Is this the start of Water Valley?

A well-attended opening of the latest research centre at Science and Technology saw the emergence of good ideas and visions for the future right from the introductory speeches in the Navitas Building’s lecture theatre in Aarhus.

2017.10.11 | Rasmus Rørbæk

No one could have wished for a better setting for the inauguration of WATEC – even the weather was at its best. (Photo: Melissa Bach Yildirim, AU Communication)

Dean Niels Chr. Nielsen welcomed the many guests and pointed out that WATEC has a significant societal potential, and also provides an opportunity to build up internationally leading activity with a large volume of research and great societal impact. (Photo: Melissa Bach Yildirim, AU Communication)

Managing Director Lars Schrøder, Aarhus Water, took advantage of the occasion to share his vision with the guests. Could WATEC be the start of a regional collaboration – a Water Valley? (Photo: Melissa Bach Yildirim, AU Communication)

Holding the opening of the strategic Centre for Water Technology – WATEC – at the Port of Aarhus seemed very appropriate. Here with an attractive view across the Bay of Aarhus, 180 invited guests turned up at the Navitas Building, where Aarhus University’s latest research centre saw the light of day.

There was no doubt at all that WATEC has great societal potential, and there are good opportunities for building up an internationally leading centre with a large research volume and considerable impact. This point was put forward by Dean Niels Chr. Nielsen in his speech.

“WATEC is a manifestation of our ambition to be at the forefront, both in Denmark and internationally, when it comes to solving the major global challenges facing humanity. It’s naturally important for the university’s staff and students – but also for our industrial partners and especially the world if we do it properly.
Aarhus University is currently among the absolute world leaders in a number of water technology areas. With this new strategic research centre, we’ve laid the foundation stone to further support Denmark’s position of strength, along with the Danish business sector,” pointed out the dean. He initiated the setting up of a number of interdisciplinary research centres at Aarhus University in socially important areas.

WATEC is the fifth of a total of seven strategic research centres being set up at Science and Technology in 2017 to ensure interdisciplinary research collaboration and collaboration with the business sector, the municipalities, and the regions. The ambition is that the faculty-wide collaborations can significantly strengthen and highlight research where there is not only significant societal potential, but also an opportunity to build up internationally leading activity with a large volume of research and great societal impact. In the series of speeches, there was also room for big ideas from one of the industrial speakers.

“Today is a great day with the opening of WATEC – a research centre for water technology. I’m sure that it’s like a dream come true for many of us. Aarhus Water has several major projects in the pipeline, covering a number of aspects of modern water management. I hope that the research centre we’re inaugurating today will play a key role. We believe in partnerships, not only as part of business development, but also as part of knowledge production and innovation. I just mentioned a dream, and I have one more. Here in the region, we have the university, some of the largest players in industry, and strong knowledge regarding distribution and management. Imagine a future where Aarhus has a Water Valley – like the Americans have Silicon Valley,” said Managing Director Lars Schrøder, Aarhus Water.

Following the speeches, fresh knowledge was served up – both on posters and in bottles – where guests and researchers had an opportunity for networking while enjoying the lovely afternoon to the tones of James Khoanyana, who provided musical entertainment for the event.

Read more about WATEC here.

The WATEC website is available here.

Staff