Bringing together the most creative minds in water
Xylem is partnering with leading innovators across the water sector and beyond to solve urgent water challenges.
With water challenges escalating around the globe, the need to innovate and develop new solutions and approaches has never been more urgent. Xylem's Chief Innovation Officer Dave Flinton shares his insights on how Xylem’s ecosystem of innovation partners is shaping a new future for water – and helping communities and businesses around the globe solve their urgent water issues.
Q: What does innovation mean at Xylem?
A: At Xylem, we define innovation broadly, from the way we work with our customers to advance our products and technologies, to the way we are reinventing our business models and processes, to the way we operate our factories, and beyond – it’s what I call innovation with a capital “I.”
We know that no technology provider alone can bring the innovation needed to mitigate against climate change, so we are tapping into the global ecosystem of water innovation to move quickly to make a difference for our communities. Our innovation platform is bringing together the most creative minds from across our global organization and across sectors, including our customers, leading technology companies, leading universities and research institutes, supplier and distributor partners, industry influencers, government, startups and investors, and a new generation of student innovators and leaders.
Together with these partners we explore every avenue, continuously searching for new ways and greater opportunities to solve the toughest water challenges. This makes for powerful partnerships that have brought us some ground-breaking results and opened a world of possibilities.
Q: Can you share some examples of Xylem’s enterprise technology partnerships, and how they are on the leading edge?
A: We’re really excited about the partnership we’ve built with Esri, the renowned global leader in geographic information systems. Through joint collaboration on technology roadmaps and solution development, Esri and Xylem are working together on new innovative ways to integrate, visualize and analyze multiple sources of data for new solutions across the water network. Like our AI pipeline analysis model that leverages machine learning to predict pipe failures and ultimately deliver huge cost savings for communities.
“Esri and Xylem share a unique vision of a single geospatial platform unifying ideas, products and solutions across Xylem brands and shared customers. Combining the common language of location with the geographic approach, Xylem and Esri are bringing new innovative solutions to the market based on best in class, proven technologies, and world class water engineering.” – David Wachal, Director Global Water Practice, Esri.
We’re also partnering with Amazon Web Services (AWS), the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud platform. Together we’re developing and deploying innovative solutions for water utilities and industrial and commercial customers. Working with AWS, Xylem leverages a variety of innovative and widely adopted technologies to deploy robust, mission-ready, digital solutions for the water industry and to develop new solutions to meet the evolving needs of our customers.
Another great example of our enterprise technology collaborations is our partnership with Dragos, the global leader in cybersecurity for industrial control systems (ICS) / operational technology (OT) environments. We have partnered to bring best-in-class industrial cybersecurity to critical infrastructure in the water sector.
Q: What other kinds of partnerships is Xylem forging in our innovation ecosystem?
A: We’ve also recently launched a new multi-disciplinary center for water, wastewater and energy technologies with key partners at our regional headquarters in Singapore, such as EDB, Singapore’s Economic Development Board, and the National University of Singapore Environmental Research Institute. We’re also building incredible research partnerships with universities and research organizations across the globe including BlueTech Research as well as Arizona State University (ASU), where we are collaborating on a number of research areas focused on resource recovery from water treatment processes, methods to address contaminants of emerging concern, and cybersecurity. And we are inspiring young innovators to apply their talents and passion to solving water through our sponsorship of the Stockholm Junior Water Prize competition and our Xylem Ignite youth program.
Q: What does the future of innovation look like in Xylem?
A: We’re looking to bring innovative digital and foundational solutions and services to our customers across the world. Our digital offerings, and the insights and expanded capabilities they provide, help generate tremendous efficiencies, cost-savings and carbon reduction – making water more affordable and sustainable, and helping to strengthen our water systems. This is the future of innovation that we see, working hand-in-hand with our partners and customers to unlock these massive benefits the world over.
Xylem Voices of Innovation
Xylem Innovation Labs – Partnering with startups
“We’re partnering with the startup community and other innovators and entrepreneurs around the world to bring new technologies to market faster,” – Sivan Zamir, Vice President of Xylem Innovation Labs
Xylem Innovation Labs builds on Xylem’s efforts over the past decade to help accelerate water sector innovation. The initiative supports Xylem’s commitment to driving industry-wide innovation by identifying potential startup water technology partners and, through collaboration, leveraging these companies’ expertise to solve critical water challenges. Among our partners: Water consultancy Isle Utilities, and Imagine H2O, a non-profit organization that empowers people to develop and deploy innovation to solve water challenges globally.
AquaTalk – Partnering across our enterprise
“Our global, cross-functional collaboration is a great engine to boost innovation for Xylem and our customers.” – Mi Chen, Smart Water Solution Manager, Xylem
AquaTalk is Xylem’s integrated, digital water management platform initiated in China to address local customers’ challenges and developed by experts from across Xylem’s global organization. Launched in China in 2017, the solution consolidates many of the disparate sets of operational data that customers struggle to make sense of and act upon quickly and efficiently. AquaTalk essentially creates a “single pane of glass” with a simple interface, allowing for more real-time decision making, which increases efficiency and lowers operational costs.
Taron – Partnering with startups
“By incubating and co-developing with our startup partner, we’ve accelerated a truly transformational treatment solution.” – Jens Scheideler, Group Leader, Product Management, Xylem
Through our scouting and incubation work, we’ve partnered with a startup company to commercialize a new-to-world wastewater treatment product. This technology dramatically reduces the footprint of the treatment process, and allows industrial and utility customers to increase plant capacity using much of their existing space. As a result, the costs associated with footprint capex, and installation and operating costs are also dramatically reduced, and that leads to a much more affordable solution.
Wastewater Network Optimization – Partnering with customers
“We help utility partners implement smart solutions that deliver both cost savings and sustainability benefits.” – Nicole Pasch, Client Solutions Manager, Decision Intelligence Solutions, Xylem
Xylem’s ground-breaking Wastewater Network Optimization solution, which combines connected components, artificial intelligence and software, enables utilities to better understand, control and optimize operations of their existing infrastructure. Buffalo, New York, was able to cut combined sewer overflows by more than 450 million gallons a year helping reduce its Long-Term Control Plan by $145 million.
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