Today, students from the third grade of secondary education made an excursion to Mol as part of their STEM project on water treatment. In close collaboration with the business community, they are working on the design and creation of their own coconut-based water treatment system. VITO took the opportunity to stimulate the technological talents of these young people. Today, the students introduced their progress to each other. VITO stressed the importance of water (increasing demand, climate change, …) for sustainable human development. In the afternoon, the students were introduced to geothermal energy with a visit to the geothermal energy site. The goal is to create awareness and boost the enthusiasm for science and technology among the students of now, the adults of tomorrow.

Sufficient water of good quality is essential for people and nature

In the search for solutions to water challenges, the active involvement of young people and working with nature-based solutions both play an important role. After today, students from different education disciplines know very well why water is indispensable as a resource and that it is an important element in the fight against climate change. An integrated approach with a focus on the interaction between technology, people and nature (nature-based solutions) is the key to success. At VITO, the research team Water Management and Technology (WMT) and the Flanders Knowledge Center Water (Vlakwa) are working together in finding solutions to these type of water challenges. Experts develop monitoring and calculation tools to evaluate which measures are best to ensure, for example, long-term water availability and quality. An example of these tools is the Nature Value Explorer, commissioned by the Department of Environment in collaboration with the universities of Antwerp and Amsterdam. The Nature Value Explorer is an online and freely available tool that gives managers, urban planners, landscape developers and governments the ability to visualize the socio-economic importance of open space. At the end of April, the latest version will be launched: a spatially explicit version.

G-STIC conference emphasises commitment of youth

The preparations for the next edition of G-STIC, from 28 until 30 November 2018, are well under way. This international conference, organised by VITO, aims to accelerate the implementation of SDGs through/ sustainable technology and innovation. First of all, by closing the gap with policy. Students, young researchers and start-ups are given a special opportunity. With the G-STIC Challenges, we seize the opportunity to collect their fresh, original ideas. Which technological solutions could contribute to the SDGs according to the new generation? Curious about their new insights. Participants with the best ideas get the unique opportunity to share their solution or research with the business and research world during G-STIC. Youth engagement is a cross-cutting theme of G-STIC, in close collaboration with UN Major Group for Children & Youth (UNMGCY).

More information

johan.ceulemans@vito.be (VITO)
dietrich.vanderweken@vito.be (G-STIC)

Share this article