Digital water management
Digital technologies can also help to increase the efficiency of water use and improve the data and qualitative and quantitative information basis for regional water resource management. In the future, remote sensing data may help to provide higher spatial and temporal resolution of water-quality models. This could improve anticipatory control of storage and treatment plants (quantitative), safety measures in case of accidents and the monitoring of discharges (qualitative).
Water supply and disposal can also be ensured if plants operate according to demand under flexible framework conditions. The expert network for chemical engineering and biotechnology in Germany, DECHEMA, promotes the use of digitalized model-based optimization systems in industry as one way of achieving the desired results.
In its report on “Opportunities and challenges of interconnections of systems in water management (Water 4.0)”, the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) expects e.g. that optimization and consumption control measures will be mainly implemented in industrial water management. At the same time, for municipal water supply systems, smart meters are being touted as an integral component in integrating private households into holistic regional and/or municipal urban management concepts. Standardization processes are already underway. These technically practicable approaches dovetail with numerous ongoing projects on smart grids and smart meters at the EU level. In Germany, the W-Net 4.0 joint project, funded by the Ministry of Research (BMBF) to the tune of around 1.6 million euros, aims to combine geo-information, simulation and data analysis tools in a secure, easy-to-use web platform. The ultimate goal is to provide water supply companies with significant added value and to make improvements in digitalization.
There are interconnections between regional water resource management, urban infrastructure, and the planning, construction and management of buildings and green spaces. Tackling the future challenges in an unstable environment requires an integrated approach that considers all sectors, including municipal and industrial water supply and treatment, spatial planning, green construction and agriculture. New production processes and digitalization are the order of the day. Germany stands out in this field with a solid industrial base, strong public support, experience in digital innovations in industry and water, and ongoing research. New players can expect a fertile ground for cooperation and development.
Financing and incentive instruments
Developing and implementing new solutions requires the public and private sectors to work hand in hand. This is why strong support is available to enterprises considering investing in sustainability in Germany. The federal government spent approximately EUR 1.5 billion in 2019 on R&D in the field of climate, environment and sustainability.
Companies that are planning to establish a facility in the promising German market can take advantage of a wide range of financing and incentive instruments. Direct grants and other instruments, such as public promotional loans, public guarantees and equity capital, can reduce investment costs significantly in designated support areas.
Visit www.gtai.de/incentives for a wide range of information on the incentives and funding available.
Support is on hand for new market players
An expansion in Germany offers innovative foreign companies a range of potential growth areas. Germany’s national economic development agency, Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI), offers free support for companies planning to expand to this promising market. GTAI’s industry experts Flérida Regueira Cortizo (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Anne Bräutigam (email@example.com) are happy to discuss how you can grow your sustainable business in Germany. Just e-mail them to arrange a call.