Another event at Hof University of Applied Sciences is casting its shadow ahead. On October 12 and 13, 2022, the 2nd Hof Water Symposium will be held, a top event for the water and wastewater industry. This year, the meeting is dedicated to the guiding theme “Water in the mirror of climate change and sustainability”. We talked to organizer Prof. Dr. Manuela Wimmer about the concept and expectations for the industry event.
Prof. Dr. Wimmer, the first Water Symposium already took place in 2018. It is only now that a new edition is taking place. Why?
In fact, it was planned to work with a two-year frequency. But – as in so many other areas – the 2020 pandemic naturally threw a spanner in the works, so we had to cancel the 2020 event without replacement. Since the focus of our symposium is on personal exchange, switching to an online format was out of the question.Now, however, we are looking forward all the more to a comeback and a continuation of what had really started very promisingly in 2018.
Who is “we” in this case – who is all behind the organization of the event?
The organizer is the Institute for Water and Energy Management at Hof University of Applied Sciences (iwe) represented by myself as research group leader as well as by research associate Anja Grabmeier within the research group Sustainability and Project Management in Water Management. Foundation professor Günter Müller-Czygan is also involved, of course. Our cooperation partner is the local competence network Water and Energy.
Who exactly is the Water Symposium aimed at, for whom does it make sense to attend?
We are organizing a symposium aimed at specialists in the field of water management. These can be those responsible for drinking water supply or wastewater disposal and also those who, for example, shape our water management through their technology or software – i.e. service providers, planners or equipping companies. Representatives of public authorities are of course also very welcome.
…can privately interested parties also participate and what does participation cost?
If you are interested, we would be happy to. However, it is of course an industry event with corresponding expenses, which is why participation fees will be charged. The regular participation will cost 120,00 EUR. We charge a reduced fee of 40.00 EUR for persons from official, municipal or scientific institutions.
What can visitors expect?
While in 2018 the focus was on digitalization, this year’s leitmotif will be “Water in the mirror of climate change and sustainability”. To this end, we are creating an exchange and encouraging intensive networking, because this is precisely what the planned, interactive and innovative concept of the symposium is predestined for. The visitors should be inspired, give inspiration and maybe even develop project ideas as well as get to know future cooperation partners
You mention the new concept. What has changed since the premiere 4 years ago?
Every Hof Water Symposium aims to offer an innovative concept. in 2018, “classic” lectures were combined with the innovative element of two parallel sessions followed by a discussion and consolidation of the presentations, as well as a trade exhibition. in 2022, the concept will be interactive, networking and sustainable. Of course, a trade exhibition will also be integrated this time.
What are the highlights?
One highlight on October 12 will certainly be the evening event with a virtual 3-D tour of demonstration and pilot plants. In addition, the following day’s program includes some really interesting keynote speeches and panel discussions. In addition, we are looking forward to Speed Geeking & Exhibitors, Pitches & World Café – if you want to know what exactly is involved, you will soon be able to find out about the program on our website(https://www.hof-university.de/forschung/institut-fuer-wasser-und-energiemanagement.html).
In your experience, how has the water industry developed in general?
Climate change is water change. With the increasing decline of water also in Germany, innovative solutions are required to ensure sustainable development: especially with regard to ecological dimensions but also with regard to social and economic aspects. The more rapid the climate changes, the greater the challenge and also the pressure on the water industry to react and, at best, to proactively drive forward the transformation. To this end, numerous products and services with a digital background are already on the market and are seeking broad implementation and are also being further developed. The transformation will preferably proceed in system solutions with several partners. The success of the projects will be influenced by the social dimension, to use the “wording” of sustainability.
In detail, this means that those projects in which people are particularly considered and integrated as designers as well as users will be the more successful and efficient ones. It should also be noted that water is not only a central component of water management, but also has to be managed in the ever-increasing field of tension between several sectors, such as agriculture, industry and the energy industry – with increasing complexity in the face of dwindling resources. To continue to work on the “social dimension” and to jointly generate best solutions in research and application with people and water in the center will also be a central concern tomorrow and the day after tomorrow
Thank you very much – you can already look forward to the 2nd Hof Water Symposium!