Next Generation
Water Action

the future of water by young academics and entrepreneurs

powered by DTU SKYLAB


Next Generation Water Action is a global initiative that engaged 200 young talents from leading universities and early stage start-ups. Participants from Korea, India, Kenya, Denmark and Mexico represented the next generation of water leaders. Combining their diverse backgrounds and skills, they developed bold ideas to solve the world’s most pressing sustainable water challenges.


DTU Skylab together with DTU Sustain brought forward a tailored virtual program, that  enables the participants to take action together with the corporate world, academic & public partners. They were not only supported with mentorship, industry insights and bootcamps, but also got a relevant stage to showcase and discuss their bold ideas with global decision makers. Selected teams were invited to promote their solutions at the IWA World Water Congress 2022 in Copenhagen!


While the burden of fixing the sustainable water challenges of the world should not be on the youth, there is no doubt that they should be represented in the discussions. It is, after all, the issues that have not been dealt with that they will inherit. We believe that by engaging our Next Generation in the global discussion about the future of the water sector, it is that we are heading towards a more sustainable future.

NGWA 2021-2022 Evaluation Booklet

The Next Generation Water Action initiative by the Technical University of Denmark ran from February 2021 until the IWA World Water Congress in Copenhagen September 2022. 190 students and 13 startups from Korea, Indien, Kenya, Denmark and Mexico participated brought forward 56 sustainable ideas for the future of water. Read about the innovation journey and outcomes in our evaluation booklet.

The next iteration of Next Generation will focus on City Action, leading up to the UIA World Congress of Architects Copenhagen 2023

190 students

10 challenges

6 nationalities

43 solutions

Academic Track

Our Young Academics Track connected 200 university students from leading technical universities.

Over two years, two rounds of students from Denmark, Kenya, Mexico, Korea, Ghana and India developed water solutions of the future. Working in 22 teams on solving 5 real-life challenges each year, we equipped the international students with the network, partnerships and tools to develop and showcase their sustainable water solutions. 

Entrepreneurial Track

Our Young Entrepreneurs track took 13 selected water startups on an acceleration journey, six of which were invited to join the IWA World Water Congress.

Not only do startups get access to the network that can boost their solution and business, they also train how to get the most value possible out of the network, finding the mutual benefit, and getting strong on pitching their water solutions.  

5 nationalities

13 startups

NGWA highlights

Our Next Generation program not only supports participants with mentorship, industry insights and bootcamps, but provides a relevant stage to showcase and discuss their bold ideas with global decision makers at our Next Generation finals and at the partnering global congress! 

Virtual programme

Most of the programme took place online, connecting students, entrepreneurs and mentors all over the world.

Multihub finals

Participants in each country gathered locally to partake in our multihub finals event which connected five simultaneous local events into one.


Selected participating teams were invited to join the IWA World Water Congress. Here they got the opportunity to exhibit and pitch their projects.

Fostering Innovation with Global Partners

The initiative is led by DTU Skylab and DTU Sustain, at the Technical University of Denmark, in partnership with IWAIWA Young Water ProfessionalsYWPDK, The Danish National Committee for IWA, the Embassy of Denmark in Kenya, Innovation Centre Denmark in India and Seoul, university and industry partners.

Possible through support from the Poul Due Jensen Foundation.