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European Commision

Newsletter

EIP Water News December 2015, 10. December 2015
EIP Water | Boosting opportunities - Innovating water

Dear Reader,

Welcome to the December 2015 edition of our newsletter!

This edition presents the first-ever overview of water innovation hubs globally and provides a detailed update on the 3rd EIP Water conference on 10 February 2016 in Leeuwarden.

We were intrigued by the number of entities developing innovations in the water sector and wanted to find out more. Our initial overview covers and presents 43 hubs and is intended to grow over time - check it out and let us know a water innovation hub we have overseen and should include!

A more detailed program of our 3rd conference on 10 February has recently been developed - don't miss this great opportunity to network and influence the EU policy agenda on water innovation - register now to join over 400 water managers, representatives of water authorities, launching customers from the private and public sector and others! 

Our next newsletter will be published in early January and we take this opportunity to send our readers best wishes for the festive season and wish you merry Christmas!

Best regards,

The EIP Water Secretariat

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

EIP Water News and Updates




Detailed program & more info on 3rd EIP Water conference online now!

After welcome notes by Daniel Calleja, EU Commission Director-General of the Environment,  and Melanie Schultz van Haegen, Dutch Minister of Infrastructure and the Environment, the following key note speeches are now confirmed for 10 February:
  • Mariana Mazzucato, Innovation Economist, will speak about "The economics of innovation and the role of public and private entities"
  • Alex Nickson, Strategy Manager for Climate Change Adaptation and Water at the Greater London Authority, will speak about "The Smart City and its Water - Adapting to climate change, population growth, and ageing infrastructure"
Furthermore confirmed is the participation of Diane d'Arras, Executive Vice President, Water Europe, and recently elected future President of the IWA, who will participate as a judge in the final of "EIP Water's got talent - Innovation dragon's den". 

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EIP Water's digital activities -
some data and figures 

Since the EIP Water Online Marketplace went live in autumn 2013 we have contiuned improving and increasing our digital activities. Here's a quick update:
  • the Marketplace has a mobile version since recently - please check it out and let us know about your user experience!
  • we are using two main social media channels, twitter and slideshare. Our twitter account @eip_water now has over 700 followers and is already an influencer on #water #innovation while presentations on our slideshare account have received over 10,000 views 
  • the EIP Water Marketplace presents an impressive quantity and quality of information related to water innovation in Europe and globally: there are over 1,300 projects, 200 products & services, 600 organisations, and more than 2,000 registered users. The Marketplace has about 20,000 monthly page visits. 
Please do not hesitate to engage with us - follow us on twitter, check out our presentations, register with the Marketplace, send us your projects, upload your organisation's profile or write to us - we look forward to hearing from you and engaging with you! 

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Whom you will meet at the
3rd EIP Water conference

To give our readers a flavor of whom you will meet on 10 February in Leeuwarden, EIP Water is pleased to briefly present two examples of those who have already registered for the 3rd EIP Water Conference.  

London-based Europe for Business Ltd (EFB) recently announced that company officials are planning to attend the event. EFB considers the event a unique opportunity to meet high-level experts, exchange best practices and network with other professionals with a strong concern for the European water innovation landscape. EFB’s strategic aim is to share its conceptual ideas and to discuss numerous approaches that can contribute towards strengthening European water innovation. 

Clara Presa is Project manager of ZINNAE, the Aragonese water cluster based in Zaragoza, Spain, where she is in charge of identifying and developing cluster projects. "ZINNAE has been participating in the EIP Water since its launch and we are involved in two Action Groups”, she explains. “The EIP Water allows us to be part of the water innovation ecosystem in Europe; we discover new ideas for projects, meet other stakeholders for Horizon 2020 calls, and learn about regional water challenges and initiatives. As part of the WE@EU project with four other water clusters we will attend the conference and present the "EU Water clusters Joint Action Plan. I am already looking forward to meeting many old and new friends."

In case you wish to find out who is already registered and whom you will meet in Leeuwarden on 10 February, please view the entire list of currently registered participants here. 

 

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More than a one-day conference: Side meetings on 9 February

A series of highly interesting side meetings will take place in Leeuwarden in the context of the EIP Water Conference 2016 on 10 February. These side meetings are currently scheduled for Tuesday, 9 February, while we receive more requests and further side events might also take place on 11 February. The following side meetings scheduled for 9 February are open to all registered participants: 
  • 09.00-11:00 Smart Water Strategies – Smart Utilities
  • 12.00-19:00 Water Match meeting
  • 13.00-16:00 River Basin Standards Interoperability Pilot: kick-of meeting
  • 14.00-17:30 Water reuse – status and comments to the EU Guidance Document
  • 14.00-17:00 EIP Water Action Group ARREAU (Accelerating Resource Recovery from the Water Cycle) members meeting
  • 14.00-17:00 EIP Water Action Group COWAMA Mitigation of Water Stress in Coastal Regions by Sustainable Water Management members meeting
  • 15.00-17:00 EIP Water Action Group CITY BLUEPRINT members meeting - A long term vision producing results
Several closed meetings are also scheduled already for 9 February:
  • 09.00-12:00 EIP Water Action Group RTWQM - Real Time Water Quality Monitoring internal members meeting
  • 09.00-17:00 European Assistance for Innovation Procurement (eafip) – workshop for water sector procurers
  • 14.00-17:00 EIP Water Action Group NatureWAT internal members meeting
  • 14.00-18:00 EIP Water Action Group DIS-SME's (Demand-driven Innovation Support for SMEs) internal members meeting
When registering for the conference, please ensure to consider the continuously updated list of side meetings and sign up for one of these interesting events.

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Water Innovation Hubs:
where they are & what they do

Over the last months, the EIP Water has taken a look at various kinds of “Water Innovation Hubs” or “Alliances”. The objective was and is to develop a continuously growing global overview of these hubs. As a first step we have identified over 40 relevant hubs globally known to us, analyzed their publicly available information and categorized them according to various criteria such as their general and geographical focus, their core constituency, their technology stage, as well as their main activities.

"We think that our initial analysis is a good start and already provides a lot of interesting insights. However, we are also aware that we might have missed several hubs, especially in Asia, Latin America and Africa, and hope that our global network will make us aware of those so that we can include them as we move forward", says Tom Baur from the EIP Water Secretariat who led the analytical work.

Today, the EIP Water is very pleased to present the result of this analysis - the first-ever overview of water innovation hubs globally. This overview is expected to grow over time; more hubs will be added, and the information about already presented hubs will be updated regularly. In 2016, we also plan to analyze current developments on this topic as well as to draw findings and/or recommendations from this analysis. We look forward to receiving feedback from our readers and the various hubs and contributing to a global network of water innovation hubs. 

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Karmenu Vella chairs
EIP Water Steering Group meeting

On 19 November 2015, the 7th EIP Water Steering Group meeting took place in Brussels. Presided by EU Environment Commissioner Vella, it was a major milestone in the evolution of the EIP Water from its set-up phase towards delivering impact. Interesting discussions about the main objectives and future of the EIP Water took place, and the Strategic Implementation Plan was updated. It was also agreed to renew the Steering Group, incorporating new members. More information will be available soon on the EIP Water Marketplace.

The preceding evening Karmenu Vella provided some thoughts on the EIP Water in his speech at the European Parliament Water Group Dinner:

"In sectors where circular economy has a great potential, such as in agriculture and food waste just to name a couple, we need to address the barriers to re-cycle and re-use. These barriers need to be tackled also in the case of water, so that reuse becomes an obvious solution for water managers, farmers, and water utilities across Europe. 

One way of doing this is through the European Innovation Partnership on Water. We are now supporting 30 action groups working on water innovation, helping them bring their valuable innovations to the market. At the same time that we are supporting the industry, we are also learning and gaining experience.

Tomorrow morning I will chair the EIP Steering Group meeting. I will present the new strategic framework which aims to make the Partnership even more efficient and even more goals oriented. We will then present this work in the EIP Water conference in February next year in Leuwaarden. We will continue developing the European Innovation Partnership on Water to deliver tangible results for the market and thereby support more efficient and sustainable water use."

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Mayors and Water on 11 February

Karmenu Vella, EU Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, has invited European Mayors to the agenda setting event “Mayors and Water” to take place on 11 February 2016 in Leeuwarden.  Several large European cities, such as Paris have expressed their interest and  registrations from  Leeuwarden, Veghel, Zwolle, Almere and Son en breugel have been received.
 
“Mayors and Water” is held back-to-back with the EIP Water 2016 Conference and participants from both conferences are invited to the innovation diner in the evening of 10 February, which will be opened by Ferd Crone, Mayor of Leeuwarden and Karmenu Vella. His Excellency Mr. Joseph Cole, Ambassador of the Republic of Malta, has accepted to participate in the conference diner which will help ensure that  the water topic is established within the EU presidency trio of The Netherlands, Malta and Slovakia.
 
Commissioner Vella will  outline the European urban water challenges and innovative solutions supported by the EIP Water. DG Regional Policy will elaborate on the opportunities offered by Structural Funds (ESIF) and the link between water and the Urban Agenda.  Jonathan Taylor, Vice-President of the EIB, also confirmed his participation and the OECD will launch a publication on Water Governance in Cities.

European cities are invited to share their challenges and innovative solutions during the following parallel sessions:  Water Scarcity and Water Reuse; Water Quality and Circular Economy; Long-term Sustainability of Infrastructure; Flood protection and Green Infrastructures. Your city can join and present by signing up for the conference. 

The European Investment Bank EIB will highlight opportunities to invest in new technologies and water network updates offered to the urban water sector. The EIP Action Group City Blueprints and the European Water Stewardship will highlight how to enhance the process of priority setting. From the Covenant of Mayors there will be input on lessons learned within the Climate and Energy sector. Last but not least the declaration “Mayors and Water” will be presented. Several European organisations are currently involved in the drafting of the declaration. 

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EIP Water Action Group News




Smart River Governance -
an example for transnational
EU cooperation

Alta Scuola, the cultural and scientific Association of Orvieto (Italy), an official member of the Action Group "Smart Rivers Network", is currently collaborating with the Republic of Moldova to exchange operational good practices on the management of water resources, flood risk and landslides risk as well as on the participative maintenance and procedures for involving public and private stakeholders through the instrument of the River Contracts. The overall goal is to raise awareness, guide and train the Authorities of the Republic of Moldova to adopt EU directives concerning Water and Floods on the scale of small river catchments. After a more detailed elaboration of the program and the organizational implementation in collaboration with the Moldavian Authority (State Enterprise Basin Water Management Authority of Moldova), Alta Scuola will conduct a one-week training in Orvieto, between July and August 2016.

The project will be implemented in the capital of Moldova, Chisinau. A strategy to be applied to the basin of the Botna river will be developed by involving local actors as well as Italian and Moldavian experts. Exercises for evaluating the hazardousness and flood risk of the river Botna, also using role play to resolve conflicts of interest, propose and implement a River Contract for the Botna River in application of the EU directives, will be conducted. This approach and collaboration of Italian (Alta Scuola) and Moldovian (EBWMA) actors and the activation of the project SMA.RI.GO was made possible via the support of the EIP Water Action Group Smart Rivers Network”.  


 

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Accelerating Resource Recovery from Wastewater - ARREAU & partners hold workshop

On 3 November a workshop titled ‘Accelerating Resource Recovery from Wastewater’ was held during the Amsterdam International Water Week 2015. To set up the workshop the EIP Water Action Group ARREAU –Accelerating Resource Recovery from the Water Cycle - had joined forces with the Energy and Resource Factory EFGF, the  European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform ESPP and the Nutrient Platform and KWR Watercycle Research Institute.

Willy Verstraete (IWA), Kees Roest (ARREAU/KWR Watercycle Research Institute) and Christian Kabbe (ESPP/KWB) started with short pitches providing different perspectives (international, European, with phosphorus as an example) on the recovery and recycling of raw materials from the water cycle.

Following this aerial view of the world of resource recovery and phosphorus, an interactive component of the workshop engaged the participants and panel by eg asking the audience to respond to a series of propositions. The panel, consisting of Christian Kabbe, Pradeep Kumar Mohanty (Finish Society), Coos Wessels (ARREAU/BWA) and Geoffrey Salt (Advanced Minerals Softening Pellets), were given the opportunity to briefly explain and present their visions on each of the propositions. The first proposition ‘the wastewater ingredients in commercial products must be made clear’ received a variety of reactions.

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Selected Water Innovation News




Winning-by-Twinning in Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik was the city chosen to host a unique event on 25 September addressing the global challenge of water and specifically how to create citizen’s awareness in different European and Middle Eastern regions regarding the major environmental issue of the twenty-first century.

For two days, the Croatian capital of the Adriatic, hosted a gathering of international experts on water and city representatives from the Balkans, Eastern Europe, the United Kingdom, Turkey and the Middle East intent on mutual collaboration and the construction of an alliance to be known as the Dubrovnik Group, in order to promote and improve how our most valuable natural resource is managed. 

Organised by the EIP Water Action Group City Blueprints, the Joint Research Centre JRC, NETWERC H2O,  the Network for Water in European Regions and Cities, and partners of the European funded project, BlueSCities, the two day workshop ‘Winning-by-Twinning’ investigated the importance of the role of local administrations in resolving international environmental issues. Working and conversing with experts from the UN, the European Commission, and academic representatives from Europe and the USA the participants created a joint document - the Dubrovnik Declaration of Intent - in which they state their willingness to work together in future actions so that citizen awareness and citizen engagement at a municipal level becomes a major factor in the war on drought and other water-based crises.

Municipalities and organisations from all over Europe, the Middle East and the USA are now being invited to adhere to the Declaration and participate in the initial steps of an alliance which seeks to become an effective instrument on the international stage of environmental policy.

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Where is water in the
Circular Economy?

On 2 December the EU Commission published a Communication titled "Closing the loop - An EU action plan for the Circular Economy". It was accompanied by a Press Release "Closing the loop: Commission adopts ambitious new Circular Economy Package to boost competitiveness, create jobs and generate sustainable growth" as well as a Fact Sheet on the "Circular Economy Package: Questions & Answers". The Communication includes some specific references to water:
  • “…it will save energy and help avoid the irreversible damages caused by using up resources at a rate that exceeds the Earth's capacity to renew them in terms of climate and biodiversity, air, soil and water pollution…”
  • “…Other key legislative proposals on fertilisers and water reuse will follow…”
  • Section 4. From waste to resources: boosting the market for secondary raw materials and water reuse: “…Water scarcity has worsened in some parts of the EU in recent decades, with damaging effects on our environment and economy. In addition to water-efficiency measures, the reuse of treated wastewater in safe and cost-effective conditions is a valuable but under-used means of increasing water supply and alleviating pressure on over-exploited water resources in the EU. Water reuse in agriculture also contributes to nutrients recycling by substitution of solid fertilisers. The Commission will take a series of actions to promote the reuse of treated wastewater, including legislation on minimum requirements for reused water…”
  • “…The Commission will take a series of actions to facilitate water reuse; this will include a legislative proposal on minimum requirements for reused water, e.g. for irrigation and groundwater recharge…”
The fact sheet also mentions water under "What is the Commission doing to promote the conversion of waste into resources (secondary raw materials)?"

Secondary raw materials still account for only a small proportion of production materials used in the EU. There are important barriers to their take-up in the economy, for example due to the uncertainty of their composition. Standards are needed to build trust. The Commission will take action to facilitate water reuse - this will include a legislative proposal on minimum requirements for reused water, for example for irrigation and groundwater recharge; ...

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Recommended Reading




From Boston to Milwaukee -
 Lessons in Building Water
Tech Clusters in the USA

"Making a region synonymous with a particular industry requires patience, good timing, money, and taking the right approach to putting those pieces together. The same goes for building the organizations tasked with nurturing said industry", wrote senior editor Jeff Engel on 25 November in xconomy.com. 

"Take the New England Water Innovation Network (NEWIN), for example. The nonprofit aims to connect the region’s water technology startups with resources that will ease their path to market, while also promoting the area’s ability to spit out water-related inventions ...'

The article provides good insights into NEWIN, one of the over forty water innovation hubs identified and analyzed by the EIP Water as well as on The Water Council, located in Wisconsin, which is also on the EIP Water's list of hubs.

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Water Innovation Europe I -
Report out now

The first Water Innovation Lab (WIL) Europe from 4th to 9th October in Perthshire, Scotland, was a learning space designed to give 20 to 35 year-olds from a diversity of backgrounds and nationalities the chance to:
  • Develop deeper and more nuanced understanding of water issues in urban and rural settings
  • Learn from thought leaders who were once in your shoes on how to channel your enthusiasm to build new initiatives and your career
  • Acquire the facilitation skills and practice tools to design and host meaningful dialogue with a cross-section of groups and interests
  • Build a broad-based network of people with diverse backgrounds
  • Experience utterly unforgettable learning in an inspiring setting
The EIP Water was represented at the WIL and looks forward the continued collaboration with the organisers. The outcome report of WIL Europe presenting the main features of the event and its results is out now. 

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Announcements and Events




New testing facility just
opened in Scotland

"Scotland has opened its first full-scale facilities for the testing of water and wastewater technologies, funded by a £1.6M grant from the Scottish Government", wrote Water & Wastewater Treatment WWT on 19 November: "Two Development Centres have been created at Scottish Water sites where companies can test new equipment, products and processes for potential roll-out in the water industry. This could include treatment technology that could support Scotland’s rural communities. ... The Development Centres are part of the Scottish Government’s Hydro Nation agenda to make water a driver of the Scottish economy and Scotland an international hub of water expertise. It is intended that they will promote innovation and growth in the water sector while supporting SMEs with final testing of near market technology", explains WWT.  

read more




5th Danube Financing
Dialogue in Slovakia 

The Danube Financing Dialogue is a unique opportunity for project promoters and financing institutions to discuss vital issues related to financing promising projects in the Danube Region. This event also serves as a match-making platform for project promoters with financial needs and financing institutions offering suitable solutions. 

This time the event will focus on private Project Developers (start-ups) which will have the opportunity to introduce themselves in three ways:
  1. Present their project at the project pitch session towards 200 participants including investors, financiers, other project promoters and stakeholders of the Danube Strategy.
  2. Pitch their idea at the elevator towards project supporters including investors, start-up and funding agencies.       
  3. Network informally during breaks and the network dinner.  

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