Innovate 4 Water Asia-Pacific
April 2020 | Brisbane
Co-creating solutions for the Asia-Pacific Region
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A marketplace forum for sustainable development


The “Innovate 4 Water” forum supports Queensland’s future vision of being a vibrant, prosperous community and it presents a key opportunity to support the state strategies.

Outputs and impacts

Innovate 4 Water” forums strongly reinforce the local ecosystems around water resource management, WASH and the water nexus. The events accelerate commercially sustainable change in a targeted region by:

  • forming meaningful partnerships and cross-sectoral collaborations

  • creating visibility to established technological solutions and business models

  • attracting higher levels of blended investments outside of donor and aid funding

  • transferring water sector knowledge and innovation

  • driving economic growth and improving access to water and sanitation in the targeted region


Intended audience:

  • Government policy makers active in the water and sanitation sector.

  • SMEs operating in the water and sanitation sector.

  • Multinational companies with interests in the water and sanitation sector.

  • Sources of finance, including development finance institutions, commercial banks, institutional investors, investment promotion agencies and networks and impact investors.

  • Water institutions (foundations, coalitions, NGOs).

  • International organizations, national and local governments.

  • Universities / incubators / research institutions.

  • Eminent personalities of the water and finance sectors.


The event will be dynamic, interactive and innovative, consisting of plenary sessions and presentations, short pitches and networking discussions, exhibition and an award ceremony with an extra day for training sessions. Importantly, plenary sessions and presentations will be dedicated to facilitating connections between the participating stakeholders, with a focus on concrete projects in the field to ensure equality of status, rights and opportunities for all presenters – those in the entrepreneurial community, and investors. An exhibition marketplace will be available during the whole event, with selected organisations presenting their activities, innovations, technologies and projects. This marketplace will be used for active networking. To ensure the event has the broadest impact and reach, sessions will be recorded and documented for post-event marketing and media amplification.


There are breaks of 45min in a Marketplace format (small booth for entrepreneurs and relevant organisations) to facilitate interactions and discussions.


Tentative programme


Day 0 (closed meeting - optional)

  • Coaching for presenters


​Day 1


  • Pitches (5 min) by donors, investors and solutions providers

  • Networking and matchmaking sessions

Day 2 (closed meeting - by invitation only)

  • Pitches by selected enablers and service providers

  • Networking and matchmaking sessions

Day 3 (optional)

  • Field visit

The following topics, which reflect current sector priorities, will be the focus of the forum:

  • Water literacy from end-users to policy-makers

  • Achieving water security in a climate change context (off-grid smart technologies, nature-based solutions, water monitoring)

  • Designing out waste in water nexus

  • Women in leadership / entrepreneurial women for water

  • Alternative financing for water nexus solutions

  • Investment and technology readiness of companies operating in the water nexus

  • Exporting Australian expertise


Brisbane, Australia


With a vision to create water leaders for the future, the Australian-based International WaterCentre (IWC) fosters innovative thinking in the water sector to build the capacity of water professionals, globally and in Australia, to lead the changes needed in the water sector.

IWC has an exceptionally strong international reputation and brand, having produced over 1000 alumni from their education and training programs and courses, from 86 different countries. IWC leads a globally unique, collaboratively delivered master’s program, which in 2018 received over 650 scholarship applications. IWC attracts repeat work from clients, such as the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, UNICEF, WaterAid and DFAT, and has won several awards for both education and research.


IWC is uniquely positioned in the sector, with national and international knowledge networks and a demonstrated breadth of expertise in WASH. Since 2008, IWC has managed the delivery of WASH conferences, which have grown to become one of the region’s leading water, sanitation and hygiene meeting places. WASH2018 attracted more than 400 registrations, with participants from 35 countries. This was the highest attended domestic WASH conference on record. IWC has successfully obtained funding from donor banks and aid agencies on many occasions over the past 12 years, some with the purpose to design and deliver major industry events, including WASH conferences and River symposium conferences.


Based in Switzerland, Waterpreneurs is a global for-impact organisation, supporting the scaling-up of impact investments financing the growth of “water nexus” businesses, operating in developing countries.

Waterpreneurs brings extensive knowledge of the sector, impact investing and facilitation of marketplaces. In June 2017, in Geneva, Switzerland, Waterpreneurs initiated the "Innovate 4 Water" series of marketplace forums, with a global plan to expand to other regions (over the next ten years) with a focus on cities leading in the fields of water and sanitation, entrepreneurship and innovation, and impact finance.

In 2018 and 2019, 6 other “Innovate 4 Water” forums have been organised in Africa (Kenya, Nigeria and Zambia) and in Europe (Switzerland). Ongoing discussions are taking place to accelerate the expansion of the program globally.



Andrew Best

International WaterCentre


Brieux Michoud


brieux.michoud [@]