Partnership : Saur joins the Wilco industry accelerator to intensify its strategy of water sector innovation
Saur, a major force in water services management, joins the elite club of companies and organisations partnering Wilco, the industry accelerator that helps Tech startups achieve €1 million in annual revenue. This new partnership will enable the Group to accelerate its innovation strategy by engaging in experiments alongside startups in the Wilco Industry accelerator programme.
Open innovation rooted in reality
As a key stakeholder in a particularly sensitive business sector, Saur implements a strategy of operational excellence in which innovation is one of the keys to success: “The water industry is a sector of the economy whose demanding approach to resource management, the quality of water produced and supplied and operational performance drive a continual process of innovation”, explains Saur Open Innovation Manager Laurence Duyck.
So to succeed in its major technological, organisational and service delivery innovation challenges, Saur relies simultaneously on its internal innovation policy and open innovation strategy. The main points of focus for its research are employee safety, water resource protection, energy footprint reduction, treatment process optimisation, asset lifespan extension and simpler, more seamless delivery of services to customers. Digital innovation will open the way to a shift towards more predictive and secure models.
This is the background against which Saur wanted to work alongside Wilco through a new partnership.
Laurence Duyck explains: “Our vision of open innovation is a very practical and pragmatic one: for us, it must lead to full and sustainable collaborations with innovative companies. Ultimately, this approach will accelerate the pace at which we integrate innovations into our industrial processes to improve the performance of the services we currently offer, and help us work towards the introduction of new, more innovative, services. The ethos of Wilco aligns perfectly with these needs, because its teams combine a high level of expertise in identifying promising startups with a real understanding of the specific needs of a company like Saur”.
Great opportunities for Industry and Digital accelerator startups
This new collaboration between the Saur digital innovation team and their counterparts at Wilco is a particularly powerful opportunity for Wilco Industry startups.
Wilco Director Eric Vaysset: “We’re delighted about this partnership with Saur, our first water industry partner. It’s an industry that entrepreneurs are not particularly familiar with, but whose resource management challenges open up some great development opportunities for startups. Added to which, Saur's pragmatic approach to open innovation will provide our startups with a very exciting field of experimentation for applying their solutions in-situ to real-life problems.