In April 2022, Membrion’s CEO and founder, Greg Newbloom, traveled to Singapore after a special invitation to be part of the Singapore International Water Week (SIWW). This was Asia’s first large-scale gathering for the water industry since the pandemic, and Greg was honored to meet and gather in-person with the many industry leaders that he has collaborated with virtually for the past few years.
“It’s not every day that the ‘who’s who’ of this industry gathers to discuss the critical issues faced by the global water industry. This year, I was an invited delegate to the Water Leaders Summit (WLS), a part of Singapore International Water Week (SIWW), which included discussions of challenges, trends, and opportunities to address critical societal issues,” Greg said.
Collaborating with Leaders
“There was such a depth of experience gathered in one place. I was part of discussions on broad industry trends, including water recovery and reuse, considering climate impacts and systemic drought. One opportunity I enjoyed learning more about was brine mining. There is value in minerals that are dissolved in the water, and an ability to mine those minerals for use through desalination technologies. This approach uses all of what is in the water. Membrion’s work with ion exchange membranes could have a huge impact in the emerging approach.”
SIWW gathers both the largest and smallest players in the water market together to share information. While everyone benefits from knowing what the others are seeing and thinking, Greg said, “It’s important to have the full picture from others’ perspectives and be able to apply the information I learned through the lens of how Membrion fits into the macro trends of water reuse, recycling and mineral mining.”
SIWW occurs every two years and is set up by Singapore’s Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment and PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency. Packed full of events and collaborative opportunities, SIWW is a time to pay focused attention on making every drop of water count; this became the theme for the 2022 conference. “Everyone at this conference has a passion for water. When these people gather, they are talking holistically, discussing community impacts and policy. It is informative, uplifting, and inspiring,” Greg shared.
Setting Goals for the Future of Water
One compelling characteristic of SIWW is the universal positive goals related to water. “Singapore is very focused on water sustainability. Water is a priority there and it is respected for the precious resource that it is. Everyone embraces this at SIWW and takes it back to their respective countries to continue the work toward the universal overarching goals.”
Greg mentioned the kindred spirits at this conference, particularly apparent among the attendees from water-based start-ups. “Membrion will benefit from these new industry colleagues because I now have a vision for how they are approaching various water problems. For example, I enjoyed meeting Amrit Nayak, the founder of Indra Water. Amrit and I have a shared educational experience at the University of Washington, where I benefitted from technology he developed, which he has successfully deployed in India.”
SIWW has a hot-issues agenda, and we got right down to business working these issues and sharing solutions. Some of those hot issues included resource circularity, wastewater, resumption of water, net zero, climate resilience, digital water, and sustainability. All of these are issues for which Membrion products play an important role.
How Membrion Drives Change Through Water Recovery
The membranes manufactured by Membrion are a cost-effective and a high-performance break from traditional industrial water filter technology. The Singapore event is all about problem-solving innovations in water, and Membrion’s ceramic desalination membranes are new technology for this industry. Traditional polymer membranes only perform within a limited range, but Membrion’s flexible, ceramic ion exchange membranes open unlimited possibilities for water recovery and allow for the exploration of previously inaccessible high temperatures, low pH ranges, and challenging trace chemicals.
SIWW is comprised of multiple events, including the WLS, Water Convention, Water Expo, and other business forums. “As an invited delegate, I had the opportunity to engage in strategic discussions with fellow leaders at the Water Convention Hot Issues Workshop, the Environmental & Water Leaders Forum, and more,” Greg said.
At the Water Expo, which is a platform for buyers to source innovative water solutions spanning the water cycle, Greg was able to share more about the Membrion technologies that were recently honored as a SEMI Startup for Semiconductor Sustainability award finalist.
Already hard at work on the industry’s shared initiatives, Membrion focuses on wastewater recovery and makes recovering water worth every drop.