We enjoy an abundance of fresh and mineral water. However, located below sea-level and having a wet climate, in the Netherlands we’ve also always had a struggle with water, steering us towards innovative water projects. Over the years, we’ve expanded our expertise from building top-notch water infrastructural projects to keep ourselves safe, to developing the best water quality treatment technologies, serving households and industries across the globe. The knowledge-intensive European water technology hub located in Leeuwarden offers a complete chain of innovation. Today, TopDutch is deepening its focus on R&D and innovation for new technologies, in collaboration with several global water hubs. Here, we test the waters.

TopDutch Industrie WaterTech
Our network

1.WaterTech Capital of Europe

The city of Leeuwarden, in the TopDutch region, is the European breeding ground for business and innovation in WaterTech and globally recognized as WaterTech Capital of Europe.


WaterCampus Leeuwarden is the European focal point of WaterTech, connecting scientific research, applied research and business. Over 25 companies are based at the WaterCampus itself and the campus is directly connected to over 200 companies.

WaterCampus Leeuwarden collaborates with 23 European universities and research institutes and five regions outside of Europe in the Global WaterTech Hub Alliance.


In September 2018, the Global WaterTech Hub Alliance was established to foster international collaboration between regional hubs of WaterTech Innovation. European Alliance partner is WaterAlliance, the Dutch industry network that, as part of WaterCampus, accelerates innovation and business in sustainable water technologies.


2. Complete chain of innovation

WaterCampus offers a complete chain of innovation: from science, to applied research and business, all from one attractive business location.


We perform cutting edge scientific research, spearheaded by science partner Wetsus, the European Center of Excellence for Sustainable Water Technologies.

We offer state-of-the-art applied research facilities, for tests from lab-scale to full-scale units including knowledge and expertise from our universities of applied sciences.  The Center of Expertise Water Technology (CEW), supports businesses in the steps from applied science to ready-to-market product development.

Our business community is brought together in industry network and by managing partner WaterAlliance. WaterAlliance accelerates business development worldwide.

  1. Market demand
  • Direct access to European market via the European Hub location
  • Access to international market via Global Water Tech Hub Alliance
  1. Ideas
    • World class education & lifelong learning
    • Yearly waterSEED challenge
    • Two Global WaterTech Hub Alliance challenges
    • Pre-seed funding available
  1. Research
  • 24 research themes
  • 129 research projects
  • 96 patent applications
  • 44 spin-offs
  1. Water Application Center
  • Six applied research themes
  • Unique triple helix collaboration
  • Four physical facilities available
  1. Demo sites​​​​​​
  • Four demo sites
  1. Launching customer
  • Launching government
  • Three incubator programs
  • Three business funding partners
  1. Cooperation
  • 362 network partners
  • 5 international hub partners
  1. Matchmaking
  • 37 organized events
  • 35 international conferences
  • 31 received trade visits & 6 participated trade visits
  1. Export
  • 75% companies exporting activities
  • Export quote WaterTech: 35-40%

International markets

3. Access to European and international markets

We have the best network to provide you access to the European and international markets.


Your European business network partner is WaterAlliance. WaterAlliance is one of the international partners in the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN), connecting tens of thousands of European SMEs. The EEN supports SMEs worldwide seeking international collaboration or who are interested in entering new markets.

WaterAlliance is your European partner in the Global WaterTech Hub Alliance. WaterAlliance can provide you with direct access to industry networks of the Global WaterTech Hubs in the US (Milwaukee), Singapore, China (Jiangsu), Israel (Mekorot) and Korea (Daegu).

WaterAlliance organize, support or highlight many international conferences, visits and other matchmaking events.


4. A breeding ground for new technological partnerships

Become technology partner in turn-key water management solution projects in the Northern Netherlands.


Wetsus’ research is carried out within the framework of Technological Top Institute for WaterTechnology, part of the Dutch Innovation Program on Water Technology. Leading researchers from various universities work together in the Wetsus laboratory on the following research programs:

  • Sustainable water supply (focus areas: applied water physics, priority compounds, groundwater technology, biofilms, smart water grids, virus control).
  • Waste water treatment and reuse (focus areas: advanced water treatment, sulfur, source separated sanitation, concentrates, natural flocculants).
  • Sensoring of micro/nano pollutants (focus areas: sensoring, genomics-based water quality monitoring).
  • Reuse of components and production of energy (focus areas: blue energy, protein from water, phosphate recovery, sustainable carbon cycle, soil, biopolymers from water, resource recovery).
  • New water sources (focus areas: dehydration, desalienation, capacitive deionization, natural water production.

Develop your first prototype, set up a pilot, accelerate the innovation cycle and shorten your time to market in one of the tracks offered by CEW:

  • Water saving & reuse.
  • Water & Energy.
  • Nutrients & Agriculture.
  • Watersystem.
  • Industrial water processing.
  • Sensortechnology.

Our business network can set up matchmaking activities with the best technology partners in the TopDutch region, in Europe and around the world.


Different companies and different industries require a unique mix of highly specialized water technologies to be implemented in their industrial chain in their efforts to realize the most sustainable water system and management. WaterCampus and WaterAlliance are the best partners to connect you to technology partners for turn-key water management solution projects.


5. Access to talent & highly skilled labor

The TopDutch region offers a lifelong learning program in WaterTech to develop a highly skilled workforce that enable international companies to realize their growth ambitions.


Water science education starting at primary education and going up to PhD and MBA level. Unique for the WaterCampus in the TopDutch region is its extensive education program offering education to students at all levels and ages.


Being a highly specialized industry, the WaterTech Capital of Europe produces highly and uniquely skilled graduates every year.

The WaterAlliance has set up the WaterJobs portal, connecting its industry network companies’ growth ambitions with (specialized) talent looking for new challenges. With talent being key to business development, WaterAlliance is a supportive partner smoothening the development of your business in the WaterTech industry.

Our process

Get started


1. Get in touch
Through our TopDutch contact page, by email or direct to your dedicated industry project manager, get in touch to start the conversation.

2. Receive industry bidbook
Once you’ve confirmed you are interested in more information about investment in the region, we’ll be happy to send our industry specific bidbook to you.

3. Alignment meeting
We’ll schedule a meeting with your team and our regional dedicated project team to identify your needs and align objectives.

4. Receive company-specific bidbook
Now we understand your objectives, we’ll provide you with a bidbook tailored to your company’s needs. 

5. Fact-finding trip
We’ll schedule a fact-finding trip in our region for your team to introduce you to relevant useful contacts in both the private and public sector and organize visits for site locations.

6. Investor roundtable
For investments requiring partnerships and co-investment, we’ll organize an investor roundtable with relevant key decision-makers.

7. Kick-start business development
Once you’ve confirmed you’ve reached a decision to invest in our region, we’ll kickstart your business development process so you’ll fully benefit from our fast procedures.

Get in touch with

TopDutch watertech

Get in contact with out watertech expert who can tell you more about what the TopDutch region can offer you.

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.