VITO is a leading European research and consultancy centre in the areas of cleantech and sustainable development. The Flanders Knowledge Center Water (abbreviated to VLAKWA) is an independent department within the water unit of VITO. VLAKWA helps to find solutions for water problems. To achieve this, several national and international water projects are being initiated and coordinated. VLAKWA also facilitates partner matching, demonstration projects and knowledge transfer.
VLAKWA's Innovation Chaser
Charlotte Boeckaert is project coordinator within VLAKWA and is the innovation chaser for Belgium in the WTN project. Charlotte also supports the development of the test facility database and shapes the innovation challenges. Ghent University and De Watergroep are also (sub)partner in this project. Both offer a test location and will support SMEs with the tests on their site.
VLAKWA fully supports water related innovation. With this project, they hope to speed up the market uptake of new water technology. By offering test locations, the company hopes that SMEs can test, demonstrate and validate their innovation in full and gain confidence to launch their new product.
The Belgian test facilities
In Belgium, 2 test locations are put available for the WTN project. The first site is the drinking water production site De Blankaart owned by De Watergroep. On this location, drinking water is produced from surface water. The site is suitable for testing technology related to dephosphatation, eutrophication, brine, sludge dewatering, coagulation and the removal of sulphates, nitrates and NOM.
The second site is VEG-i-TEC owned by Ghent University. The latter is currently under construction and will be open for testing by 2021 onwards. The site mimics vegetable processing processes such as washing, cutting, blanching and freezing. Different raw water sources are present and can be treated to suitable process water. Also wastewater from the different process steps can be collected and treated. Awaiting for the VEG-i-TEC delivery, VLAKWA can assist in selecting suitable food related test sites viewing it’s good contacts with the Flemish food industry (e.g. potato, vegetables, meat, dairy).