Business models for digital water solutions

The Business Models Action Group has published a study named “Business models for digital water solutions – A study on the development of business models of digital solutions related to ICT4Water cluster projects“.

Throughout the last eight years, the ICT4WATER cluster and its member projects have designed, developed and successfully demonstrated several solutions fostering the digital transition in the water sector. While some of these developments can be found at commercial level, in other cases the ideas do not reach the market. This is due to several reasons, being one of them that the value that these project ideas capture, both financially and environmentally, for customers and stakeholders (e.g. citizens, water utilities, managers and policy makers), it is not made sufficiently or explicitly clear. Thus, the purpose of this report is to understand how business models can effectively support digital water solutions. For this, we have developed a methodology to identify the minimum characteristics and structural elements of financially and environmentally sustainable business models that digital water solutions must have and how to recognize them. The final goal of this methodology, designed to highlight the value of a digital water solution, is twofold: on one hand increase knowledge and help project members and any aspiring innovators when designing their business models; and on the other, assist EASME, and the policy DGs in navigating along digital water business models and assessing their potential. This study uses ICT4Water cluster projects as reference sources and analyses 11 business models that convey the value proposition of the digitalization in the water sector. The methodology created and benchmarked within the cluster projects includes four key aspects or “dimensions” to consider in any business model: what, who, how and why.

The study can be downloaded from the Publications Office of the EU.