‘Connecting Science and Innovation with people and entrepreneurship’ was the central theme of this Wetskills event.
Location of the event was the Barapullah Drain in Delhi, where currently a research lab is established by the Dutch and Indian government, in a joint effort of IIT Delhi and TU Delft, for research on waste water and water re-use.
This lab is mainly the domain of researchers. The question is how this lab can be transformed into a so called ‘WETLAB’ that is connected to public and schools for awareness and education, and that is open for entrepreneurs to test new technologies. In such a WETLAB integrated solutions can be demonstrated and shared, for the clean up of the Barapullah Drain. And last but not least, this WETLAB could be a blue print for many other drains in India.
Winning team was ‘Leave none behind’, with their plan for citizens’ involvement in solid waste disposal. Congratulations! See below for the posters of all teams.
This Wetskills event was organised back to back with the Tech Summit in Delhi on 15 and 16 October 2019. The Tech Summit is a high-level event focusing on water, agriculture, health and ICT, with experts and high-level audience from business, government and knowledge institutes.
This Wetskills Water Challenge about the Wetlab of the Barapullah Drain is organised by Wetskills Foundation, Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science and Technology, Govt of India through Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), A Government of India Enterprise and is supported by case owners RVO (Netherlands Enterprise Agency) and The Embassy of The Kingdom of The Netherlands in Delhi. The cases are related to the WETLAB, the research facility of IIT Delhi and TU Delft, for research on waste water and water re-use.
Community involvement is a very important aspect for a successful clean up of a drain. Having just ‘end of pipe solutions’ isn’t enough if there is no awareness on water at a grass root level. Therefore communities have to become aware on what is happening at the drain, and learn more about the different aspects of water and circular solutions, that of course should fit in their daily needs. This is not just a matter of creating a physical attractive venue, but also finding ways of getting public involved (citizen science). How can the WETLAB become a dynamic place with public involvement to stimulate cleaning the Barapullah Drain?
Final Poster – Winning team!
The WETLAB is focusing on wastewater technologies and reuse. This is just one part of the puzzle. What other innovative technologies are needed to rejuvenate the drain: Technologies for monitoring & sensoring, removing solid waste, waste water technologies for upstream pollution control, technologies for climate adaptation like water storage and rain water harvesting? How can we design an integrated approach for rejuvenating the Barapullah Drain based on these aspects, and make it climate proof?
A WETLAB as testing facility could be inspiring to people of all generations. The current temporary venue of the WETLAB however, is not attractive to inspire citizens to come, although it is located in a green area, even marked as nature reserve downstream. How can the WETLAB become an attractive place for public and schools in the nearby area, so that they get a better understanding of water and circular issues? What kind of experiments could the WETLAB offer to the public, and how could the current venue be transformed into an attractive “experience center”?
A WETLAB testing facility is a great vehicle to stimulate applied research, leading to development of new products, marketing these products and creating start-ups. Also existing businesses can use a WETLAB to test and pilot their technologies in practice. There are many examples worldwide, showing how such a testing facility can work, under which goals and circumstances. How can the WETLAB at the Barapullah Drain create such an atmosphere, so that Indian, Dutch and European companies will come over to the site and start piloting and testing?