HYDREOS is the competitiveness cluster for the water sector in France's Grand Est region. It is a collaborative innovation accelerator for companies, R&D laboratories and local/regional authorities.
HYDREOS in numbers (2017)
- 150 members
- 100 projects accredited by the cluster since its creation
- 43 projects supported by the cluster since its creation have received a total of €63 million in funding
- 2010 : HYDREOS was created
HYDREOS supports water sector actors in:
- Collaborative innovation
- Growing their network
- Obtaining strategic information
- Expanding internationally
- Developing their skills
What is a competitiveness cluster?
A competitiveness cluster brings together companies, research laboratories and training establishments within an identified region and for a targeted theme in order to support innovation.
It promotes the development of particularly innovative collaborative research and development (R&D) projects.
It also supports the development and growth of its member companies, namely in bringing to market the new products, services and processes developed from research projects. By enabling the companies involved to take a leading position in their markets both in France and abroad, competitiveness clusters drive growth and job creation.
There are numerous strengths within a competitiveness cluster. All are crucial to the rise of dynamic ecosystems and wealth creators. They can be described as:
A competitiveness cluster relies on strong regional roots while drawing on existing structures (industrial fabric, campus, public infrastructure, etc.). Positive factors arising from growing the competitiveness cluster and its members’ potential result from the use of an urban development and land policy conducive to creating consistent growth for the industry, public research capacity Universities.
Source : competitivite.gouv.fr
Strategic business areas
HYDREOS operates in three strategic business areas:
Sustainable water infrastructure
- Smart water management
- Water treatment systems
Water management infrastructure is ageing in developed countries and generating a need for updated facilities, while in emerging countries there is a strong demand for initial infrastructure set-up.
This includes water networks as well as storage and treatment plant. Local management approaches based on more autonomous process are being developed alongside centralised systems with large networks.
Strong international competition means that equipment must deliver high performance results, have a good environmental footprint, be easy to implement, work with integrated systems (sustainable towns, integrated water/power management, etc.), suit the local situation and achieve the required standards.
Smart water management
- Process monitoring processes using water quality measurements.
- Developing profitable agriculture that protects water resources by using an approach adapted to the French north-east region’s situation.
- Substituting hazardous substances in contact with water or capturing them at the source, in conjunction with changes in European regulations.
Smart water management optimises resource consumption, avoids environmental, health and equipment impacts, and save money.
Even high performance equipment needs to be managed in order to achieve optimal water usage, as water use-related processes vary with time and space, and are highly sophisticated: diverse causes (e.g. diffuse pollution sources), interdependency of chemical, hydraulic and biological phenomena, user constraints, etc.
Optimal water usage relies on measuring those phenomena, modelling processes, managing data and involving users. Water management can only be smart when the people affected by the same issue collectively work towards new solutions. This creates opportunities in service trades as well as equipment supplies, in terms of habitat, industry and agriculture.
Wetland and waterway ecosystems
- Developing urban wetland and rivers ecosystems.
- Returning waterways and wetlands to their natural state using an approach adapted to the French north-east region’s situation.
Preserving ecosystems is a growing social requirement. As such, the development and management of aquatic environments and their biodiversity is growing at a rate of 10% per year in France.
Contracts are tied to regulations (Water Framework Directive, compensation for habitat destruction, etc.) and social issues (preventing floods and low water levels, protecting against erosion, thermal buffers, beautifying biodiversity reservoirs, refilling water tables, cleaning up pollution, etc.). Contracts governed by social issues also exist abroad, namely on the fringes of expanding urban zones.
In these settings, environmental engineering works through developing and maintaining habitats, and is adapted on a case by case basis by working with the region’s actors. It amplifies natural processes so the habitats can play the required role. It boosts biodiversity by enabling the social acknowledgement of the role of ecosystems.