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Innovation Strategy


Every day, we see new evidence of escalating water challenges around the world. But innovation and technology offer new hope and powerful new opportunities to solve the greatest water challenges of our time. There is a clear path to progress: by harnessing the power of leading-edge solutions and expertise, we can transform the economics, availability and manageability of water – and we can help solve water and advance sustainability.

At Xylem, we are reshaping how the world manages and optimizes water.

Moving forward with our strategic priorities, we are:

  • Strengthening our core products by developing bold new technology and equipment like the Flygt Concertor, our industry-leading intelligent wastewater pumping system that delivers proven energy savings of 70 percent;

  • Creating groundbreaking, data-fueled technologies and solutions that are allowing the water sector to take quantum leaps forward and enabling Smart Cities;

  • Building a culture of innovation within our company, by creating Centers of Excellence and R&D centers and championing talent with bold ideas from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stamford University.

  • And collaborating with partners in dynamic ways to create an ecosystem that enables co-development, open innovation and convening broader conversation about water challenges and sustainability with policymakers and the general public.

For example, we are bringing together innovators and other key water stakeholders – from universities to NGOs to policymakers to the general public and beyond – to advance cutting-edge solutions and harness the power of data and analytics to communities around the world, including those facing the most difficult water and economic challenges.


Digital solutions, including sensor networks and advanced data analytics, offer dramatic improvements in water and energy efficiency, reduced risk of sewage overflows and better water quality.  

This new approach to water management – what we at Xylem refer to as Decision Intelligence – leverages data to inform better system-level choices today and strengthens future outcomes for operations, maintenance and capital planning.

Digital tools scan, predict, recommend and prioritize actions, helping utilities to address urgent challenges, such as water lost due to leaking pipes, broken meters or unauthorized use and sewer overflows that pollute local waterways after severe weather events. These digital solutions when combined or integrated into existing water system assets can produce transformative change, and reducing impact on local ecosystems, and creating major water, energy and cost savings.

In addition to our focus on driving the digital transformation of water, we constantly look for ways to enhance our traditional products and offerings, as well as our operations and processes.

We also drive innovation in the ways we manage our company, partner with water stakeholders and live our values – and through our efforts to create social impact, including exploring new water solutions for people and communities challenged by scarcity, affordability and resilience.

We know that transforming water and advancing sustainability are one in the same mission. We also know that technology and innovation are powerful catalysts for progress. Our mission and our progress are the opportunity of a lifetime – to create a water-secure world.

A Perspective from Jay Iyengar

Headshot - J Iyengar - Square.jpg

As part of our mission to solve water at Xylem, we’re convening a global conversation and collaboration about water challenges. We’re helping bring together people with powerful ideas and passion, so we can ignite new ways of thinking and solutions.

It’s up to entrepreneurs and innovators, whether we are on a university campus or in start-ups or in global corporations, to collaborate across boundaries, tackle the grand challenges and make progress possible.

At Xylem, we focus on creating a true ecosphere of innovation by: 

  • Working closely with our customers to understand their spoken and unspoken needs and foster technological adoption by looking at the full value chain, including regulators and other key constituents.
  • Co-developing bold new technologies and applications by engaging customers very early on in the process to explore and develop solutions and proof points jointly.  
  • Building creative partnerships with academic institutions like MIT that are driving technological innovation.
  • Collaborating closely with key stakeholders across sectors such as NGOs and government agencies.
  • Leveraging capability and capacity of our supplier partners.
  • Promoting diversity and inclusion. We know that a vibrant cross-exchange of ideas and perspectives is critical to fueling innovation and progress.


Through our ecosphere approach, we are driving innovation across the water sector, and we are finding new ways to address the world’s toughest water challenges and advance water security for people and communities around the globe.

The world has a truly amazing opportunity right now. Let’s harness the power of innovation and technology to make water challenges a thing of the past. Let’s Solve Water.

Jay Iyengar is Xylem’s Senior Vice President and Chief Innovation and Technology Officer. 

Photo: Jay Iyengar speaks about innovation in the water industry at the 2018 American Water Summit in Philadelphia, PA.

Smart Water Technology

Water managers are facing growing challenges, including aging infrastructure, rising energy costs and growing populations. Digital water technologies help solve these challenges through self-optimizing equipment, smart networks and digital solutions that support proactive decision intelligence.

Smart water management is a way to collect, share and analyze data from water equipment and water networks. It is used by water managers to find leaks, predict equipment failure ensure regulatory compliance and deliver powerful cost and energy savings.

What is smart water management?

2018 Excellence in Innovation Award

The annual Xylem Excellence in Innovation Award recognizes colleagues who embody a spirit of innovation by developing and applying outstanding innovative technology, service or business model ideas to solve critical pain points for our customers.

This year, 58 teams were nominated by their peers for the 2018 Excellence in Innovation Award.  Each nomination was evaluated in four areas – Customer Impact, Outstanding Results in Innovation, Demonstrates Excellence and Inspires Colleagues. A regional award winner has been selected for the Americas, Europe, and Emerging Markets regions. One of the three regional award-winning teams is also receiving the CEO Grand Prize Award, which is the highest level of achievement. 

innovation-awards.jpgOur CEO Grand Prize Winning Team and Americas Regional Award recognized the Sensus EasyLink Transceiver from colleagues Matt Boytim, Principal Digital Signal Processing Engineer, and Jeff Gallagher, Lead Radio Frequency Engineer.

The team created a sophisticated signal processor-based wireless receiver that utility customers can use in their drive-by trucks to read competitor’s water, electric, and gas meters as well as our Sensus FlexNet meters. This innovation is important because it allows utility customers to upgrade to Sensus FlexNet meters over time and gradually transition to a full Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) network. Until now, utilities who wanted to move to our superior solution faced too great a cost barrier to replace all their older meters at once. As a result of this innovation, our sales teams are now able to penetrate competitive accounts, take market share, and gain new business.

Learn more about this innovation.

We selected this team as our CEO Grand Prize award winners because the EasyLink Transceiver represents disruptive innovation, a way to enable new technology adoption by customers in a methodical, low-risk way without a large one-time capital investment.  It successfully overcomes a barrier to entry by empowering Xylem sales teams to penetrate our competitors’ automatic meter reading (AMR) installed base, and to capture market share for our Sensus FlexNet solution.  

Our Emerging Markets Regional Award recognized the iDuron UV Treatment Solution from our colleagues Sven Kaemmerer, R&D Manager, Engineering, Mahesh Kothiyal, Marketing Manager, Municipal & Treatment and Birk Roehring, Team Manager, Pipeline Management & Value Engineering.

The team customized our Duron ultraviolet (UV) treatment solution to meet a local market need in India to move away from chlorine disinfection for wastewater, which is harmful to the environment and a health hazard for plant workers, but has been the most affordable option. They replaced an automated lifting system feature with an adaptive lifting frame that customers can manually operate, and sourced parts locally.  As a result, we are now offering utility customers in India a superior, cost-competitive alternative to chlorine disinfection and are capturing new sales opportunities there – and also seeing interest from other markets.

Our Europe Regional Award recognized Wedeco SMO/PDO evo Plus from our colleagues Nicole Brüggemann, Process Engineer, Ozone, Ralf Fiekens, Team Manager, Ozone, Reiner Fietzek, Electrical Engineer, Ozone and Franz-Josef Richardt, Global Product Manager, Wedeco Ozone Systems

The team successfully transformed a legacy Wedeco ozone system by building in an intelligent controller that measures system temperatures to remove heat more efficiently – reducing energy consumption for cooling by up to 70% and water consumption for cooling by 60%. By integrating our Effizon evo 2G electrode technology, the team improved system reliability and energy efficiency.

Xylem honors innovation!



Read more in the Xylem 2018 Sustainability Report