Today we had the pleasure of welcoming representatives from South Africa and Zimbabwe who visit our region to experience and learn about a successful real life example of a triple helix cooperation. The delegation is in the Netherlands at the invitation of the Dutch Embassy in Pretoria and the Partners for Water Program, where they will make a study tour on the ‘Triple Helix’ approach for the improvement of urban water.
As a real life example of cooperation between governmental organisations, research institutes and businesses, a visit to the WaterCampus couldn’t be more interesting. The delegation was welcomed in our business centre, introducing them to our regional culture with a traditional Frisian pastry called ‘oranjekoek’. After a short ‘word of welcome’, Hein Molenkamp kicked off the day by giving a presentation about the ideas and cooperation behind the WaterCampus.
Since 2010, there have already been multiple collaborations in the water sector between Dutch organisations and the South African municipalities of Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town. As the representatives from South Africa already had some experience with the Dutch water sector, the main aim of this visit was to explore the possibilities for a triple helix approach in the South-African water sector. The objective for the Zimbabwean delegation was slightly different, as they had not been introduced to the Dutch water sector yet. Therefore, Manager Water at Harare Water Department Richard Kunyadini stated that he would be interested in the possibilities of a cooperation with the WaterCampus.
After the presentation, the group was guided to the Water Application Centre (WAC). A guided tour was organized, where the gathering could learn more about how the WAC facilitates business and educational institutes with infrastructure and equipment for research and testing activities. Following was a network lunch, where the attendees got a chance to ‘eat & meet’ with local entrepreneurs at the WaterCampus such as Hydraloop, Tauw and Wafilin Systems in order to meet the companies, brainstorm and think about possible collaborations in the future. Moreover, in this way, the delegates got a good understanding of how companies develop at the WaterCampus.