Water is also an important theme at the 15th edition of InfraTech

InfraTech will experience its 15th edition in January 2023. The theme of the biennial fair is ‘Move Forward’ as a reference to the major challenges facing the infrastructure sector. The exhibition floor is divided into four themes, of which water & sewage is one. New are Waterbouwplein, Waterschapsplein and Klimazonen.

The fair (January 17 to 20) has five main themes, which are ‘Mobility and Logistics’; ‘Replacement and Refurbishment’; ‘Digital Infrastructure’; ‘Human capital’ and ‘Climate and sustainability’. The last theme in particular gets a lot of attention, writes the exhibition organizer, who with the 15th edition wants to make a significant contribution to achieving the sustainability goals and the realization of ‘a circular infrastructure sector, emission reduction and the energy transition’. “We are lagging behind the climate agreement’s goals (49 percent less CO2 emissions in 2030), energy and commodity markets are seriously disrupted, and infrastructure and construction projects are under pressure, not least because of the nitrogen crisis.”

The Dutch economy – and thus also the infrastructure sector – must be fully circular by 2050. Rijkswaterstaat, which hosts the fair together with the municipality of Rotterdam, wants to work climate-neutral and circular by 2030. And provinces, municipalities and water boards also have far-reaching ambitions, which will change the way the Dutch infrastructure sector works forever, says the exhibition organizer.

The water sector
The water sector uses Infratech to show off. The Union of Water Boards is a strategic partner and all 12 water boards and water boards are represented at Waterschapsplein (Hall 6). Over the course of 4 days, a program with varying themes, speakers, workshops and meetings will be held on the square. Among other things, projects from the Flood Program will be discussed, followed by a so-called stock exchange safari together with companies that collaborate with the water councils on these HWBP projects.

The water councils also want to enter into a dialogue with the market about ‘sustainable realization’ of new ‘circular and sustainable projects’, but also about the replacement and renovation of pumping stations, bridges and locks. They also want to present themselves as an attractive employer with HBO students from The Hague University of Applied Sciences and Van Hall Larenstein as invited visitors.

There is plenty of ‘the market’ that the water authorities would like to talk to. On the exhibition floor, there are exhibitors in waste water treatment, drainage, soil and rainwater management, pipe systems, sewerage, pumps and pumping stations. The also new Waterbouwplein (Hall 1) serves as a meeting place for all water engineering companies (large and small) involved in civil engineering, land reclamation, dredging, flood protection, water structure construction, port development and site planning. Also new at the fair is the Climate Zone, where there is a focus on solutions for floods, heat stress and drought.

Knowledge program
InfraTech’s knowledge program focuses on current trends within the infrastructure. And it is: ‘Mobility and logistics’; ‘Replacement and Refurbishment’; ‘Digital Infrastructure’; ‘Human capital’ and ‘Climate and sustainability’. The last theme in particular gets a lot of attention, outlines the exhibition organizer.

The InfraTech Innovation Awards will be presented during the fair. With the selection, InfraTech stimulates innovative ideas in construction, maintenance, renovation and makes infrastructure more sustainable. The InfraTech Innovation Awards are divided into three categories: product innovation, process innovation and sustainable collaboration. In all three categories this year, the jury will pay extra attention to whether an innovation contributes to the climate objectives. The nominated entries will be published in early December.

Also new during InfraTech 2023 is the Infra Career Lounge (January 19) with Meeting Points, where exhibitors come into contact with students and young professionals and vice versa.


EXHIBITION INFO

The fair in the Ahoy exhibition complex in Rotterdam is a platform for Dutch infrastructure professionals from the entire chain. This includes employees of water boards, drinking water companies, contractors and national, provincial and local authorities.

InfraTech’s exhibition floor is divided into different themes, each representing a segment of the infrastructure. In hall 1 the theme is Infra central, in halls 2 and 4 Water & Sewage, in hall 5 Public Space & Mobility and in hall 6 Infra & Innovation.

In 2021, due to corona restrictions, InfraTech had to resort to a digital version. More than 4,000 visitors visited the fair on the digital platform, the organizer said. In 2019, the fair attracted approximately 22,000 visitors to the Ahoy exhibition complex with around 600 exhibitors. For the 15th edition, the organization expects a number of visitors similar to 2019.


BUILD CONGRESS IN WATER

During InfraTech 2023, the Building in Water conference will be held on 19 January. The symposium deals with the construction and design of an industrial energy island in or near the mouth of the Vestskelde. In the design of the island, a high water protection function is also considered with an eye to the accessibility of the Vestskelde ports and another north-south connection.

The symposium will present ideas, exchange knowledge and examine opinions about a smart redevelopment of Vestskelde, which will be necessary in the long term. ‘Building in Water’ is a continuation of the previous World Water Works conference which took place in Antwerp Expo in March 2016.

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