Xylem – a water technology specialist – partnered with water consultancy Isle Utilities to sponsor a funding mechanism for water utilities to trial new technologies that could help cities address their water management challenges. The Trial Reservoir is open to technology vendors around the world, and will actively support trials in high, medium and low-income countries. The Trial Reservoir expects to fund its first utility pilots in the first quarter of 2022.
“Innovation and new approaches to water management will be essential for cities and communities to solve their increasing water challenges and decrease their carbon footprint,” said Sivan Zamir, head of Xylem Innovation Labs. “This fund will help lower one of the biggest barriers to deploying and scaling breakthrough innovations: the question of who pays for the trial. The fund, itself, is an important innovation. It’s a new approach to financing that lowers the economic risk of trying new technologies that can solve communities’ water challenges.”
The Trial Reservoir will provide water technology innovators access to capital for pilot projects, with an initial focus on technologies that reduce the carbon emissions of water systems. It will make a pool of funding available to early-stage technology companies, giving them the capacity to undertake trial deployments with water utilities. Both municipal utilities and industrial/commercial water users may apply. The funding will be replenished from the proceeds of commercial contracts, when the trials move to full-scale implementations.
“Xylem’s sponsorship of the Trial Reservoir does much more than just create financial capacity for innovation in water utilities,” said Dr Piers Clark, chairman of the Isle Group. “The Trial Reservoir brings together all the players needed to bring new technologies to market – utilities, investors, start-ups, nonprofits. By removing financial uncertainty, partnerships between utilities and innovators can focus on solving a community’s water challenges and getting new water technologies proven in the marketplace.”