During the online edition of WaterLink 2021 on Thursday 18 February Rudy Dijkstra, CEO of Acquaint, enthusiastically spoke about what kind of company Acquaint is. He explained what Acquaint represents, what their role is in water technology, and especially about how they see the future. “Much of what Acquaint is today is due to the WaterCampus,” says Rudy Dijkstra.
The foundation of Acquaint is clear: we inspect pipelines to be able to assess the condition of a pipeline network. More importantly is the impact that Acquaint has as a company: We allow water companies, water boards and municipalities to make substantiated decisions primarily about their aged underground pipelines. With autopilot we create leverage so that they gain accelerated insight with which they develop decisiveness and consequently achieve better decision-making.
Acquaint was founded six years ago and was created through a collaboration with research institute Wetsus in Leeuwarden. At that time Wetsus already had the research theme Smart Water Grids. Within that theme different promotional researches are performed and one of those researches included characterising the quality of pipelines. With that Acquaint is able to determine the condition of a pipeline. Because Wetsus is part of the WaterCampus, the parties reinforce each other. At Wetsus you have contact with the ‘end-consumer’ which results in insightful conversations. Especially for young, starting entrepreneurs. You receive a good overview of what they are doing and what their problems are. ”But they are also your launching customers. Much of what Acquaint is today is due to the WaterCampus ”. Rudy emphasises: ”The Watercampus in Leeuwarden is our cornerstone of the Dutch water technology sector in the Capital of Water Technology”.
The importance and the role of the WaterCampus for Acquaint are shifting gradually towards export. Acquaint has had the first taste of export in the last few years, and currently, initiatives are organised whereby the foreign collaboration is coming closer. Rudy explains about the shifts that are occurring: ”You notice that there are different phases for your company. We are now working more with the Water Alliance (one of the partners of the WaterCampus) to also come into contact with foreign parties (also other regions and Campuses). In the beginning it had a very different role. It was more focused on research and now we are looking more into expansion and connections abroad”.
Acquaint is one of the partners in the WTEX10 programme. The goal of this programme is to increase the Dutch water technology export. Initiators are Top Sector Water & Maritime, NWP (Netherlands Water Partnership) and FMO (Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Dank). Acquaint works together with these organisations and the Water Alliance. As different Dutch companies deliver partial products collaboration is very important. Rudy has specific expectations of participation in this program: ”As partners we can act together when approaching target countries. Together you have more intelligence about the market and the cooperating parties are complementary to each other, so that you can discuss with each other in an open manner about, for example, how to influence a market”.
Acquaint has several focus countries and in a few countries partners will work together. Because Acquaint is a niche-player focus is necessary to develop within certain sectors. Acquaint notices that western countries really need to step up to