As part of the ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ (MoU), signed today (December 21), a framework enabling companies and research organisations from the two countries to work closely for domestic and international tenders and research projects has been set up. It is hoped this will lead to projects which will boost each country’s economies.

It is also anticipated the agreement will facilitate greater joint projects to develop new product applications and processes to be commercialised in the global market, as many of the technologies designed in Israel begin to make headway in the international market.

According to British Water, the partnership also comes as a direct result of Israel’s innovative approach to developing water technologies to help it better cope with water scarcity, which is rapidly becoming a worldwide concern, with figures from the United Nations suggesting that by 2030 almost half of the world’s population will be living in areas of “high water stress”.

Areas of common interest between the two countries, include water management technology, which increasingly uses ICT to aid water monitoring and fault identification; desalination, water reuse and the use of renewable energy sources in water purification, reclamation and desalination.

British Water technical manager, Ian Bernard, said: “The agreement with MATIMOP ensures both parties have access to some of the best technological solutions to implement in both the UK and Israel, and will also enable world leading experts in both countries to cooperate for European and international research, development and technical projects.”

Meanwhile, in the UK, the partnership follows the release of the Government’s Water White Paper, ‘Water for Life’, which sets out plans to reform the UK water industry and to meet increasing environmental and water stress demands.

MATIMOP executive director, Israel Shamay, added: “We are pleased to be working closer with British Water than we have worked with any foreign trade organisation before.

“The UK water sector is well respected internationally for its world-leading capabilities, solutions and services, making it the perfect partner to help commercialise and market Israeli innovation and R&D in this sector.”

According to industry experts, the global water industry is expected to grow rapidly during the next five years, with capital expenditure on water infrastructure increasing from US$90bn in 2010 to $131bn in 2016.

Minister for trade Israel Oded Distel, said: “This agreement is in line with the overall concept of smarter solutions for the water sector. We want to support the upgrade of water management technology in the UK. We have successfully achieved this in Israel by bringing in technology from other sectors.”

Carys Matthews

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