British environment minister Richard Benyon welcomed a 14-strong group of Israeli water company delegates at the Foreign Office on Tuesday, for an event organised by UK Trade and Investment (UKTI).
Mr Benyon said he wanted “to attract inward investment to the UK” as the Israeli group joined more than 150 representatives from India, Europe and the USA.
“While it is energy security that makes the headlines, it is water security that is critical to life,” said Mr Benyon.
Led by the British Embassy’s UK-Israel Tech Hub (UITH), the Israeli delegation of water technology companies, experts and entrepreneurs arrived in the UK for four days of meetings with British counterparts.
“First and foremost we’re looking for commercial partnerships,” said UITH director Naomi Krieger.
“A lot of people perceive the Israeli and British water systems to be very different — but they’re not. They’re both renowned globally in the water industry — the British companies are also world leaders in Africa and Asia.”
What can the Israelis offer the Brits? “The Israeli companies we’ve brought are leaders in waste water management systems and applying data technology to how we use and preserve good quality water. There’s potential to develop company relationships and come up with solutions together.”
Yoni Dolgin, clean-tech manager at the Hub, said: “The water sector is a major area of co-operation between the UK and Israel.
“Israel is considered a global leader in water treatment and waste water re-use for agricultural purposes — we want to help Britain identify solutions as 30 to 40 per cent of water in Britain is often lost in leakage before it reaches the taps.”
British ambassador to Israel Matthew Gould added: “There are huge synergies here. Israeli water-tech can go global through partnering with British business, and British business can get a global competitive advantage from partnering with Israeli water-tech.
“Whether it is Israeli start-ups teaming up with Britain’s world-leading engineering consultancies, or enabling UK firms to treat their wastewater more efficiently and at lower cost, water-tech partnerships can deliver tremendous value.”