IVL, Swedish environmental institute, Industrial symbiosis,

Digital twins pave the way for innovations in water purification

Many of Sweden's water treatment plants are in dire need of renovation. Climate change and growing cities are other major challenges the facilities must tackle. Digitization can play an important role here and cut costs related to new construction and refurbishment of water treatment works.

I fokus

IVL started the Vinnova Project in 2018 to explore how open data in digital twins for water treatment plants can contribute to innovations in the form of new products and services for efficient and sustainable water purification.

"An available digital copy of a water treatment plant is advantageous from several perspectives. You always have up-to-date information and can easily simulate new process steps and different operating conditions that you can link to new research results or information from other sites around the world. This has huge savings potential," says Fredrik Hallgren, expert on digitized environmental monitoring at IVL.

In the digital twin, information from hydrological models and water quality measurements can be combined with population increase calculations and scenarios, as well as information on new rules and purification requirements. IT provides support to efficiently and sustainably plan, build, manage and develop water purification facilities.

"New innovative products and services can emerge from sharing design, models, drawings, services or software and reuse data from several different sources. There is great potential to link digitization, innovation and sustainable development," says Eva Stattin, project manager and business developer in digitization at IVL.

The project includes a broad team of research actors representing environmental and sustainability research as well as
digitization, interactive products and actors in technology and design companies. Three users are also included in the project results: The City of Gothenburg, the Cycle and Water administration and Trollhättan Energi.

For further information, please contact:

Eva Stattin, eva.stattin@ivl.se, tel. 010-788 67 10

Fredrik Hallgren, fredrik.hallgren@ivl.se, tel. 010-788 67 83


About the project:

  • The project "Open data, shared design and digital twins in innovation ecosystem for society critical infrastructure" is lead by IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute and is carried out in collaboration with Rise Interactive, University of Skövde, Royal Institute of Technology, Ramboll Sweden, Virtual Cities of Sweden, Hagström Consulting, City of Gothenburg and Trollhättan Energy.

  • The project aims at ensuring the pioneering management of water and sanitation for all with the use of open data and shared design in digital twins for society-critical infrastructure. The goal is that collaborating parties will get a clear picture of development needs and practical approaches to being active partners in innovation ecosystems where digitization, open data and shared design will pave the way for sustainable solutions to societal challenges.

  • The project will contribute to the development of smart, competitive and long-term sustainable water purification infrastructure. It will result in descriptions of opportunities and limitations for those who wish to use digitization, open data and shared design to develop society-critical infrastructure. It will also result in increased understanding of how the exchange of information in digital twins, between actors working together in innovation ecosystems, can contribute to new innovative products and services.