delivery oriented solutions in the field/in relevant communities”
It is crucial to consolidate the network of stakeholders that are conceptualizing, conducting tests or up-scaling test beds in various technology fields, as this will facilitate and highlight the opportunities to share relevant information on technologies and its commercial application in the market space. The purpose of the test beds itself is to:
- To develop nodes of technology demonstration competence around the country (routed in a municipal/utility partnership),
- To profile the technology learning at different sites,
- To consolidate the thematic focus of solutions testing at different sites that are best suited to particular types of demonstrations, and
- Explore the model for governing and interlinking these different learning sites and re-looking at a practical/hybrid centers of competence model.
Notably, this work lays the foundation to explore how public sector can more efficiently adopt and implement (at scale) new or innovative technologies. It also serves to map the way forward for the potential involvement of SMMEs in future.
NOTE: Locations on map are approximate
Please click here to view a facility and information of the pin to download its information in excel
Test bed facilities that are interested in being included in the network and directory should click on the link below to download the form and send email to firstname.lastname@example.org