European Commision


EIP Water News Autumn 2015, 04. November 2015
EIP Water | Boosting opportunities - Innovating water

Dear Reader,

Welcome to the autumn edition of our newsletter!

We are pleased to invite you to register for free for the 3rd EIP Water Conference on 10 February 2016 in Leeuwarden - over 150 participants have already registered and we will start screening the registrations after having reached 250 participants in order to ensure a good balance of EU regions, industry sectors and other criteria.

Several high-level speakers such as Mariana Mazzucato, RM Phillips Professor in the Economics of Innovation at the University of Sussex, are now confirmed and “EIP Water’s got talent”, our competition managed by Isle Utilities, has started. We look forward to meeting many of you in Leeuwarden!

You will also read interesting news from some of the EIP Water Action Groups as well as the first "Water Innovation Europe" workshop in Scotland, funding opportunities and other water innovation news in this newsletter. 

Best regards,
The EIP Water Secretariat


EIP Water News and Updates

Several high-level speakers confirmed for EIP Water conference 2016

Among the already confirmed high-level speakers at the 3rd EIP Water conference are Mariana Mazzucato, RM Phillips Professor in the Economics of Innovation at the University of Sussex, SPRU, as well as  Piers Clark, Chairman of Isle Utilities’, a technical, specialist water consultancy with offices in the UK, the Netherlands, the USA, Australia, Singapore and Abu Dhabi.

Furthermore confirmed are Dr. Uta Wehn, Senior Lecturer & Researcher in Capacity Development and Innovation at UNESCO-IHE; Durk Krol, Director of the Water Supply and Sanitation Technology Platform (WssTP); Dr. Sander Happaerts, policy analyst at the Competence Centre Smart and Sustainable Growth in DG Regional and Urban Policy, European Commission as well as Dr. Reinhard Hübner, investment manager at SKion GmbH, where he is responsible for technology  investments of which water sector investments are a major part. 

More high-level speakers will be announced very soon. 

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EIP Water's got talent - Competition open now

In collaboration with Isle Utilities the 2016 edition of the EIP Water Conference will present a “Dragon’s Den” or “EIP Water’s Got Talent” session in the afternoon of 10 February.

“EIP Water’s Got Talent” is designed to make it easier than ever for innovators to connect with investors, partners and end users in a fun and interactive way. The feature will offer technology developers a critical and unrivalled chance to pitch their innovations to an expert panel and audience. In order to participate please ensure you complete and send the questionnaire by 30th November 2015 to Isle Utilities. If shortlisted, you will be contacted to arrange a conference call for stage 2 of the due diligence process. All further details and instructions can be found in the questionnaire.

We look forward to receiving your application! 

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EIP Water Action Group News

Elemental Water Makers
implements solar desalination
in Virgin Islands

The Dutch clean tech company Elemental Water Makers which is participating in the EIP Water's RE-Desalination Action Group has implemented a new renewable energy driven desalination solution in the Virgin islands. The solution provides 3300 gallons of fresh water from seawater on a daily basis since last week, while using only power from the sun.

Elemental Water Makers therewith provides an alternative for a reliable supply of fresh water at lower costs, while simultaneously avoiding carbon dioxide emissions. Through a real-time monitoring portal, the water production and solar energy used on the Virgin Islands can be watched online from anywhere around the world.

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Online water quality monitoring, one European EIP Water priority

RTWQM is the acronym for an EIP Water Action Group that works on Real Time Water Quality Monitoring. Over the last months, the RTWQM Action Group members, led by Adasa Sistemas and Benten Water Solutions, have been participating actively in the consultation processes for the revision of EU water directives and guidelines and, in particular, related to drinking water directive and the minimum quality requirements for water reuse. The initial contributions of RTWQM members to these consultations have now been compiled in two white-papers on Innovative monitoring technologies and EU Water legislation and a Concept Note on Water Reuse.

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Smart Rivers Network Action Group agrees on key issues to be addressed

The following eight key issues to be addressed through this EIP Water Action Group were agreed at the recent XI Italian River Contract Conference in Milan, Italy:
  1. Rivers don’t follow administrative borders.
  2. Interventions on rivers are delivered in local areas but the different agencies involved do not speak the same institutional languages.
  3. What can we learn from other sectors in relation to cultural barriers?
  4. Funding is a very important catalyst but the results often have to show a national or European impact.
  5. Local to Regional to National to European: It is possible to look at smaller steps and more strategic partnerships and cooperation.
  6. A Memorandum of Understanding or a Manifesto between partners can make a decisive difference when development a partnership. Problems ‘translating’ the inter-institutional languages can be solved. This may involve an institutional change of ethos and ownership.
  7. I am a stakeholder – we are all stakeholders. This means there is more of a reason to engage – we are all on the same side!
  8. Changing the dialogue from ‘What River?’ to ‘MY RIVER!’ Make use of the visual impact of river restoration particularly in urban areas. 

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Selected Water Innovation News

Oil and gas companies show least transparency to investors despite high exposure to water risk

While there are signs of progress in corporate water action from a group of leading companies, "there is a gap with the rest of the market that is of increasing concern to investors.  Despite ongoing water crises such as droughts in California and parts of Brazil, more than half (53%) of companies are failing to conduct a comprehensive risk assessment – a basic first step for any company seeking to ensure business resilience against water issues", states the London-based non-profit organisation CDP in a recent Press release.

"Oil and gas companies in particular are not meeting investor demands for transparency and action.  Just under a quarter (22%) of the world's largest publicly listed energy companies responded to CDP's annual request from investors to account for their water management strategies in 2015, less than the average disclosure rate of 38% this year." 

CDP’s new global water report, 'Accelerating action', shows that some companies are beginning to move ahead of the pack in addressing water concerns: "Asahi Group Holdings, Colgate Palmolive, Ford Motor Company and Toyota Motor Corporation are among the global corporations achieving an A rating for their efforts to improve water security. This is according to the first global ranking of corporate water stewardship revealed by CDP, which holds the most comprehensive data set of publicly available corporate water information collected on behalf of investors", explains the organisation.

"Eight businesses from four sectors have joined the CDP Water A List for their approach to water management.  The Water A List highlights those companies that are on the path to sustainably managing water resources.  They are taking action to mitigate corporate water risk and realizing opportunities in ways that not only reduce their own impacts but critically, improve water security for the environment and other water users."

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Water Innovation news
from the Mediterranean

The Euro-Mediterranean Information System on know-how in the Water sector - EMWIS in brief - regularly disseminates a large variety of water news from the Mediterranean region; two news items have caught our attention in the most recent EMWIS newsflash: 
  • Farmers can now get online advice from an Irrigation Scheduling Expert System - OpIRIS
  • Materials recovery from waste water sludge - LIFE-ANADRY kicks off
OpIRIS, an online irrigation scheduling expert system, provides free access to a database that helps appraising the potential impact of knowledge-based irrigation management and precision scheduling strategies on water productivity in fruit tree orchards and hydroponic crops. Users can personalize the results by filtering OPIRIS' database according to a specific combination of crop, variety, soil, irrigation system and climatic zone - agricultors can save water, in particular when the usual amount of irrigation water is beyond average crop water requirements. The system has been developed and successfully demonstrated in several farms in Europe; it is based on the exploitation of results from three successful previous European projects.

"Dry anaerobic digestion as an alternative management & treatment solution for sewage sludge" is the full name of LIFE-ANADRY. The kick-off meeting of this European project was held on September 23rd, 2015 in Murcia, Spain. LIFE-ANADRY is co-funded for a duration of 3.5 years by the European Commission under the LIFE program; it aims to demonstrate the technical and economic feasibility of the correct environmental management of sludge in medium to small sized Waste Water Treatment Plants (WWTPs) via using an innovative dry anaerobic digestion treatment and to transfer the outcomes obtained to other areas with similar problems, both in Spain as well as in Europe. During the meeting, the five project partners from Spain and France discussed general aspects and presented their respective contributions. The meeting was concluded by visiting the demonstration site a waste water treatment plant (WWTP) in Mula, Spain.

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Professional and Investment Opportunities

New INTERREG BALKAN-MED Programme 2014-2020 started

“INTERREG Balkan-Mediterranean 2014-2020” is a new cooperation Programme, deriving from both the strong will of the “BalkanMed” participating countries to promote cooperation in the area and the split of the “South East Europe 2007-2013". The Programme brings together five (5) countries, three (3) EU member states (Bulgaria, Cyprus and Greece) and two (2) candidate countries, Albania and the formerYugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

It is the first time ever that the European cooperation addresses the Balkan Peninsula and the Eastern Mediterranean Sea together, in a joint effort across maritime and terrestrial borders, to contribute to the “EU 2020” strategy, for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.

The BalkanMed Programme is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) with 28.330.108,00 Euros. The total support from the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) fund accounts for 5.126.138,00 Euros. Therefore, the total budget of the Programme, including national contribution, is 39.727.654,00 Euros.

BalkanMed is focused on addressing two key challenges: territorial competitiveness and environment. Accordingly, the Programme is built upon the following two Priority Axes:
  • Priority Axis 1: “Entrepreneurship &Innovation”
  • Priority Axis 2: “Environment”
The details of the first call for project proposal are here.

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EU Commission adopts cooperation programme for Adriatic-Ionian region

On 20 October, the European Commission adopted  the new transnational cooperation programme "Interreg V B Adriatic-Ionian (ADRION)", worth more than €83.4 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and almost €16 million from the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA II). The total value of the cooperation programme, with national contributions included, is €118 million.

The Programme will support the implementation of the priorities of the European Union Strategy for the Adriatic-Ionian Region (EUSAIR).  It will enhance economic, social, and territorial cohesion in the region. The programme's geographical area is identical to the area covered by the EUSAIR, involving four EU countries (Greece, Croatia, Italy and Slovenia), with the participation of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia.

"Interreg V B Adriatic-Ionian (ADRION)" will focus on four main priorities:
  1. Better cooperation between businesses and research and education institutions, for an innovative and smart region
  2. Greater sustainability, with the preservation of natural and cultural assets in the region
  3. Greater connectivity in the region
  4. Support to the governance of the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region.
The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) aims to strengthen economic and social cohesion in the European Union by reducing imbalances between its regions. The ERDF will invest more than 199 billion euro in the regions of Europe throughout 2014-2020.

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Recommended Reading

The Water Network
Expert interview series

The Water Network powered by AquaSPE has recently started an interview series with renowned experts in the water industry. The interviews cover various subjects such as ground-breaking water technologies, water management, sanitation, sustainability and others.

Most recently, the Water Network conducted an ​interview with ​Professor Arjen Hoekstra, founder ​of the Water ​Footprint ​Network, who provided great insights on water footprint and virtual water. They also talked to Dr. Kamal Kar, an Indian expert in the sanitation industry, on the Community-led Total Sanitation (​CLTS) approach as well as to Dr. Annette Johnson, a senior scientist at ​EAWAG in Switzerland. She shared her insight on contamination of groundwater in particular concerning arsenic and fluoride.

The forthcoming interviews will feature a desalination industry expert, Indian water policy makers and a researcher from Columbia University on the concept of producing water and energy from waste water. The Water Network is one of the largest online knowledge networks for global water professionals.

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Bloomberg TV: water science & innovation in Africa 

In the third episode of a series that focuses on science and innovation on the African continent Bloomberg Television presents three stories on approaches to and opportunities for water innovation. 

The episode "Water, Liquid Lifesaver" introduces people who are passionate about driving innovation in the water sector and apply their innovations in different countries and set-up's. 

The episode has a duration of 25 minutes which are worthwhile watching and provide a good example of how global media outlets tell stories about water innovation.

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Announcements and Events

Water Innovation Lab Europe brings together young water-passionate leaders

The first-ever “Water Innovation Lab in Europe (WILEurope)” took place from the 4th to 9th October in Comrie Croft, Perthshire, Scotland. Fifty exceptional young leaders and experts looking for creative solutions to complex water resource challenges participated in the five-day deep-dive experience for engaged young professionals in the water space which was designed to give water-passionate 20 to 35-year-olds the skills, insights, and connections to champion complex water management challenges.  Participants came from the UK, Netherlands, France, Hungary, Belgium as well as some from South, Central and North America.  

Divided into three unique streams, WILEurope offered participants the opportunity to train in three important areas. Capacity building in facilitation was a new skillset that most participants expressed being exposed to for the first time at WILEurope, and yet recognized its essential importance in their work as a tool for effective and inclusive cross-sector dialogue and collaboration on water topics. Exposure on practices of innovation in the Innovation Marketplace was the building block for a network of support and pitching ideas for early stage “waterpreneurs”. Alongside facilitation and innovation skills, participants at WILEurope participated in training on leadership, complexity and problem-solving. 

WILEurope was organized by the Canadian organisation Waterlution, with funding support from the Scottish Government and Scottish Water, and with collaboration from Engage!, EIP Water, Deltares, Water Youth Network, University of Glasgow, H2O Challenge and the Knowledge Transfer Network.  It incubated nine water projects. The next WILEurope is planned to take place in autumn 2016 in the Netherlands.

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Orientation workshop on state of knowledge for hydrogeology research

This orientation workshop for national experts is organised by KINDRA on 24 & 25 November in Brussels. It is related to the workpackage “Data collection and processing”. The objective of KINDRA is to reach a very accurate understanding of where we are at in terms of European groundwater and hydrogeology related research and innovation – especially with regards to the implementation of the WFD and GWD. Such assessment will need to be performed bottom-up, assessing ongoing and recent activities, research agendas, priorities, etc in as many European countries as possible.

Clearly, EU-level research activities will also need to be assessed, also with regards to participation in these activities by EU countries and the actual diffusion of European R&D in national innovation and deployment. In order to make sure that relevant and comparable input is collected from all countries covered by KINDRA, an orientation workshop is planned for the national members of EFG, during which the project goals are explained in great detail.

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2nd EUSDR Stakeholders Conference:  19 - 20 November in Budapest

The Priority Area Environmental Risks (PA5) together with the Priority Area Water Quality (PA4) of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR) will organize and hold their 2nd Stakeholder Conference in Budapest on 19-20 November 2015 on the European funding opportunities in the water sector.

The aim of the conference is to provide an overview about the water-related Priority Areas, to present the results achieved and to provide information about funding instruments. Furthermore, the conference offers a possibility for partner search presenting country needs and assists in the alignment of funding procedure for future project beneficiaries by promoting further project ideas. EIP Water is invited to present the opportunities for cooperation partnerships between Eastern and Western organizations, in relation with future European financing programs.

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