European Commision


EIP Water Innovation News May 2015, 12. May 2015
EIP Water | Boosting opportunities - Innovating water

Dear Reader,

Welcome to the May 2015 edition of our monthly newsletter!

At a global level, the month of April was marked by the World Water Forum 7 in South Korea during which new analyses and perspectives on global water challenges and markets were published.  We introduce some of these publications on the EIP Water Marketplace and in this newsletter.

In Europe, the Horizon 2020 water call closed on 21 April; it has received 915 applications -  a strong sign for the increasing interest in the water sector.

Within its partnerships, EIP Water has been appointed to the Water JPI Stakeholder’s Advisory Group (SAG).  The Water JPI is currently holding a consultation on its Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda, which will provide valuable input for the SAG’s next meeting on 4-5 June 2015 - we recommend to all readers to participate and make sure to express your views by 24 May 2015.

Last but not least, we have closed our call for hosting cities and partners of the next EIP Water Conference in February 2016; we have received five proposals from all over Europe which will be evaluated by mid-June at the latest.

Best regards,

The EIP Water Secretariat


EIP Water News and Updates

EIP Water on Stakeholder Advisory Group of Water JPI

The Water JPI is the "Joint Programming Initiative" whose main objective is to better coordinate national European research agendas on water challenges.

In June 2014 the Water JPI launched the most recent version of its Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA 1.0) on which it is now conducting a public consultation; the release of an updated SRIA 2.0 is scheduled for the end of 2015 and the results of the on-going consultation ending on 24 May will be presented and discussed at the Water JPI's Stakeholder Advisory Group (SAG) meeting on 4/5 June in Brussels. 

The EIP Water was invited to join the SAG and will aim to ensure reinforced collaboration and stronger links between the two entities.

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EIP Water reaching out via social media and other channels

Since the launch of the Online Marketplace with over 2 000 registered users today, the EIP Water has slowly but surely built its presence on selected social media channels to reach out to experts, the interested public and others.

Our slideshare account provides 28 presentations on water innovation from Conferences as well as updates on the EIP Water. They have been viewed and downloaded several thousand times and we continue to regularly upload presentations here. In Autumn 2014 we launched our twitter account @eip_water. We aim to tweet at least once per day on all things related to #water #innovation - follow us!

In order to increase and improve the use of the Marketplace, Action Groups are invited to attend two webinars on either 26 May or 2 June at 4pm CEST

Facebook? LinkedIn? Others? We focus most of our digital communication efforts on developing the Marketplace into a highly valuable online resource; as a result we participate in various LinkedIn Groups related to water but do not use any further channels. Please do not hesitate to check out any of the accounts above - and let us know your feedback, ideas, suggestions for further improvement! 

EIP Water Action Group News

Training workshop by Managed Aquifer Recharge AG

The EIP Water’s AG “MAR solutions” aims to involve multiple stakeholders, and specifically SMEs, in its activities and to translate its results into policy guidelines to ensure MAR transferability to various locations. MAR stands for “Managed Aquifer Recharge” which is probably one of the best techniques to palliate Climate Change adverse effects within the Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) framework. The potentially biggest sector directly affected by MAR technique implementation is the agro-industry. 

Due to the high relevance of the Research & Development project outcomes of “MAR solutions” for practitioners and the scientific community, the Action Group has already held two training workshops showing its research results to potential end users (agroindustry in rural zones) and to the population in general. In October 2014, the MAR4FARM training specifically addressed farmers, while the recent “MARenales” workshop aimed at end-users – a pure "MAR to MARk€t" activity. The training took place in Gomezserracín village, Segovia, Spain, just above the Carracillo aquifer. It included a field trip with explanations from farmers using MAR water for irrigation as well as a visit of a vegetables packing and exporting company whose production is based on irrigation with water from recharged aquifers. 

Partners from MARSOL joined over 50 stakeholders from the irrigation communities, external attendants and researchers from seven countries. MARSOL is a FP7 INNO-DEMO project that started in December 2013, and runs eight demonstration sites showing the suitability of MAR techniques. 

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City Blueprints AG: 
New papers and more 

The AG “City Blueprints” continues its strong outreach activities in Europe and globally and always looks for further cities to participate and conduct a “blueprint”. Most recently, the Action Group presented its activities in Malmö, Sweden, as well as in cities of the Middle East.

Furthermore, the AG published two papers on Amsterdam and Istanbul, while papers on Ho Chi Minh, Melbourne and a summary paper of 45 cities and regions have been reviewed and will be published during 2015. 

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RiverRes AG kick-off
meeting on 9 June

The new "RiverRes" Action Group stimulates river restoration projects by developing decision support tools to optimize and balance environmental and socio-economic pressures. It is led by the Duero Water Authority and has been created with 26 partners spanning more than ten EU member states. RiverRes includes partners from executive river and environmental agencies,  academia, NGOs,  SMEs and global reach organisations. 

It will hold its kick off meeting at the RestauraRios meeting in Pamplona, Spain, on 9 June 2015. The main aim of RiverRes is to promote, demonstrate and put real value on the important role of river restoration to ensure ecosystem services.

read more

Selected Water Innovation News

Irish water-powered engine SME wins 2.48m Euro in EU funding

"Exergyn, an Irish SME, has been awarded €2.48m in EU funding to commercialise its Exergyn Drive engine, which turns waste hot water into electricity", wrote Colm Gorey in an article by the on 5 May 2015. 

"The specially-designed engine has been created with the application of using waste hot water created during the cooling process of manufacturing and, rather than letting it go to waste, or wasting valuable energy cooling it down again, they can use it to power their engine to create electricity" he explains further.

"The company, which was founded in 2012 by Alan Healy, Barry Cullen and Kevin O’Toole, has expanded to 15 staff and is targeting the European bio-gas sector as they believe that it represents an attractive commercial prospect for power generation."

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Spanish study: Reducing water use more sustainable than increasing supply

“Water shortages in water stressed regions can be alleviated by building large infrastructures, such as water transfer systems or saltwater desalination plants, which increase the supply of water", writes Science for Environment Policy in an introduction to a recent study from Spain. "However, a new study, which compares the environmental impact of water supply alternatives in a region of Spain, concludes that reducing water use, rather than increasing supplies, is a more sustainable solution."

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Recommended Reading

Recent reports on Water by OECD and partner organisations

April 2015 was marked by the World Water Forum 7 in South Korea during and around which various new analyses and perspectives on global water challenges and markets were published.  The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development OECD launched several new reports on water challenges all of which can be read online:  
  • Stakeholder Engagement for Inclusive Water Governance assesses the current trends, drivers, obstacles, mechanisms, impacts, costs and benefits of stakeholder engagement in the water sector, building on a survey across 215 institutions and 69 case studies.
  • The Governance of Water Regulators presents a picture of governance arrangements, operational modalities and use of regulatory tools across a sample of 34 water regulators; the establishment of dedicated regulatory bodies in charge of regulating water services is a consistent trend among OECD and non-OECD countries.
  • Water and Cities. Ensuring Sustainable Futures focuses on urban water management challenges across OECD countries; it explores both national and local policy responses with respect to water-risk exposure, the state of urban infrastructures, and institutional and governance architectures. 
  • Water Resources allocation: Sharing Risks and Opportunities provides an overview of how water allocation works in a range of countries and how the performance of allocation arrangements can be improved to adjust to changing conditions.
Two further reports were developed in collaboration with partner organisations:
  • Securing Water, Sustaining Growth for the first time captures how water security defines growth, building on the best available research, and detailed case studies at country, basin, aquifer and city levels. It is based on, among others, a Global Dialogue for Water Security and Economic Growth by the OECD and the Global Water Partnership connecting policymakers and practitioners through global and country level consultations and through an expert task force analysis. An accompanying policy statement calls for further investments in water security, risk management, people and partnership, along pathways that combine water security and sustainable growth. 
  • Water: fit to Finance? takes stock of recent trends in water-related finance and brings together options to catalyse national growth through investment in water security. It is a joint OECD / World Water Council publication based on the work of a High Level Panel (HLP) to raise the global debate on how to scale up financing of water infrastructure; the HLP’s results show that there is no silver bullet that will bridge the financial gap arising from the burgeoning demand for water and the current limitations for supply. Rather there is a more nuanced mix of options that needs to be brought to bear by all stakeholders.

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"Innovating water" featured in Horizon 2020 publication

“Innovation and water cannot be separated,” says Marianne Wenning, director for 'Quality of Life, Water & Air' in DG Environment of the European Commission.

“Improving water efficiency in light of increasing scarcity will require innovative solutions, as will emerging pollutants, reducing leakage and water reuse. Water governance will also be positively influenced by innovative methods and approaches. Water innovation contributes to tackling the societal challenges of the future while at the same time creating sustainable growth and employment.”

These are quotes from a recent article on the EIP Water and water innovation published on the digital journal Portal of which  provides invaluable information regarding the European Commission’s largest ever R&I framework programme. The Portal is dedicated to providing the latest developments on EU-funded science, research and innovation, whilst its quarterly publication delivers an in-depth review on the key aspects of Horizon 2020 and its three pillars.

The article presents the key elements of the EIP Water, presents its priorities and some of its Action Groups, and explains how the EIP Water is linked to the EU Water Framework Directive.


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Innovation in the
European water sector

How do we safeguard both water quality and quantity? 

Science for Environment Policy's latest Future Brief looks at the best ways to recycle and re-use water, the latest water treatment technologies, and innovation within water governance itself as its says in the inroduction:

"To safeguard sufficient quantity and quality for both humans and ecosystems,we must carefully manage this precious resource, especially in the face of new challenges created by climate change and population growth. In this Science for Environment Policy Future Brief we examine innovations within the water sector to help meet these challenges. We provide an overview of research into the best ways to recycle and re-use water, the latest water treatment technologies, and innovation within water governance itself."

This Future Brief was researched, written and edited by the Science Communication Unit, University of the West of England (UWE), Bristol. It mentions and introduces the on-going work of several EIP Water Action Groups.

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Announcements and Events

Consultation on Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda until 24 May

In June 2014 the Water JPI - which stands for "Joint Programming Initiative" - launched the most recent version of its Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda  (SRIA 1.0). In line with the Water JPI's participatory approach, it is now conducting a public consultation which aims to gather the opinions of society at large on the SRIA 1.0; the release of an updated SRIA 2.0 is scheduled for the end of 2015.

Please participate in the public consultation by 24 May by answering the Water JPI's questionnaire here. You will be asked to select the three most important sub-themes and their most important Research, Development and Innovation (RDI) needs according to the extent to which research and innovation on those areas would contribute to improving the state of the environment, to enhancing socioeconomic benefits, and/or to responding to policy questions.

read more

MARSOL Water Quality Workshop in Algarve on 24-26 June

The MARSOL project and the MAR to Market Action Group invite you to attend the water quality workshop to collect research results, practical experience, and innovative ideas related to water quality issues in MAR activities.

The EU sponsored FP7 INNO-DEMO project MARSOL deals with some of the overriding questions concerning Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) such as risks, water quality, and technical feasibility. The project is examining – at eight demonstration sites in Greece, Portugal, Spain, Malta, Italy, and Israel – the different specific ways water of varying origins and qualities (such as precipitation, river water, treated wastewater, and desalinated seawater) can be stored in the ground with different techniques.

The workshop takes place from 24 to 26 June in Algarve.

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Securing Water for Food:
3rd Call for Innovations

Are you a scientist, student, entrepreneur, or passionate problem solver interested in helping produce more food with less water in developing countries? Do you have a piloted innovation that you seek to share with others, highlight before experts, publicize, and accelerate?

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Government of Sweden, and the Foreign Ministry of the Kingdom of the Netherlands invite eligible organizations to respond to the third round of Securing Water for Food: A Grand Challenge for Development. 

A live question-and-answer webinar took place on April 1, 2015 and can still be accessed. Applications will be accepted until 5:00 PM ET on May 22, 2015.

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Regulation of Infrastructures for Water, Energy, Transport, Communication on 12 June

In the wake of its growing success, the four areas of the Florence School of Regulation are organising the 4th edition of the Conference on the Regulation of Infrastructures focusing on the Water, Energy, Transport, and Communications & Media sectors.

This year's edition will be held in Florence on 12 June 2015 and will have a special focus on Regulating network industries in emerging countries. 

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