Agenda BlueTech Forum 2018

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Day 1 - Wednesday, 6th June 2018

Optional: Walking tour of Vancouver
Settle in by taking a scenic walk through the best of downtown Vancouver, featuring Stanley Park, the waterfront, historic buildings, and more. The tour offers a relaxing networking opportunity for all delegates.
Welcome Networking Event

BlueTech Forum welcomes delegates with a networking drinks reception in the heart of Vancouver

Day 2 - Thursday, 8th June 2018

Networking Breakfast Meetings

Connecting people is a value-add that BlueTech Forum can deliver through our extensive network of water industry contacts. Our team will also be available throughout the day to help facilitate introductions and meetings.

Welcome Address: Water Technology Markets – Key Opportunities and Emerging Trends

Hosted by Paul O’Callaghan, CEO, BlueTech Research

Paul will provide an introduction to the theme of this years Forum: Managing Water Risks in a Circular Economy, before showcasing a distillation of highlights from recent research reports on fast growth niche markets, rapidly evolving technology areas and emerging crises and market drivers.

KeyNote Address 1

A guest speaker will present a memorable keynote presentation on current issues surrounding the management of water risks in a circular economy.

The guest speaker will be announced in the coming weeks.

Water Technology Market Opportunities

Moderators will provide five-minute introductory primers on topical issues after which there will be a facilitated discussion. These interactive briefings will provide intelligence in an easy-to-digest format, setting the stage for informed discussions throughout the day and allowing you to interact with fellow delegates.

The format will consist of a chairperson and an expert contributor leading to lots of interaction and debate on the issues discussed.


Roundtable Topics will include:


1. Managing Cyber Security in an IoT World

As we begin to move towards a more integrated future with technology as the key driver, many businesses are still hesitant to utilise technologies such as the cloud for key data and control systems. With this, the raise of cyber risk as a growing menace has led to growing evidence of water utilities coming under increasing risk from both criminals and even state sponsored terrorism. Within this paradigm we explore the innovative technologies that are overcoming the new boundaries of thought, and we ask what practical steps can businesses and utilities take to safeguard facilities and customer details from cyber security risks?.

2. Removing more and more of less and less - opportunities in Advanced Oxidation for Micro-pollutant Removal

Hosted by Steve Gluck.

3. The role of AI in Membrane Technology

Hosted by Graeme Pearce

The rapid development of innovative membrane technologies particularly in nano-filtration, epitomises the way in which the physical, biological and digital spheres, are interconnected as result of the 4th Industrial Revolution, revolutionising the treatment of both industrial and municipal waste streams. Emerging membrane technologies are at the heart of the circular economy, resulting in safer water and wastewater treatment processes, while they are less expensive and less energy intensive.

Automation and sensors provide the next wave of innovation in membrane technology. We ask how the market is responding to this, what are the needs and challenges faced, and what are the risks for businesses looking towards AI in their membrane production.

4. The future of chemicals in water - smarter designer chemistry, on-site generation and chemical-free water technologies

Chemicals are vital parts of water treatment industry, encompassing, biocides, disinfectants, polymers, anti-sealants, coagulants. Chemicals are also key raw materials inputs into technologies such as polymeric membranes. The sale of chemicals is part of on-going operational costs and this recurring revenue makes up a significant part of the water value chain. At the same time there is a drive to create chemical free technologies or focus on technologies that enable on-site chemical generation. The Chairperson will open the discussion by mapping out the landscape and horizon of where BlueTech sees the next wave of opportunities are for the use of chemicals in water, including up-cycling of waste materials as raw materials into other sectors, resource recovery and recycling of alum, salts, optimised chemical dosage through sensors and AI. The Chairperson will also outline where there opportunities appear to be for chemical free-water technologies and on-site oxidant generation such as hydrogen peroxide, chlorine based oxidants and caustics. The opportunities for chemical free solutions, such as chemical free water softening, electro-coagulation will be outlined. Invited industry expert speakers will be on-hand to contribute different view points to the discussion.

5. The Salt-Brine Continuum Story - to ZLD … and beyond!

Hosted by Michael Mickley, TAG Member

6. The importance of the go-to-market strategy - its about the business model stupid

Hosted by Jeff Guild, Bluetech Research

Conversation starters include Romie, Basra, Wells Fargo, CleanTech Group

This table will explore the opportunities as well as barriers to rolling out alternative business models in water. BlueTech Research has analysed hundreds of water technology companies and increasingly, we see that business model innovation can be every bit as important as technology innovation. The two together, in the hands of a capable management team in a sector that is big enough, are common ingredients to success. BlueTech will open the discussion with examples of innovative business models that we have observed used to help companies access markets and scale their businesses. This can include lease based and water-as-a-service business models, water and energy supply and savings contracts, creative thinking around channel partners, licensing agreements, distributorships, unlocking finance to fund capital investment that leads to long term operational savings. Fathom has perhaps one of the most interesting examples of this where they leverage savings in customer billing, to free up capital to install smarter metering technology, which further reduces the billing costs and helps reduce unaccounted for water. This an example of financial catalysis to lower the barrier for change and help unlock value. Cambrian Innovations is another example of a company achieving success through a combination of technology and business model with its water and energy contracts. Ostara is an example of a company that was built on the premise of such a business model innovation, offering service based contracts to clients, off balance sheet financing and outsourced operation, with revenues building from fertiliser sales over time and revenue sharing with their clients from phosphorus resource recovery. Ten years on the reality to date has been that many Utility clients still prefer a straight equipment sales business model and approximately 10% of total revenues were from fertiliser sales in 2017. How widely applicable are such models, will the market adopt them, do they unlock portions of the market or are they just in their infancy and what we expect in the future.

Managing the increasing sludge volumes generated by municipal and industrial water and wastewater treatment processes is a major environmental challenge worldwide. By utilizing and extracting valuable bio-solids we explore the opportunities and advancements made for the reuse of biosolids in a circular economy.

7. Sludge Dewatering and Biosolids - Threats, crises and market drivers

Hosted by Bill Toffey

New technology and continual innovation means that sludge is now converted into a variety of valuable products which can be beneficially reused, saving vast amounts of time, energy and money previously spent on disposing of solid waste. Examples include, high-grade fertilizers, bio fuel for motor vehicles, heat energy and biogas. This revolution has created multiple opportunities within both the public and the private sector.

Managing the increasing sludge volumes generated by municipal and industrial water and wastewater treatment processes is a major environmental challenge worldwide. By utilizing and extracting valuable bio-solids we explore the opportunities and advancements made for the reuse of biosolids in a circular economy.

8. Future of BioTechnology in Water

Corporate leaders are now looking towards biotechnology as their innovative solution to sustainable business practice. Whether it’s to augment agricultural productivity, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, create an innovative disease therapy or diminish the use of pesticides, corporates are looking to meet today’s energy, food and environmental needs without compromising the Earth’s resources or its future. By detecting microbots that are able to motor around water samples, collect harmful pathogens like E.coli, degrade them and then remove them from the water without a trace, we can produce clean and safe drinking water.

9. Sensors for recovery of lost product

In line with the accelerated growth of cloud computing, ICT-based sensors and communication technologies can provide necessary (real-time) monitoring and control of water distribution systems. We discuss sensors for pressure and flow; speed up the water cycle and reduce water loss in the system in collaboration with communication infrastructure such as wireless sensor networks, GPS/GPRS, wireless LAN, and meter infrastructure. Cloud computing allows information from sensors to be combined with information on pricing, power consumption, water usage and more.

10. Buried infrastructure and asset managment - its where the money is

When Willy Sutton was asked why he robbed banks, and he answered, 'because that’s where the money is'. The same answer could be given to the question of why focus on buried infrastructure asset management. Water infrastructure is like an iceberg - the two thirds you dont see is where the bulk of the value is. The need to manage the asset replacement life cycle of buried infrastructure is opening up new types of business opportunities, such as various types of leak detection technologies, remote pipeline condition assessment, software based asset management tools that help to prioritise asset replacement schedules based on vulnerability and risk, asset rehabilitation technologies and solutions, such as pipe re-lining, robotics and advanced material science, are all leading to new opportunities in this area. This is an area where IoT, software, sensors, drones, robots and advanced material science find outlets in unusual ways. Oil and gas pipeline technologies can be applied and often are.

8. Produced Water Reuse: Trends in the Middle East vs. North America

For many oil and gas development and production projects, the development of water sources for enhanced oil recovery; provision and recycling of frac water; and management, treatment, and disposal of produced water create significant cost and risk issues. Cost-effective techniques for managing oilfield water require a comprehensive understanding of reservoir characteristics, production volumes, hydrogeology, engineering design, and environmental considerations. We explore the potential areas for opportunity, the risks associated, and the regulatory environments within this space.

11. Regulations and Policy

Regulations and enforcement of regulations or lack of enforcement are the key factors that drive and influence the adoption of water technologies.This discussion will focus on important upcoming policy and legislative drivers and discuss time-frames for impact.

12. Mergers and Acquisitions in Water

Hosted by Wade Miller

As an aspect of strategic management, M&A can allow enterprises to grow, shrink, and change the nature of their business or competitive position. We track the major, and the recent, merger and acquisition (M&A) activity within the water sector. Wade Miller will also present an overview of his findings, analysis and future sight from his recent M&A oriented report titled 'Analysis of Recent Mergers and Acquisitions Trends in the Water Industry: 2016 to mid-2017'.

13. Water Risk Tools - How do they compare? Do Investors care?

Hosted by Will Sarni

Networking Coffee Break
Innovation Showcase Technology Company Pitches and Roundtable Sessions.

The 12 Innovation Showcase companies will deliver a 1 minute pitch to help you decide which technology companies to focus on connecting with during the Innovation Showcase Roundtables. This session holds four rotations to ensure you get to visit your top picks.

Showcase companies to be confirmed.

Networking Lunch
Fireside Chat Interview
Keynote Address 2

A guest speaker will present a memorable keynote presentation on current issues surrounding the management of water risks in a circular economy.

The guest speaker will be announced in the coming weeks.

End User Innovation Needs Session

BlueTech will lead a session focused around the A-List Companies. This session will be in an interactive roundtable format meeting where industrial and utility end users will be invited to identify key innovation challenges in their businesses, the challenges they have and solutions required.

Corporate companies will outline industrial needs and challenges they face. This session will also detail their experience of working with technology companies and provide example case studies.

Companies in discussion with include:

PepsiCo, L'Oreal, Unilever, Nestle, Coca-Cola and Procter and Gamble.

Afternoon Networking Coffee Break
Keynote Address 3

A guest speaker will present a memorable keynote presentation on current issues surrounding the management of water risks in a circular economy.

The guest speaker will be announced in the coming weeks.

Closing Keynote Address

A special guest speaker will attempt to startle your way of thinking and take you on a journey of new discovery.

BlueTech Innovation Awards Ceremony

Companies taking part in the Innovation Showcase will receive nominations and votes from the Technology Assessment Group (TAG) to win one of two BlueTech Awards: Best Technology Innovation Award and Best Market Strategy.

Closing Networking Drinks Reception

BlueTech Research invites all delegate to join us for a last hoorah, offering a final chance to network before you head your separate ways.