IWMI introduces University Curriculum on ‘Developing Businesses in Resource Recovery and Reuse’

This new curriculum was developed by researchers of the Resource Recovery & Reuse (RRR) group at IWMI and business development experts at cewas (coaching entrepreneurs in water and sanitation) with the aim of transferring knowledge on business development in RRR to graduate students enabling them to analyse business options and enter the RRR market as entrepreneurs. The modules draw on innovative business model examples from the IWMI publication Resource Recovery from Waste Business Models for Energy, Nutrient and Water Reuse in Low- and Middle-Income Countries. A training programme for both lecturers and students was hosted by IWMI at our headquarters in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

A two-day introduction for lecturers took place on July 19 – 20 which focused on business and technological options for RRR, financing and investment climate assessment, business environment, and strategic positioning required for sustainable RRR business models. The training was attended by 25 lecturers from various national (University of Moratuwa, University of Peradeniya, Wayamba University, University of Kelaniya, Open University of Sri Lanka, etc.) and international universities (Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand; Makerere University, Uganda; Technische Hochschule Köln (University of Applied Sciences), Germany; Birla Institute of Technology and Science – Pilani K K Birla Goa campus, India, etc.) who have shown keen interest in implementing the curriculum in their respective faculties. This was followed by a week-long intensive summer school for students from July 23 – 27, 2018 which was attended by around 50 undergraduates and graduates from various universities in Sri Lanka and India. The university curriculum will enable engineering, business and agriculture students to:

  • identify business opportunities for resource recovery and reuse across the waste and sanitation sectors,
  • develop RRR business models,
  • study the feasibility of RRR business models by analysing legal, institutional,
  • technological, logistical, health and financial aspects and related risks,
  • define strategic positioning, financing and action plans for the implementation of RRR business models.

The training was well received by both lecturers and students. The curriculum modules will be further fine-tuned based on the feedback provided by the students and continued engagement with lecturers. Processes are already underway for integration of the curriculum in Masters’ of Engineering programs at Makerere University, Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Institute of Technology of Cambodia, Wayamba University and Open University of Sri Lanka for implementation in the 2019 academic calendar.


Curriculum modules

1. Business Models in Sanitation
2. Business Model Generation in FSM
3. Feasibility assessment of sanitation business
4. Empirical Cases and Business Models in FSM
5. Empirical Cases and Business Models in FSM (II)
6. Business Planning in Sanitation

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