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Membrane Filtration and UV Water Treatment - Patent Landscape Report

Membrane Filtration and UV Water Treatment - Patent Landscape Report

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The UN General Assembly explicitly recognized access to water and sanitation as a basic human right. UN Member States and international organizations are called upon in this Resolution to facilitate capacity-building and technology transfer aiming to help countries, foremost developing countries have access to safe, clean, accessible and affordable drinking water and sanitation.

Various water treatment methods are required and used to make water safe and clean for drinking and irrigation purposes. The present landscape report focuses on a selection of water treatment technologies, namely UV disinfection and micro-, ultra- and nanofiltration. The report identifies patents that claim inventions related to these water treatment technologies. It also looks at patents on inventions that form part of desalination (pre- or post- desalination) treatment in particular. In that it complements another WIPO patent landscape report on desalination and renewable energies, one of the major technologies used for water treatment in an increasing number of countries.

The patent search results reveal innovation patterns and patenting trends in the selected technological areas, and are supplemented by a technology and market analysis, case studies and the results of a survey on the industry views on innovation in the field of water treatment.
The UN General Assembly explicitly recognized access to water and sanitation as a basic human right. UN Member States and international organizations are called upon in this Resolution to facilitate capacity-building and technology transfer aiming to help countries, foremost developing countries have access to safe, clean, accessible and affordable drinking water and sanitation.

Various water treatment methods are required and used to make water safe and clean for drinking and irrigation purposes. The present landscape report focuses on a selection of water treatment technologies, namely UV disinfection and micro-, ultra- and nanofiltration. The report identifies patents that claim inventions related to these water treatment technologies. It also looks at patents on inventions that form part of desalination (pre- or post- desalination) treatment in particular. In that it complements another WIPO patent landscape report on desalination and renewable energies, one of the major technologies used for water treatment in an increasing number of countries.

The patent search results reveal innovation patterns and patenting trends in the selected technological areas, and are supplemented by a technology and market analysis, case studies and the results of a survey on the industry views on innovation in the field of water treatment.

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01/08/2016

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In 2012 access to safe drinking water became the very first Millennium Development
Goal to be met by the international community4

. The original goal set in 2000 was to
halve by 2015 the proportion of population without sustainable access to safe drinking
water and basic sanitation5

. This encouraging achievement should underscore the
progress that can be made through the deployment of often simple and cheap
technologies in low income economies. At the same time, it can be expected that the
challenges related to water systems will continue to increase, requiring further
investment and technological innovation to meet global needs.

Access to clean water is a basic human need and an important driver of social and
economic development6

. A predictable and consistent access to clean drinking water is
universally seen as a core function of states, as it is crucial to a society’s public health,
economic vitality and national security7

. Chronic water scarcity is already a reality in
many countries, with the water systems of an increasing number of countries seen as
vulnerable (see Figure 1). While basic access to potable water is the minimum
requirement toward which low-income economies strive, much higher access is required
to sustain growing incomes in many developing economies, growing food supplies and
industry.

4

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2012/drinking_water_20120306/en/

5

UN (2010) 'The Millennium Development Goals Report', pp.58-60

6

UN-Water: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation. Water, a shared responsibility:

the United Nations World Water Development Report 2. World Water Assessment Programme, 2006.

7

M.Elimelech and WA Phillip. “The Future of Seawater Desalination: Energy, Technology, and the

Environment .” Science 33 ( 2011): 712-717.

7

Figure 1: Global fresh water availability (UNEP 2008)

Even countries with overall secure water systems may face regional shortages. Access
to clean water is particularly problematic in the least developed countries (LDCs), but is
also an increasingly important issue in middle-income and developed economies due to
rising consumption levels and continued urbanisation and industrialisation. In the coming
decades it is anticipated that continued population growth, rising incomes in emerging
economies and continued urbanisation and industrialisation, as well as climate change
pressures will put further pressure on existing water treatment infrastructure and
resources. These changes in the requirements on water systems will be translated into
increased investments in water technology and infrastructure. Market research shows
that the forecast 3% increase in annual demand for fresh water would convert into
annual investment requirements of up to €400–500bln in water infrastructure in the very
near future8
.

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