Category Archives: waste-as-resource

Graphene Technology and Business is Here



The event set was billed as the Cambridge Graphene Technology Days 2015 (with a hashtag of #CGD15), with no fewer than six events taking place. The first day saw second CIR Graphene & GRMs masterclass, which was attended by 30 senior corporate executives at the West Cambridge Site, while in parallel a graphene technology showcase day ran, with internal CGC partner meetings held by the Cambridge Graphene Centre.
Within this showcase the CGC partners’ technologies and CIR exhibitors were arrayed together for a very exciting press event with the director of CGC on stage with the University of Cambridge Vice Chancellor Professor Leszek Borysiewicz FRS and the head of Engineering.
In the evening there was a dinner at Madingley Hall led by CGC for invited partners and for those who had attended the 2nd CIR Graphene Masterclass and were arriving to attend 3rd CIR Business Conference the following day. 80 delegates attended the dinner, around half each from CGC and CIR.
The third CIR Graphene Business Conference for 100 businesspeople was held on the second day. This followed an inaugural series of events, including the CIR Graphene business conference (which was also held in Cambridge, in November 2013), and other CIR Graphene events in May 2014 and February 2015. An excellent audience of delegates enjoyed entertaining presentations on stage, as well as four panel question-and-answer sessions, and networking opportunities at the exhibition space, where around 40 companies were on show.
There were 20 talks throughout the day, from academics, dignitaries, large MNC business leaders in space, defence, oil and gas and steel, and scale-up materials solutions providers like Haydale and FlexEnable, and later interesting talks from venture capitalists, economists and intellectual property firms. Speakers were highly praised in feedback surveys of attending delegates by CIR.
2nd CIR Graphene Masterclass
During the masterclass, the application projects of large firms and scale-ups were discussed among 30 graphene senior corporate executives with CIR Leader Nick Coutts and colleagues in the context of value network analysis and ‘Routes to Value’. This latter is a rigorous strategic method being used by large companies to ensure that projects are within a process that connects them explicitly with the objective and values of the business (including culture) as constraints. This pioneering method that could help with scale-up gaps, enable large companies to bring in graphene material enhancements and services to add enormous value to the development of application markets.
Dr Justin Hayward, Director of CIR, said: “I am delighted that Cambridge Investment Research was able to organise complementary events within the Cambridge Graphene Tech Days 2015 event-set alongside the Cambridge Graphene Centre at this special time for the centre and for graphene, in particular, providing a highly business-focused aspect.
Sessions at 3rd CIR Graphene Business Conference
In the first session on 6 November, the director of the Cambridge Graphene Centre argued that graphene is the future of communication and will become better than silicon by 2024. The vision here is to integrate modulators and photo-detector with graphene. A transceiver prototype with graphene will solve the problem of heat that is insoluble to Moore’s Law for data storage and transmissions with current materials.
Following this, the Rt Hon the Lord Alec Broers asked whether graphene is the biggest achievement of the 21st century – comparing it with other areas on the USA’s ‘Grand Challenges’ list, including: solar technology; fusion energy; carbon sequestration; solve nitrogen cycle (whereby the pollution issue here is seen by many as more tangible and urgent than global warming issues); clean water; restoring urban infrastructure; engineering better medicine; enhancing virtual reality (flexible and wearable electronics); preventing nuclear catastrophes; secure cyber space; personalised learning; and revere engineering the human brain.
The next presentation, by IfM’s Professor William O’Neill focused on ‘manufacturing landscape and drive for impact’, in which he argued that there is a manufacturing economy in the UK, and, moreover, that UK manufacturing is high value manufacturing.
O’Neill also revealed that 85% of R&D finance in the UK comes from manufacturing companies, but that there is a missing connection between lab R&D and alpha level production technologies with large scale manufacturing. Furthermore, he added, while the UK government invests a lot in R&D, thereby creating great research, “this is just an expense, and we need to add value by delivering technologies through companies.
The Keynote speech by Haydale’s CEO, Ray Gibbs, argued that the current market analysis on graphene is wrong and is very hard to predict. He also discussed the significant market for composites, as well as the large markets for Graphene materials, but these, he said, are mostly conservative and highly regulated. He therefore underlined the need to instead to look (at least initially) to the currently unregulated markets: boats, wind energy, pipes, and rails.
Industrial challenges.

For Ray Gibbs, the industrial challenge lies in proving production is repeatable, consistent and cost effective, and he called for immediate and better standardisation so as to create “consistent quality and value; and a price good for stakeholders.”

The next Keynote speech, delivered by focused on issues in the aerospace and defence sectors, with the lifecycle costs being highlighted as a particular area for consideration, as well as areas such as fuel consumption, graphene’s anisotropy, (channelling heat, heat dissipation & spreading), graphene’s use in a fusion power cell which could be a solution for completely silent electric airplanes, as well as an underlining of the importance of reliability and safety and certification.

This presentation posited the following as the main issues and R&D directions for aeroplanes: propellers in rotors, energy storage, structures, shielding (objects, RPG, radars, lighting, etc.), optics (lasers, receivers, lenses, and mirrors), displays (wearable electronics, flexible electronics), and ice prevention and de-icing.

Concerning satellites, the main issues and R&D directions were revealed to be: solar arrays (there is a lot of solar radiations to harness; PV cover glass could be made thinner and lighter using graphene), multilayer insulation (thermal shield), structures, antenna and mechanisms (higher conductivity needs), shielding, and optics (laser communications).

During the second session, speakers from a large global industrialist firm delivered a further keynote on graphene applications on steel for energy storage, an important area due to the fact that corrosion is a significant problem for steel, a material which can enable a large-scale implementation of energy storage tech.

The speakers outlined the applications of steel in energy storage thus: building integrated PVs (functioning coatings on steel for buildings, which are active, capture and then store thermal energy in phase material); batteries (electroplated steel cans, electrodes and casing); fuel cells (usually gold plated stainless steel bipolar plates but should be made cheaper, possibly with graphene); and supercapacitors (mostly aluminium and copper but steel for casing).

They then turned their attention to the performance improvement required for steel: good, electrical conductivity; electrochemical stability (corrosion prevention); thermal conductivity (high power devices); and formability and strength – tribology.

Regarding the replacement of gold for coating in LC steel, it was argued that the industrial challenges include scaling up – e.g. pilot line roll to roll to large scale, scale graphene coatings to cover that in which the steel industry operates, which is enormous; and the ability to coat millions of square metres with tonnes of the material with speeds of up to 100m/min – this, they said, would save billions by fighting corrosion

The presentation by Nanocarbon asked why it is better to do Graphene transfer in the lab instead of involving third parties, and posited the following reasons: it is safer (there is no need to share details of applications), it is faster (full control), it is cleaner (full control, no carriers issues), it is cheaper, and you learn and optimise.

Cambridge Nanosystem’s presentation explored the transformation of methane into graphene powder, as well as atmospheric plasma to break difficult and stable molecules like methane, CO2 and other carbon-based molecules. Hydrogen is produced as a byproduct of this process undertaken to create graphene powder, explained Dr Krysztof Koziol, which also has uses.


The third session included a speech by Novalia’s Dr Kate Stone, who discussed adding interactivity to print and how paper with interactive surfaces could revolutionise the digital world, while OCSiAl’s Will Riches discussed an industrial scale facility for single wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs), focusing in on touch screens, paint and coatings, lithium battery, and polymer composites.

Dr Gun-Soo Kim from Standard Graphene (which emerged from Samsung), then spoke about how graphene flakes stand to lead the market, before a keynote speech by FlexEnable’s Dr Paul Cain discussed ‘bringing any surface to life’ – from those which are wearable to those found in the automotive sector.

The fourth session included a focus on the intellectual property landscape with regard to graphene by Marks & Clerk’s Mash-Hud Iqbal, who described patent families globally by geography and sector and over time to 2014. Later, BP’s Sheetal Handa delivered a keynote address on the challenges in the oil and gas industry, focusing on sub-sea extraction and the various materials needed, as well as oil pipe transportation and problems with the various materials (sand, oil, water, condensation, and welding) that are in the pipes (i.e. surface interactions), and the idea that applications for 2D materials will mostly be in corrosion resistance, surface treatments, deposits and fouling, self-repairing systems, and separations.

Indeed, according to Handa, nanomaterials in (titanium based) lubricant oil result in 40% less friction, and because the pipelines used are extremely long (thousands of kilometres), are located in remote, hot/cold conditions, have several phases of material pass in great volumes, and produce large amounts of unwanted material and erosion etc., less friction is a necessity.

Handa revealed that, for BP, 2D materials have numerous positive uses, including: corrosion resistance, surface treatment, deposits & fouling, self-indicate damage, and against bio films formations in pipes, low wear friction, and offshore pipe work.

Handa concluded that BP is now working to develop sensing technologies to help solve the mystery of why composites fail in order to facilitate a wider roll-out of these materials.

The event was thus a success, with a wide variety of stakeholders coming together to share their views on both the uses and limitations (and only by highlighting these can we hope to overcome them) with regard to graphene and other 2D materials.

For more information about the next conference and executive briefing with master class in this programme please see: Delegates who have attended earlier graphene festival events are offered discounts.


August News – Cambridge GrapheneTechDays 2015

We welcome you all!

Who Should Attend? 


Why attend? Pricing

Sponsors & exhibitors marketing | Click for detailed info and pricing

Sponsor Credits: Haydale plc (Lead) FlexEnable (Co-Lead) CGC (Co-Lead) Marks & Clerk LLP (Gold)

The Cambridge Graphene Tech Days 2015 is a leading festival of events over two days for networking and learning more about the latest advances in commercialising Graphene and related materials  in sectors such as electronics, displays, energy storage, composites, packaging, aerospace & defence and automotive.

Airbus & BP will give new presentations on the challenges for Graphene Solutions Providers in their set of industries and will be joined also by other global conglomerates.

The special programme of events will be held mainly in Cambridge’s newly-opening Graphene Building: with an exhibition of technology and tours of new labs as well as a media event, conference and a fine Hall dinner. The expert-led MasterClass covering the value network srtructure and barriers & application prioritisation offer enormous added value to corporate executive leaders.

Introduction from Dr Justin Hayward, CEO of CIR and Co-Director of Cambridge Graphene Days 2015
It is an honour to have the chance to bring together such excellent industrial and entrepreneurial growth companies in the graphene and GRM sector with Cambridge University and its new Graphene Centre Building Hub. Cambridge is perhaps the top global university across all key measures such as teaching and research. It is also home to a burgeoning technology cluster. Great companies have been born & grown to billions in the 25 years that I’ve lived here, but now multinationals also regularly come to have a base in Cambridge to find excellent research, engineering & coding staff, partnerships with top academics and other outsourcing and learning with many other players offering services in the tech cluster. I look forward to an inspiring couple of days of events.

Ray Gibbs, CEO of Haydale commented ”The Cambridge hub is one of the pre-eminent places to go for the highest quality science and application skills. As a leading technological solution provider to this rapidly evolving market sector it made great sense to support this centre of excellence covering graphene and related nano materials, . We believe the conferences and workshops at the Cambridge Graphene Days will showcase the adoption and use of the graphene materials in real products. Haydale’s functionalised graphene technology already is providing ground breaking benefits to organisations involved with composite materials, conductive inks and next generation battery technology”.

Chuck Milligan, CEO, FlexEnable commented ”The relevance of graphene and graphene-like materials to flexible electronics for displays and sensors is clear, and we are proud to be co-sponsors of the Cambridge Graphene Days event – and the opening of the Graphene Building in Cambridge. We believe that our unique manufacturing processes for flexible electronics, together with the exponential growth expected in the flexible display and IoT sensor markets, provide enormous opportunity for this exciting class of materials.”

Professor Andrea Ferrari added “We are very much looking forward to our Cambridge Graphene Technology Day on the 5th of November, when we will showcase industrial applications of graphene and related materials. We are also excited to be hosting high value manufacturing-oriented meetings on the site of the Cambridge Graphene Centre”

To learn more about the Cambridge Graphene Technology Days 2015 please visit

Book now!

Smart Grids & Cleanpower 2013 – Cambridge conference gives global insights

A “cracking” day was had by over 100 senior delegates at the 5th Smart Grids & Cleanpower Conference Expo 2013 in Cambridge last week. Over 33% of the delegates took a survey & all spoke highly of the event. The conference was sponsored by local giant ARM Ltd.

Gold Sponsors Anglian Water and Hitachi Europe gave talks. In total there were nearly 40 speakers and moderators across the two streams. There were 7 panel sessions and 3 hours of networking and exhibition.

Pilgrim Beart, Founder Director of AlertMe Ltd, was voted the best speaker by over a third of delegates, giving a talk on Simplicity for the smart home, with Keith Clarke of ARM Ltd in second place with their vision of global connected intelligence.

Organiser and principal consultant at CIR Strategy Ltd Justin Hayward said: “Running a high quality conference of this size is immensely challenging. People are booking later and later, costs are rising, competition is growing as we move into the experience economy further. Yet this event, our 31st since 2002, was extremely rewarding on the day, as we achieved attendance over 100, and already over a third of the delegates have come back with uniformly high praise of the conference. As a consultancy, we continue to do interesting work around this general set of topics.”

Delegates have already been provided with a 50pp document PDF of all aspects of the day, edited by Justin Hayward PhD MBA and Michael McCreary CEng of CIR Strategy, from notes by Maria Gradillas of Imperial College. Delegates also have an image gallery of the day, speaker biographies & synopses, slides of all speakers, and a summary of the conference talks and panels (Chatham House).


Next year’s SGCP14 conference is already being built – see you on 4 June 2014. Upcoming conferences include the 5 November Smart Homes & Cleanpower Conference taking in the iWATER, iHEAT, and SHIFT sessions, co-located with the HVM Graphene Conference. Not a day to be missed!

You can sign up for the 5 November 2013 and 4 June 2014 conferences already here:


Smart Grids & Cleanpower: an overview of 5 June 2013

Dear colleague

SGCP 2013 is an exciting one-day conference expo in two streams for corporates, investors and entrepreneurs building businesses in the connected intelligence for grids and power sector. The conference is in its 5th year. We want to inform, inspire and connect the people and companies building & securing the smart grid and enabling safer cleaner lower-cost power generation.

Why attend SGCP – what this conference expo gives you

The double-stream conference brings together brands implementing connected intelligence and the disruptive tech companies supplying them to discuss smart grids “The Grid of Things” and transition energy security.

The Lead Sponsor is ARM. Speakers include ARM, Energy Saving Trust, Cyan Technology, BPAE, Anglian Water, National Grid, National Nuclear Lab, National Physical Lab, UK Power Networks, S&C tbc, Trilliant, ETI, DECC, Ofgem, Intellisense, Moixa Energy and AlertMe (see web for longer list andagenda).

Some who will be there: Cambridge University, Imperial College, Marshall Group, Anglian Water, Hitachi Europe Future Cities, Energy Saving Trust, NPL, TTP Ventures, Dawe Media, Fault Current Ltd, Maosco Ltd, Multos, Isentropic Ltd, AlertMe Ltd, Polysolar Ltd, Cambridge Carbon Capture Ltd, Green Tide Ltd, JKPM Ltd, Energence Ltd, Metric Digital, EDW Tech Ltd, Cyan Technology Ltd, Shirlaws, Trillion Fund, UKTI East, Alconbury Enterprise, Autodesk, Trilliant, S & C Electric, BPVA, KISS Comms Ltd, Quench Power Ltd, Venner Shipley LLP, Cambridge Design Partnership Ltd, The Guardian Newspaper, UK Power Networks, BP plc,National Grid, Ofgem, Intellisense, Buro Happold, Durham University, Electralink, NNL, Ofgem, Sainsbury’s plc, DECC, ETI, Solar Century plc, Renesola, Emblem Ventures, UKERC, Oxford University, Moixa Energy, Adapt Commercial Ltd, Poyry, Mansion Partners, Xsilon Ltd, PassivSystems, Nanoforce Ltd, Gazprom, Qatar Developments, greenBRIDGE, New Laws Legal, EDF Energy, Clean Capital Advisors, Low Carbon KEEP Programme, CreativeZones, FusionIP, Sentec, Cambashi.

Media Partners include Business Weekly, Cleantech Investor Magazine, Clean Capital Network, Connected Clusters, Cleantech Business News and Smart Grids Careers: a lot of publicity!

Using probably the best & most comfortable venue in Cambridge, we offer many hours of pleasant, great networking with a lunch as well as structured and unstructured sessions and Q&A throughout the day.

Interested in exhibiting?

There is still some space for showing off what you do in the conference networking hours including lunch so please do get in touch.

Rising stars in grids and power

A key part of the programme is showcasing with innovation pitches, hosted this year by experienced investor Clennell Collingwood of TTP Ventures, the best of the innovators that are making the connected intelligence, grid technology & power generation deployment. Companies with the greatest market potential will meet customers, investors and press. If you have a successful or new business in grids and power, take an expo showcase space here (only 2 spots remain).

You can find out more and register here ( for SGCP13 and/or HVM & iWATER November on the info webpage here.

By calling 01223 303500 to book and telling us that you heard about this through Cleantech Investor Magazine, we will give you a 20% discount from the exec and investor rates.

Justin Hayward

CIR Conferences in Cleantech and HVM

Buy Tickets (

Mobile: 44 7720 047 402


CIR Conferences on Twitter: @HVMConference

Skype: jhayward


Slideshare: Past conference talks

More info about future events – speaking, sponsorship & registration

Conferences upcoming (call 01223 303500 to plan a great marketing programme):

Smart Grids & Cleanpower, 5 June, Cambridge

HVM Graphene Disruptive, 5 November, Cambridge

iWATER & iHEAT, 5 November, Cambridge

National Competencies & CIR Conferences 2013

The competencies of UK industry as identified by the top institute for manufacturing in the UK, the IfM, are covered by the conferences in HVM and Cleantech in 2013.

CIR is offering a passport for the year, which costs £520 and will enable access to 4 all-day high-quality conferences throughout the year, beginning with Smart Grids & Cleanpower on June 5 and going on to a water-based general Cleantech Conference iWATER & HVM Disruptive on November 5. The typical cost to attend a single conference is £325, and conferences of this type are attended for around £900/day in certain quarters in London, so that this year pass is great value.

In particular, energy generation, management and storage are covered at Smart Grids and Cleanpower, with the themes “Grid of Things” and “Transition Technologies” respectively.

Along with iWATER and HEAT & SHIFT later in the year on 5 November, these cleantech conferences cover business and market growth and the issues of scarcity of energy and other resources.

The second broad category competence mentioned by the IfM is that of competitiveness, efficiency and effective manufacturing systems. This broad area is covered on November 5 at HVM Disruptive – a follow-up to the successful 10th Anniversary HVM Conference in 2012. In particular, the role of government in industry is considered. But the main focus will be on disruptive technologies.

Sectors to be covered across the HVM conference are:

  • materials: composites and coatings (inks, adhesives etc)
  • nanoelectronics, photonics, devices, sensors,
  • energy & storage – as we saw
  • biotech applications

More agile methods, such as 3D/additive printing will be covered on November 5 in connection with the new material graphene. These along with the experience economy represent a whole paradigm shift for sustained growth in Western economies.

The whole area of “Smart” through “embedded, connected intelligence everywhere” is covered in the cleantech events on smart grids (June 5), industrial (clean)power generation (June 5), water tech for smart homes and factories (Nov 5).

Building new business models to realise superior value networks is a core competence of CIR Strategy, which organises this year’s series of HVM and cleantech conferences in the Golden Triangle of Cambridge, London and Oxford.

CIR espouses the understanding of value networks rather than supply chains and is expert in advising on these and in designing conferences to bring together the relevant stakeholders in a value network. The rigorous method behind much of this is called “Routes to Value”.

CIR believes that there is excellent growth to be obtained in Western, mature economies that are faltering and growing much more slowly than developing markets. This additional growth and value can be added through service design so that customers can buy and use products and services more easily, and in a more engaging way. This leads to the more developed experience economy. A series of experience services can be called a transformation. Transforming your clients is a goal that all businesses in the UK should be looking to achieve. Doing so would engender the kind of growth that we have seen elsewhere in the world over the last 10-20 years and make a great number of lives in the West and elsewhere better.

Therefore, all five strategic themes within the IfM report for the TSB in 2012 are covered by the HVM and Cleantech Conferences by CIR in 2013. A passport for just £520 can be obtained for executives seeking to go on this journey in 2013, building knowledge, connections and doing business.

CIR very much looks forward to seeing you at the conferences on June 5 and November 5, 2013.

You can sign up for a 2013 HVM and Cleantech passport up to 31 March 2013 by calling us at 01223 303500 or emailing Or you can book directly for a specific conference here (buy tickets).



iWATER Conference Summary: water innovations & EfW

The iWATER 2012 conference objectives of looking at the trends in water innovation needs, how to achieve energy from waste, the technology direction for water and waste technologies and to look at the potential cross-over strategies between the water, waste and energy sectors.

These topics were introduced by Mike McCreary of CIR Strategy. Mike spoke of the looming energy crisis and the recent water issues and suggested that as with most things environmental, there is an inter-linkage and inter-dependency that must be addressed to avoid the solution of one issue precipitating a crisis in another. With a water demand curve in some areas of England already significantly exceeding supply and an increasing population density meaning that available water resources per person per year are on average less than that of some Mediterranean countries, solutions for a UK water industry that already uses nearly 3% of the national electricity generating capacity have to mindful of other utility requirements.
The proceedings opened with the Conference Chair, Dr Hans Jensen, CEO of UK Water Industry, outlining what he saw to be the direction for the industry, namely innovation leading to affordable least cost, sustainable solutions that would allow for environmental extremities due to climate change giving good catchment management and the delivery of clean potable water.
The opening address was given by the Right Honorable Lord Smith of Finsbury, the Chairman of the Environment Agency. Lord Smith outlined the current pressures on the industry brought about by the last 16 months being the driest for 150 years leading to temporary ‘use bans’ as a result of ground water levels becoming perilously low, immediately followed by the wettest 3 months for 100 years leading to major flooding, sometimes in the same place!

His view was that we had to have an industry capable of responding to rapid change and that we had to educate the public/society that water was not an infinitely available resource. Innovation in products and processes had to develop draught resistant crops and better methods of irrigation and water use. Indeed, during the draught, several major corporations had reduced their consumption by, for instance, introducing low water methods of washing crops that had lead to an 85% reduction in consumption, and rainwater harvesting.
Building design had to be relooked at; current techniques wasted water by, for instance, requiring pure water to be used for sanitation purposes rather than grey water. This had to be a priority for new build and he cited his own agency as a leader in new thinking with the new Environment Agency HQ reducing consumption by 85% when viewed on a like for like basis with their previous HQ.
He then turned to one of the major industry issues, leakage. A staggering 25% of purified water does not reach the end user. He saw this as an absolute priority for the industry; the leaks have to be fixed. Both Business and Domestic consumers had to be educated in better and wiser ways of using water with innovation being the only way for growth. Demand and use management would be only way to cater for the new housing stock in the South East and prevent further water stress. Water efficiency is key for the future.
Lord Smith closed by summarising the challenges:

• Pressure for innovation

• Disseminate of good practice

• Make it easy for the customers to do the right thing; the green deal must include water.

• Incentivise the water companies to sell less water with OFWAT pricing allowing for the companies to innovate more whilst delivering less.
The mechanisms of change were Regulatory, Government and Pricing.
This excellent opening address led to a lively question and answer session with questions and statements including:

• What is the impact of the lack of genuine competition?

• The need for alternative methods for abstraction.

• The need for alternative storage, catch it when it rains!

• Interconnection between water companies in adjoining regions leading to a Water National Grid whilst being mindful of the energy demands if this entails a pumped system.

• Desalination is seen as a position of last resort.

• Catchment management, we used to lead the world, the new Public Water Resource Framework is driving the need for catchment management.

• The Government do not give enough incentives for innovation unlike, for instance Singapore.

• Market incentives/regulatory frameworks and incentives are all very well but political volatility is a problem for long term water infrastructure project commitment.
Steve Kaye, Head of Innovation at Anglia Water followed Lord Smith by presenting an industry view of the issues and challenges saying that the water industry works in isolation and that there is a need to look at other industries for solution ideas. Whilst feeling that extreme weather does drive innovation there is a requirement for supplier engagement to drive forward the business process leading to a cultural change in the industry and its’ supply chain. Anglia have adopted a suppliers ‘dragons den’ to speed the innovation process with a view to improving current plant and not necessarily just building new assets, e.g. the use of elliptical pipes to reduce the depth of trenches. He felt that there is a resistance to the use of smart meters due to a lack of a clear business case understandable by the consumers. There has been a slow take up of waste combustion from by product bio gas due to legislative issues. Looking further at the inflow and out flow aspects there is a need for ‘Intelligent Sewers’ and ’Intelligent management’ of pipes in terms of both pressure and flow management.

There is a growing problem in the industry from the use of farm insecticides that are now finding their way into the reservoir system. He closed by agreeing with the final floor comment after Lord Smiths’ introduction that the 5 year regulatory window restricts long term growth.
The issues of waste water treatment was then picked up by Kieran Healey, the Synergies and Integration Manager for Veolia Water Solutions and Technologies stating that Waste Water Treatment plants waste energy and generate waste. The plants need to use the bio gas generated within the process to drive generators and improve electricity consumption. With 62% of energy being used in biological management, innovation is required in the field of bio refineries producing bio gas for energy and usable by-production of plastic materials. Veolia are looking to establish themselves as the benchmark for sustainable growth.
After another Q&A session and networking break, Professor Annie Brooking , CEO of Bactest demonstrated their latest portable contamination tester, ‘Speedy Breedy’. This is a field deployable fast test capability that can be used for all new and repair pipe-work projects that require a fast Yes/No answer as to whether contamination is present or not. If a ‘No’ answer, then supplies can be connected but if a ‘Yes’ answer the results of test samples sent off to laboratories for parallel examination can be used to determine what is present and what remedial action is required.
Ian Bernard, Technical Manager of British Water then spoke of the work done within his trade association and of the roller coaster demand cycle due to the 5 year plan changing. With the UK spending £10 billion a year on capes and the world wide industry around £500 billion, there is a large market that requires focus and direction. Ian outlined the use of the BWISE data base of emerging technologies to assist investment decisions.
Picking up the theme of investment decisions, Andy Slater Director of Sensus concentrated on the need for all stakeholders to act in tandem to fulfil a smart water vision. He introduced conference to the need to make smart actually be intelligent and utilise the data available from an independent survey that looked at the issues within the industry. With 20% of water lost through leakage and leakage being linked to pressure management we have to move to intelligent water networks. The research also highlighted the need for media management to assist in cultural and behavioural change of consumers and publicise the wastage caused by both the industry and the consumer. The morning Q&A session was moderated by Fiona Griffith of Isle Utilities. Immediately prior to the lunch break there were ‘rapid pitches’ from Fiona regarding her Technology Approval Group (TAG), a global innovation forum for water utilities and operators and Laurie Reynolds CEO of Aquamatix who develop and apply web services and standards to connect sensors, actuators and people by working with water and wastewater organisation to enable the realisation of Smart Water networks and related applications.

Charles Lee of Futureneering opened the afternoon session on Energy from Waste with a discussion on the need for a closed loop approach to land fill avoidance and the use of local by-products to generate energy. Clearly, mass burn incineration is an alternative to land fill but would breach emission limits giving an impetus to localised sources. He also highlighting that ‘free in the field’ was not necessarily ‘free in the generating plant’ if it were to be transported for any distance. He then summarised the various energy recovery from waste techniques currently available but issued the cautionary note that Waste materials become valuable commodities as soon as a use is found for them.

Doug Stewart CEO of Green Energy UK followed Charles. He ran through the rationale behind the establishment of Green Energy UK. The company sources power from green suppliers and seeks to engage with ethical consumers who are willing to adopt a specific tariff structure. Interestingly, many of his suppliers were not in business at the start of Green Energy but have commenced as the market for sustainably produced electricity has grown. Part of the company rationale is to offer shares to all customers to ensure their continuing commitment to innovation in the green energy field. Doug showcased a number of his suppliers and customers and closed with an overview of the regulatory incentives and closed with his view that we have to:
• Use less electricity, not more!

• Capture waste as a resource

• Liberate the energy

• Increase public awareness

• Make something useful out of what we throw away

Philip Gaffney CEO of L2S2 picked up on these themes as he put the case for data clarity and availability in making the investment decisions necessary for measurable and sustainable change in the energy/water/waste industries. L2S2 has developed a framework for data collection, management, reporting and device control that can operate over real world networks. The Metabase system has been developed recognising that:
• Change is a constant

• Sustainability demands high efficiency

• Rapidly adapted, accurate, current information needed to respond and plan

• Highly detailed, immediate data from and feedback to operations is essential for efficiency
He overviewed some interesting applications of the data base including an Anglian Water Wet Well photography system whereby data from cameras inserted into sewers and pipes can be analysed in real time in the central control room enabling timely corrective actions to be made. Data generated in a variety of applications can be displayed in customised KPI dashboard form to allow informed executive decision making.
Nick Boyle CEO of Lightsource Renewable Energy followed with a presentation on how a solar installation or Power Purchase Agreement with Lightsource can benefit heavy industry users and property owners by cutting electricity costs and providing better control on budget forecasting. He started with a cost curve showing how Solar energy costs of generation has fallen from a price 10 years ago of €3.8M per MW to a current price of €0.5M per MW as the cost of solar panels has been driven down. Lightsource look for unused land/reservoir/roof space and via their financing collaborators Octupus Investments, they pay for the installation and maintenance of the solar plant and can return to the land owner a 20% reduction in energy costs. He ran over a number of options including a floating solar system for use on reservoirs and other systems linked to waste recycling centres. Lightsource believe their approach can generate 10MW per 50/60 acres of land giving a discounted saving of £14.7M over 25 years.


The final session of the day was introduced and moderated by Rupert Kruger, Head of Innovation at Thames Water. In his opening remarks Rupert reminded the conference that water supply was the ultimate closed loop supply and demand system with, for instance, Thames Water delivering 2M tons of clean water to customers daily and collecting nearly the same amount as waste in the sewers.

An overview of investment trends in the VC market and what investors look for in investee companies was then given by Francis Wright of Turquoise (Low Carbon Investment Fund). He started from the point that there are fewer independent VC’s and an increasing number of Corporate VC’s leading to a change in the dynamics of the market. Francis gave an overview of what investors are now looking for and indicated that the market is now demanding the shortening of investment horizons from 5 – 7 years down to 3 – 5 years.

Generally investors are looking for:

• Experienced Management Team

• Scalable business model

• Low capital intensity

• Market leading product

• Fast route to market

• IP protection or other barriers to entry

• For projects:

• No technology risk

• Long term price and volume certainty on feedstock

• Creditworthy counterparties for feedstock and offtake
Moving on from supply and investment, Dr James O Jenkins from the University of Hertfordshire gave a presentation entitled ‘Water efficiency by stealth: time for a rethink on how we use water meters’. The basic premise of the talk was that there is a very low level of consumer understanding regarding water usage and the need for meters. Water meters are normally inaccessible, normally 0.5m underground and therefore not checked by the consumer. Add this to a commodity consumers do not consider price sensitive, means that a 10% price increase results in a 1% drop in consumption, i.e. price would have to double to achieve a modest 10% consumption reduction. There is a public perception that all price increases go to ‘fat cat’ companies aiming to get rich from what is seen as a basic need. In plain words, there is institutional distrust of the water companies. The reality is that we need smart water meters that are visible and easy to use aimed at enabling consumer control over the amount of water they use. Consumers do not purchase washing machines and dish washers based on water consumption, more on energy consumption. Other countries, e.g. Australia where there is already a high awareness of the need for water conservation, have subsidised the purchase of water efficient machines to aid the consumers.

He closed with the following based on survey results:

• Consumers need to be targeted with a diverse range of policies:

• consumers were very positive towards the fitting of free water saving devices (70%)

• the subsidisation of more water efficient household appliances (75%)

• the offering of a rebate on their water bill, if they were to reduce their water usage (70%)

• Make all water meters accessible

• Use water meters to educate

• Cost-neutral regulatory framework is not effective

• Bolder and stronger regulation needed

• Effective and engaging resource management approaches are going to cost more – ‘nudge’ your customers!

⇒ Change by stealth!

Following the theme of water efficiency, Sam Bose, CEO of AquaMW illustrated how Energy and Water sectors are interconnected since copious amount of energy is required to treat, move and distribute water while significant amount of water is required in the energy generation process and for cooling the steam generated. This is more pronounced in the industrial sector with industrial processes generating heat and requiring enormous energy, water to run them optimally.

The session discussed the energy – water nexus in industrial processes and highlighted possible solutions to improve efficiency. The AquaMW products ‘Smart Water’ and Smart Energy’ are retro-fittable wireless network systems using cloud computing techniques for delivering actionable intelligence.

He closed with the conclusions that to gain Industrial Resource Efficiency there are ‘3 takeaways’:

• Reducing resource (Energy, Water) demand through conservation programs

• Data Analytics to unlock insight for process efficiency and improve plant performance

• Resource, System and Process efficiency are all connected which can be delivered through Conservations Programs

Following a Q&A session moderated by Rupert Kruger, the conference chair, Dr Hans Jensen, summarised the day’s proceedings:

• The industry had to learn to live with a volatile weather pattern

• The industry needs to ‘fix the leaks’

• Intelligent data and resource collation systems need to be adopted

• Innovative ways of directing scarce resources need to be adopted

• New product innovations need to be adopted

• That the energy and water industry need to share best practice regarding the re-use of waste and metering techniques

• There needs to be a concerted effort to promote public understanding of the issues and to gain public trust

Summary by Mike McCreary, CIR Strategy & iWATER Conference Moderator

Please contact CIR on 01223 303500 for more information on our strategic consultancy in routes to market, segmentation & focus strategy, market research and commercial diligence.


Water for Life

We all need ‘water for life‘ as the recent water White Paper notes. How secure is our water? Why are we recently lurching from flood to drought?

Opening up innovation into water technologies is likely to produce better results than working entirely in house for a long period of time. Anglian Water have embraced this idea, and are leading other utilities in moving towards a more open approach.

At iWater 2012, after an opening address from the Chairman of the Environment Agency Lord Smith of Finsbury, industry organisations like British Water, UK TAG and UKWIR will be on hand with utilities like Anglian, Thames and Veolia to look at technology developments that will enable less water to be wasted, and services to consumers to be made more secure, reliable, safer and ultimately, cost-effective.

CIR Strategy’s Cleantech conference series has not considered water before, though in 2008, it did run a conference on closed loops and sale of service: areas of resource efficiency.

This conference on water and waste as resource (energy from waste) takes the CIR Cleantech Series into perhaps the final frontier of the sector. It’s series has covered areas such as clean energy, smart grids, transport, home energy technologies and resource efficiency since 2007.

CIR recommends that potential delegates book as soon as possible for the new iWater Conference on 13 November at Murray Edwards College.

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