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 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).
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.
This led to the establishment of a South African Network of Water Solutions Test Beds. 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.
There are five (5) categories
of test beds to be considered:
A university or research lab that can assist with bench-scale work but is not dedicated to piloting new technologies
A facility that is interested in innovation and willing to host a project, but does not have a dedicated test facility