A strong network: German Water Partnership at IFAT Munich 2022

German Water Partnership (GWP) once again presented the internationally active German water industry at the world’s leading trade fair for water, wastewater, waste and raw materials management from May 30 to June 3, 2022 in Munich. Numerous international delegations, 6 sessions in the supporting program of the fair as well as innovative technical presentations by GWP members and partners: The GWP joint stand again offered the network an important forum for presenting its own services and products, for personal meetings and for expanding international contacts.

GWP Joint Booth

Exhibitor at the GWP joint stand: African Water Association with representatives of the GWP office and Managing Director Julia Braune. Photo: GWP

This year, again, the GWP joint booth was centrally located in hall B2. Together with 28 members and partners, GWP united the expertise of the German water industry and research on 390 m². With the forum and lounge area in the heart of the stand, the new booth offered the perfect place for networking and discussion. The exhibiting companies offered national and international trade fair visitors an insight into the network’s comprehensive know-how. The sustainably designed, modular trade fair stand offers the possibility of reuse as part of IFAT Munich 2024, thus contributing to the conservation of resources.

Among the co-exhibitors at the joint stand this year was also the African Water Association (AfWA). For both associations this joint appearance was an important sign for the existing partnership and the representatives of AfWA could successfully expand their network with the support of GWP as well as point out the chamber and association partnership GAPWAS.

Multifaceted framework program

Visit of the Federal Minister for the Environment Steffi Lemke at the GWP joint booth. Also present: Gunda Röstel, Julia Braune and Sylvain Usher from the African Water Association (AfWA). Photo: GWP (c) Jana Weers

A diverse supporting program extended over the entire week of the trade fair – at the GWP joint stand as well as in the Water and Wastewater Forum. On the morning of the first day of the trade fair, Federal Environment Minister Steffi Lemke visited the GWP stand as part of her tour of the trade fair – an opportunity for a brief exchange on the current challenges in the water sector. In a short conversation with Gunda Röstel, CEO of GWP, and GWP Managing Director Julia Braune, the Minister signaled great interest in staying in touch with the international topics and concerns of the companies of the German water sector.

Another highlight was the signing of the project implementation agreement of the PartnerAfrica project AGTIWAS, short for African-German Training Initiative for Water and Sanitation, between GWP and the African Water Association (AfWA). The aim of the project, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Development and Economic Cooperation (BMZ), is to establish an African Water and Sanitation Academy (AWASA).

The sessions held by GWP members and coordinated by the GWP office were also very well attended. In addition to Market Insights on China and Africa, sessions on water reuse, cloud-based water management solutions and the digital twin, there was also a special topic on international operator partnerships with a panel of international operator partners.

Two fact-finding missions and numerous international delegations

Handing over Ukrainian gifts: Gunda Röstel and Dmytro Vancovych, CEO of Lvivodokanal, with colleague. Photo: GWP

As part of the market development program for SMEs, sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK), a delegation from Uzbekistan and a group from the four target countries Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru visited German companies in Bavaria as well as the GWP joint stand and other stands of member companies at IFAT Munich. A highlight – both informative and emotional – was the visit of a Ukrainian delegation to the joint stand. Dmytro Vancovych, CEO of Lvivodokanal, presented the current situation of Ukrainian water utilities in his powerful talk.

GWP members’ products, innovations and concepts for adapted and sustainable solutions to water management challenges worldwide were well received by the international audience. GWP members benefited from productive B2B discussions with representatives of the international delegations at the joint booth, including a strong delegation from the Singapore Water Association (SWA) as well as delegations from Egypt, Canada, Brazil and Nigeria.

Networking as the key to capacity development

“Networking is our Business”. We at GWP feel committed to this slogan. After a long period of abstinence from networking events, IFAT Munich showed how important personal contact is and remains. In 2022, we shone a light on the SDGs present at our forum, as we are also committed to the Sustainable Development Goals and asked what the German water industry can contribute to increasing climate resilience. This is a current issue that we also intend to explore in greater depth at the GWP Annual Conference on July 6 in Berlin.

Impressions of IFAT Munich 2022

Photos: (c) Jana Weers and GWP