Wetsus, European centre of excellence for sustainable water technology is a facilitating intermediary for trendsetting know-how development. Wetsus creates a unique environment and strategic cooperation for development of profitable and sustainable state of the art water treatment technology.

The inspiring and multidisciplinary collaboration between companies and research institutes from all over Europe in Wetsus results in innovations that contribute significantly to the solution of the global water problems. Wetsus’ scientific research program is defined by the private and public water sector and conducted by leading universities.

Wetsus is part of WaterCampus Leeuwarden. WaterCampus Leeuwarden is the physical core of the Dutch water technology sector and has the ambition to play a sector uniting role for the rest of Europe as well. WaterCampus stimulates cooperation between (inter)national businesses, knowledge institutes and governments within the water technology sector, in order to create synergy for world class innovation, education and entrepreneurship.

This strengthens the global position of the European water technology sector. Additionally, WaterCampus offers a unique research infrastructure, and is a meeting point for scientists and companies from all over Europe. The international cooperation organized and stimulated by WaterCampus Leeuwarden leads to knowledge, talent and entrepreneurship that contribute to solutions for global water problems.




View from the
river Potmarge

by night

Winter time

Set up
for meeting

Our core values


Searching actively for and the development of trendsetting technological innovations which are applicable to society.


Focusing on inspiring relationships with our partners in order to create an effective network.


Our ability to keep promises and providing declared standards.


Creating a pleasant working atmosphere in which colleagues can grow professionally and personally.


Supporting and respecting each other in an open and safe environment.

Why Wetsus?

European centre of excellence for sustainable water technology

Wetsus, European centre of excellence for sustainable water technology, facilitates breakthrough innovations for water treatment technology. Wetsus is a facilitating intermediary for trend-setting know-how development and uses a unique innovation model. Wetsus’ main activity is the coordination of a world leading research program. The inspiring and multidisciplinary collaboration between companies and research institutes in Wetsus results in innovations that contribute significantly to the solution of the global water problems.

European centre of excellence for sustainable water technology

Wetsus Open Community Cooperation Model

Wetsus is organized around its aim to stimulate collaboration between the various public and private organizations that together constitute the water sector: i.e. between public companies, private companies and universities; between scientific chairs; and between regional, national and European policy makers. The Wetsus Open Community Cooperation Model creates the synergy and momentum required to achieve major objectives. As per January 1, 2020, 106 companies annually invest some € 3.4 million in the demand driven € 15.3 million/year research program, with a long term commitment. In the current Wetsus international know-how network, about 130 partners from all over the world, but with an emphasis on the EU, join forces in solving the global water problems.

Wetsus Open Community Cooperation Model

International know-how network strategy

We are a not-for-profit foundation located in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands, combining a campus approach with an international know-how network strategy. At WaterCampus Leeuwarden, multidisciplinary know-how, education and talent are concentrated, valorization and commercialization are accelerated and facilities are shared. Companies, assembled in a Wetsus research theme, together determine the research program, which is executed in the Wetsus laboratory by the 23 involved research institutes. All research projects are performed under the responsibility of the participating universities. As per January 2020, 51 scientific chairs from all over Europe are involved.

International know-how network strategy

PhD positions

Within several (inter)national scientific programs in Wetsus, research institutes and industry jointly implement market-driven, application- oriented, multidisciplinary, (pre)competitive scientific research in the field of sustainable water technology. This is typically done in four- year-long research projects carried out by PhD-students and their supervisors. The research goal of Wetsus is to develop innovative and sustainable water technologies. The scientific creativity required for that is to a large extend generated by the unique cooperation of 51 know- how disciplines in one physical laboratory. A dedicated Intellectual Property Rights policy is in place, to enable optimal cooperation, innovation and the commercialization thereof. This way, Wetsus combines scientific excellence with commercial relevance, which ultimately results in successful innovations.

PhD positions

Key success factors

Wetsus’ distinguishing key success factors are: high trust cooperation through relatively small research theme, high commitment through long term cooperation contracts with companies and secondment agreements with universities, sharing of multidisciplinary knowledge from universities and companies in an idea driven program, strong involvement of SME’s, independent meeting place for scientists from all over Europe. With regard to involvement in policy and programs for innovation, Wetsus is active on regional (smart regional specialization in the Northern Netherlands), national (direct involvement in national topsector Water & Maritime and TKI water technology) and European level (ERRIN Working Groups, Water Europe Working Group Resource Recovery, EIT Raw Materials, Water4All, Interreg, COSME, Horizon2020, LIFE, Erasmus+, etc).

Key success factors

In addition to Wetsus’ research role, Wetsus also fulfills two other main functions. A talent and education program is operated, in order to develop the human capital required to fulfill the innovation ambitions of the international water sector. Besides, many activities in the field of stimulating spin-offs and entrepreneurship are performed to stimulate the translation of laboratory inventions into actual innovations applied in society.

Formal information (statutory object, ANBI status, Chamber of Commerce/financial report, remuneration, RSIN number)

We are Wetsus

51 Professors
247 PhD projects
703 Publications
88 Patents
125 Academic & industrial partners