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Xylem launches new innovation center in Shanghai

By Lin Shujuan chinadaily.com.cn Updated: 2023-03-10
Water technology provider Xylem launched a new innovation center in its Chinese headquarters in Shanghai on Monday. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Water technology provider Xylem has launched a new innovation center in its Chinese headquarters in Shanghai to enhance its smart water services.

The new Xylem Water InnoSpace, which includes a digital product laboratory, is aimed at driving innovation across the water sector with a focus on digitalization and intelligent development, said Lyu Shuping, president of Xylem China & North Asia, during the center's launch ceremony on March 6.

"Digital technologies can create powerful water, energy and cost efficiencies, and make water systems more resilient and sustainable," said Lyu.

Xylem specializes in water and wastewater technologies such as treatment systems, analytical instruments, pumps and hydro turbines. The company, which was subsidiary of ITT Corporation before 2011, has been operating in China for more than three decades.

Driven by China's commitment to pursue sustainable development, Xylem China has developed rapidly over the past decade, experiencing a five-fold increase in sales between 2011 and 2021, according to Lyu.

"During the country's 12th and 13rd five-year plans, China had paid great attention to sewage collection, sewage treatment, and clean drinking water safety, all of which are areas that Xylem specializes in," she said.

With the opening of the country's 14th Five-Year Plan, in which sustainable development and the dual carbon goals are major goals, Xylem is confident that it will continue to achieve two-digit annual growth in the coming years.

"Despite the pandemic, we invested tens of millions of dollars to establish a new R&D center in Shanghai, which is also a demonstration of Xylem's optimism about the prospects of the Chinese market," she said.

Lyu pointed out that the water and wastewater industry now has a greater focus on energy-saving solutions, asset optimization and intelligent, data-driven solutions. This trend had become more pronounced during the COVID-19 pandemic years when customers' expectations for water services to be smart and intelligent grew.

"Xylem has continuously strengthened local R&D capabilities and strived to use digitalisation to help solve water problems," said Lyu.

In 2017, Xylem launched AquaTalk, a smart water platform that solves problems such as insufficient monitoring, urban waterlogging, and sewage overflow in the construction of some smart cities.

The platform, created in collaboration with Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, marked the company's transformation from a traditional equipment manufacturer into a digital integrated solutions provider, according to He Wei, director of R&D and Engineering, Xylem China.

In 2022, Xylem launched 16 new products , 11 of which were independently developed by the Chinese team, according to He.