20 Mar 2023
Students Bringing Innovation to the Water Sector Met at ITU
An international camp was held at ITU as part of the DIGIWATER project. Students, and stakeholders from industry and academia came together at the camp held at ITU MEMTEK on March 15-17, 2023 to share and develop new applications of digital technologies in the water sector.
News: İTÜ Media and Communication Office
Istanbul Technical University (ITU) carries out studies focusing on technological and digital transformation as part of its 250th year vision. Transforming the future with the goal of sustainability, our university strengthens international collaborations that improve students’ innovativeness.
Istanbul Innovation Camp, an initiative of the Erasmus+ project DIGIWATER, was held on March 15-17 on our Ayazağa Campus with the participation of six universities, six SMEs, and the umbrella organization EWA. An international students group and stakeholders from academia, public and industry came together to share and develop new applications of digital technologies in the water sector.
The theme of the camp: cybersecurity and natural catastrophes
The focus of the Istanbul Innovation Camp, hosted İTÜ-MEMTEK and MEMSİS and led by our Rector Prof. Dr. İsmail Koyuncu was on the management of natural and man-made catastrophes in the water sector using digital concepts. It was emphasized that this is particularly relevant given the recent earthquakes in Türkiye, as well as the global increase in cybersecurity attacks.
An international group of students and academic, administrative, and industry stakeholders came together at Istanbul Technical University to share and develop new applications of digital technologies in the water sector.
Brainstorming, presentations and technical excursion
In order to ensure security in the digitalized water sector, different software and tools such as package programs are used. While there are some security vulnerabilities that are not noticed during their creation, these vulnerabilities can become a threat in situations such as war. As a result, cyber-attacks on water facilities pose a great danger to countries and societies.
In the innovation camporganized for the second time as part of the DIGIWATER project, productive work was carried out onprevent threats arisingfrom cyber-attacks and natural catastrophes against the water sectorand to producing solutions for to protect of processes and facilities. Topics such as development of early warning systems, what to do in the event of a cyber-attack and evaluation of response options were discussed.
After the stakeholder presentations, the students first came up with solutions in brainstorming sessions. Afterwards, using an innovation canvas model, the students went on to further develop and organize their ideas. Forming teams, they presented their ideas to international jury. The team consisting of students from Norway and Germany came out on top among the teams evaluated by the jury at the final stage of the camp.
A technical visit excursion was organized to İSKİ Ağva Advanced Biological Wastewater Treatment Plant in order to set an example for the use of digital tools in the water sector under the three-day camp. Asst. Prof. Mehmet Emin Paşaoğlu from ITU MEMTEK and ISKI officials informed the students about the wastewater treatment process in the facility.
About the DIGIWATER Project
The innovation camp is an initiative of DIGIWATER, an Erasmus+ project that brings together universities and private sector companies from Türkiye, Germany, Belgium, Romania, Cyprus and Norway and the European Water Association (EWA). Supported by the European Union, DIGIWATER aims to develop innovative and multidisciplinary approaches to teach and stimulate entrepreneurial skills contributing to reduce the knowledge gap between professionals in the water sector and enabling faster uptake of innovations.
DIGIWATER's first innovation camp was organized by project partners KU Leuven and Sumaqua in October 2022 in Leuven (Belgium), where students studied on the Internet of Things (IoT) and big data applications for the water sector.
Target goal is to develop prototypes and conduct end-user tests
Students will further refine their ideas by creating prototypes in the months after the innovation camp using jury feedback. The prototyping cycle will be finished when new prototypes are tested and taken their final forms in end-user environments.
To follow the developments in the DIGIWATER project, you could check the Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin pages.