Meet the Buyer: Xylem

21 Jun 2017

Meet the Buyer in Cambridge: Xylem


Xylem (XYL) is a leading global water technology provider, enabling customers to transport, treat, test and efficiently use water in public utility, residential and commercial building services, industrial and agricultural settings. The company does business in more than 150 countries through a number of market-leading product brands, and its people bring broad applications expertise with a strong focus on finding local solutions to the world’s most challenging water and wastewater problems. Xylem is headquartered in Rye Brook, New York, with 2016 revenue of almost $5 billion and approximately 16,000 employees worldwide. Xylem was named in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the last four years for advancing sustainable business practices and solutions worldwide, and the Company has satisfied the requirements to be a constituent of the FTSE4Good Index Series each year since 2013.

Xylem, innovation leadership

Xylem recently acquired Sensus (which had previously acquired Sentec, a Cambridge Technology start-up). Xylem then appointed Sentec’s commercial director Steve Dawson as its global Vice President of Advanced Technology and Innovation. This acquisition and appointment is part of Xylem’s corporate commitment to becoming a technology leading company across the Water, Smart Cities and Energy Sectors. To achieve this position as a technology leader Xylem is investing significant resources in an open innovation strategy and is looking to the dynamic SME sector to increase the vitality of its supply chain. Xylem is looking for SMEs with proven technologies and services across their three sectors of interest – Water, Smart Cities and Energy – with the aim of identifying a wide range of potential new suppliers and collaborators.

Priority challenges

Xylem’s core business relates to the Water sector, however it’s innovation needs are also linked to its expansion into related sectors and technology fields, in particular Smart Cities and Energy. As a large multi-national with a large workforce and property portfolio Xylem is also interested in technologies to reduce its own global environmental footprint.


  • Addressing global, clean water and supply challenges
  • Long distance water transit
  • Decentralised water treatment
  • Low cost, wide area, water quality monitoring
  • Non-revenue technology (water leaks)

Smart Cities

  • Clean air
  • Smart sensor technology


  • Energy distribution
  • Networks intelligence
  • Water / energy crossover technology

Xylem approach

Xylem are in a dynamic, divergent technology identification phase and are undertaking a wide-ranging supplier identification and collaboration processes. Companies interested in working with Xylem will have the opportunity to present their innovative technologies and services and where successful initiate a dialogue which has the potential to lead to pilot technology implementations or collaborative development opportunities. In addition to it’s aim of being a technology lead Xylem also wants to be a leader in dynamic SME collaboration and relationship building. The acquisition of Sensus (and Sentec), through it’s experience as a technology innovator and scale-up company, is aimed at creating an ideal entry point for like-minded businesses to engage with the demands of leading global infrastructure company; in short Xylem’s open innovation programme is being run by people that understand what it takes to make a SME-Corporate collaboration work.

What are Xylem looking for?

If you believe your company has a technology or service that can contribute to Xylem’s objective of becoming a global leader in water and infrastructure technology then they want to speak to you. To be successful your company will have a proven product or service, with customers and products in the field. Earlier stage technologies are not excluded, but companies wishing to pitch these types of solutions will need to have a compelling case that they can demonstrate ahead of being offered 1-1 meetings. Xylem’s open innovation strategy is a long term commitment so early stage companies are encouraged to make contact with a view to being contacted and considered for future calls for collaboration and engagement.

How to apply

If you are interested in this opportunity in the first instance please express interest by responding with an email to:, describing in less than 100 words why you believe there is a fit between your company and Xylem. In addition please also provide a link to your website and up to two pages of additional company or product information.

Leave a Reply