European Commision


EIP Water News September 2015, 23. September 2015
EIP Water | Boosting opportunities - Innovating water

Dear Reader,

Welcome to the September 2015 edition of our newsletter!

It presents a multitude of news items on innovation in the water sector that we collected over the summer - including some good news from Greece, innovation at the recent World Water Week, the city blueprint of Ho Chi Minh City and others.

The news from Brussels include the most recent presentation of the 2020 draft work programme 2016/17 whose opportunities for innovation in the water sector we have analysed. Furthermore we have compiled a draft overview of how innovative approaches and solutions can contribute to implementing the Water Framework Directive and seek your input and feedback for this undertaking. 

We have also moved ahead with planning the next EIP Water Conference, to take place on 10 February 2016 in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands, with the following overall theme: "How is water innovation succeeding in Europe?" This will be the focus of our 3rd one-day Conference – with complementary side meetings planned for 9 February and site visits for 11 February 2016. We look forward to the discussions and participants' insights into this topic. A draft Conference programme will be published in early October and registration will start immediately thereafter.

Best regards,

The EIP Water Secretariat


EIP Water News and Updates

How is water innovation succeeding in Europe?

The Conference theme of the 2016 EIP Water Conference has now been announced:

"How is water innovation succeeding in Europe?" will be the main theme of our Conference on 10 February 2016 in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands; planning for the Conference is advancing at full speed and we will publish a draft Conference programme, details on site visits and side event requests by mid-October when registration for the Conference will start. 

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Water Opportunities in the draft Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2016-2017

The draft Horizon 2020 Work Programme for 2016-2017 has been published recently, including a list of opportunities for innovation in the water sector. If you're interested, you might want to first check the following opportunities:
  • SC5-11-2016: Supporting international cooperation activities on water
  • SC5-12-2016: Food systems and water resources for the development of inclusive, sustainable and healthy Euro-Mediterranean societies
  • SC5-01-2016-2017: Exploring the added value of climate services
  • SC5-02-2017: Integrated European regional modelling and climate prediction system
  • SC5-03-2016: Climate services market research
  • SC5-08-2017: Large-scale demonstrators on nature-based solutions for hydrometeorological risk reduction
  • CIRC-02-2016-2017: Water in the context of the circular economy
  • SPIRE-01-2016: Systematic approaches for resource-efficient water management systems in process industries
  • SCC-02-2016-2017: Demonstrating innovative nature-based solutions in cities
  • LCE-26-2016 Cross-thematic ERA-NET on Applied Geosciences.
Furthermore, a large number of topics in the calls H2020-SFS-2016-2017 'Sustainable Food Security – Resilient and resource-efficient value chains' and H2020-RUR-2016-2017 'Rural Renaissance – Fostering innovation and business opportunities' also address issues related to water management in agriculture and/or food production.

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How can research contribute to solve water challenges - the case of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) - input needed! 

In spring 2015, the European Commission presented a Communication and a number of reports on the implementation of the Water Framework and Floods Directives, which were subject to further discussion and outlooks at the 4th EU Water Conference.

The Communication explicitly states that “…Member States should use the innovations developed under the European Innovation Partnerships on water and on agricultural productivity and sustainability, and connect them to the challenges of implementing the WFD…”

Some of these topics were already under discussion when the Water Directors of Spain, the Netherlands, Slovenia and the Uk explained some of the remaining implementation challenges at the EIP Water 2014 Conference; the EIP Water Action Groups and other conference participants proposed innovative solutions for these problems.

The EIP Water has developed a compilation of research projects which aims to provide an updated and more comprehensive view, organised under 15 challenges identified by the above-mentioned Communication. It includes references to the EIP Water Action Group deliverables, and recently finalised and ongoing EU and National research and innovation projects, under FP7 and H2020, collected by the EIP Water Marketplace.

This catalogue shall stimulate the uptake of such solutions within the water management by Member States, regions, municipalities and other water managers, with a view to the 2nd WFD implementation cycle.

As a living document, we would like to invite you to send us your views and additions.

Please contact us here by indicating for which matrix cell exactly your input is relevant.  

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Looking back at
ICT4Water in Barcelona

On 22 September, Tom Baur from the EIP Water Secretariat presented activities, objectives and opportunities at a one-day ICT4Water conference in Barcelona; he highlighted the drive for water innovation as a priority on regional, national and European-wide policy agendas.

The cross-cutting nature of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in the water sector brings various challenges and opportunities to the forefront. Opportunities arise in the new funding lines of Horizon 2020. As presented in various sessions at the conference and in a recent white paper of the EIP Water AG RTWQM, ongoing standardisation is recommended. A closer alignment with various ICT related European initiatives and projects is needed, such as the linkages between the EIP Smart Cities and EIP Water.

EIP Water Action Group News

Ecosystem Services for Europe participates in AQUACROSS

In June 2015 the project “Knowledge, Assessment, and Management for AQUAtic Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services aCROSS EU policies” – AQUACROSS - was launched; it is coordinated by the Ecologic Institute, a member of the Ecosystem Services for Europe ESE Action Group, and aims to support EU efforts in protecting aquatic biodiversity and ensuring the provision of aquatic ecosystem services. 

Funded by Europe’s Horizon 2020 research programme, AQUACROSS seeks to advance knowledge and application of ecosystem-based management (EBM) for aquatic ecosystems to support the timely achievement of the EU 2020 Biodiversity Strategy targets. To do so, AQUACROSS considers the EU policy framework for aquatic ecosystems and builds on knowledge stemming from different sources to develop innovative management tools, concepts and business models for aquatic ecosystems. The AQUACROSS approach is built around four pillars of work and eight case studies: 
  1. Real-world testing - the project will ensure stakeholder engagement, knowledge exchange and social learning to achieve practical policy solutions and end-user uptake. Representatives from science, policy, business and case study areas will form a Science-Policy-Business Think Tank (SPBTT), which will help steer project activities and check the accuracy and relevancy of its results. The ESE AG participates in the SPBTT due to the presence of its coordinator, the Research Centre for Energy Resources and Consumption (CIRCE) in Spain.  
  2. Giving direction - understanding the current political setting in order to facilitate policy coordination across aquatic ecosystems is highly important. AQUACROSS will assess existing political processes and legislation to identify synergies and barriers to aquatic management; it will develop a conceptual Assessment Framework (AF) to assess aquatic ecosystems in line with integrated management, taking into account concepts of resilience and uncertainty. 
  3. Increasing scientific knowledge – AQUACROSS will develop and test protocols and guidance material for testing the AQUACROSS Assessment Framework (AF). This will include identifying and assessing drivers and pressures of aquatic ecosystems; understanding causalities between biodiversity, ecosystem functions and services; ensuring exchange of data, information and research results; and forecasting biodiversity and ecosystem service provision. 
  4. Improving management - building on the work of pillars 1 - 3, this pillar aims to develop concepts, practices and tools for better implementation of ecosystem-based management (EBM). This includes identifying and understanding the linkages between aquatic ecosystems and human well-being and identifying innovative management responses for aquatic ecosystems. 

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Peer-to-peer learning cities

On 24 & 25 September, the Croatian city of Dubrovnik will play host to a number of international water experts who together with city representatives from the Balkans, Eastern Europe, Turkey and the Middle East will address one of the principal global challenges of the twenty-first century; water and how our most valuable natural resource is managed.

Organised by the European Commission’s science service ”Joint Research Centre" JRC, the Network for Water in European Regions and Cities NETWERC H2O, and the partners of the European funded project BlueSCities, a two day workshop entitled ‘Winning-by-Twinning’ will investigate the importance of the role of local administrations in resolving international environmental issues. In order to provide answers, and build on the hitherto successful implementation of the EIP Water Action Group CITY BLUEPRINTS, the workshop aims to ensure improved exchange synergies between cities that have been involved in the CITY BLUEPRINT project and cities that are new to the concept. The cities will be encouraged to assess the current situation, and will be shown how to employ tools for integration and implementation, stakeholder engagement and international networking whilst emphasizing the dialogue between different levels of public administration and the different sectors engaged.

The culmination of the event will be when the participants are invited to sign the Dubrovnik Declaration of Intent stating their willingness to work together in future actions.

To find out more please do not hesitate to contact Richard Elelman from NETWERC H2O

GReen Desalination -
good news from Greece

Brine – ever heard of it or thought about it?

Brine is the wastewater effluent from current desalination technologies which causes serious environmental damage. At the same time, brine contains highly valuable “materials that are leaking from our economies today", fitting well in the EU concept for the circular economy. While desalination is the most promising solution to address and help overcome the competing and increasing demands for water globally, brine is one of its, if not the most negative side effect. 

Meet Dimitris Xevgenos, the man behind GReen Desalination, a start-up company which addresses this challenge and estimates the economic value of one cubic metre of brine at 7€. GReen Desalination B.V. comprises a Clean Tech start-up company that can close the loop of desalination wastewater and thus create significant value. The company has recently been invited to participate in the EIP Water Action Group "Renewable Energy Desalination" as well as in the WssTP Working  Groups "Water & Industry" and "Resource Recovery".

GReen Desalination has a proven track record and a combined experience of over five years in resource recovery and brine management. Its breakthrough technology has been demonstrated by a Pilot brine treatment system on Tinos Island in Greece in a project called SOL-BRINE, which had received LIFE+ funding (LIFE09 ENV/GR/000299). Dimitris is currently developing a business plan within the SME phase I project of GReen Desalination; having been selected out of 15,000 innovative start-up’s, GReen Desalination B.V. has recently moved from Greece to the Netherlands, where it is being accelerated in the world-class accelerator STARTUPBOOTCAMP in the High Tech XL Campus in Eindhoven. With the support of EIP Water, the company participated in the event “Access to Finance for Circular Economy projects” on 16 September in Brussels. 

Dimitris Xevgenos can be contacted here

City Blueprints: Amsterdam, Istanbul, Ho Chi Minh City -
and more to come 

The Action Group “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, City Blueprints presented its activities in Malmö, Sweden, as well as in cities of the Middle East. Furthermore, the Action Group published papers on AmsterdamIstanbul and Ho Chi Minh City as well as a summary paper of 45 cities and regions,  while other papers on Melbourne, and a critical review of the City Blueprint approach have been accepted for publication and are about to be published.

City Blueprints has also established close links to the Urban Water Innovation Network (UWIN) led by the University of Colorado and the University of Princeton. This will result in a memorandum of understanding and the objective will be to create a series of trans-Atlantic actions.

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Accelerating Resource Recovery from the Water Cycle (ARREAU) – Best practices 

The Action Group ARREAU has set itself the objective to develop market plans for viable and profitable value chains for resources from the water cycle. A first step towards achieving this is the development of a recently published review of European best practices on resource recovery from the water cycle. The aims of the review were to identify and share best practice examples, to detect key success factors for viable and profitable value chains as well as to develop recommendations on how to remove policy, financial and legal barriers hindering more and better implementation and market uptake. 

As a next step, based on the promising results of the review, the ARREAU members will jointly develop value chains and markets for the identified solutions.  An ARREAU workshop will take place during the International Water Week in Amsterdam to help accelerate the achievement of ARREAU’s objectives by bridging the gap between the supply and the demand side. The governing team of ARREAU is composed of the Energy and Resource Factory of the Dutch Water Boards Association, Reststoffenunie, Kompetenzzentrum Wasser Berlin (KWB), the Swedish Environmental Research Institute (IVL) and KWR Watercycle Research Institute (KWR).

Please do not hesitate to contact Theo van den Hoven or Kees Roest at KWR for more information.

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Selected Water Innovation News

#innovation @siwiwater #WWWeek 2015

The annual World Water Week in Stockholm took place from 23 to 28 August and we had a look at which innovative approaches were presented at the event. Here are our top three:

1. The session Information technologies for a smarter water future is described as " ... the rise of smart phones and internet access will lead to an explosion of data sharing both within and outside existing governance structures, empowering many, from farmers to local utility workers, from local government staff to citizens and civil society groups. Innovative information technologies will also lead to advanced system-wide solutions and smart water extraction, treatment and delivery infrastructure. Advanced new decision support systems will emerge, building on the latest data acquisition, analytics, DNA libraries of microbial pathogens, modeling, real-time operation systems and communication technologies ..." 

2. "WellDone builds technology tools that empower resource-constrained communities with the data they need to provide critical infrastructure that lasts.  WellDone's remote monitoring platform MoMo improves the reliability of rural infrastructure and the accountability of development projects. MoMo sends water flow rates over the cellular network to tell stakeholders how well rural water projects are working on a daily basis."

3. "... Perry Alagappan from the United States receives the 2015 Stockholm Junior Water Prize on August 25 for inventing a filter through which toxic heavy metals from electronic waste can be removed from water. H.R.H. Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden presented the prize at an award ceremony during the World Water Week in Stockholm."

ict4water cluster bundles research on water management

The ict4water is a cluster of fifteen ICT and water management projects which are co-funded by the European Commission. Their common goal is to increase efficiency in water management and enable greater cooperation among water regulators, operators and users by deploying solutions provided by Information and Communication Technology. 

Together, the fifteen projects conduct research on new sensor technologies, linkage of water data, how to use information for influencing consumer behaviour, water policies and new business models. Results will be tested and demonstrated in pilot locations in over ten European countries, ranging from Ireland to Cyprus and covering a broad set of consumers, from single households to the Milano-Linate airport in Italy. 

The ict4water will showcase its first results during the upcoming ICT2015 event which is organised by the European Commission from 20 – 22 October in Lisbon, Portugal. The cluster will be part of the exhibition "What is European ICT doing for you?" with a focus on showing ICT solutions that are directly applicable to the lives of citizens.

For regular news from ict4water and its fifteen projects please subscribe to their bi-monthly newsletter

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Recommended Reading

Global Innovation Index 2015: Switzerland, UK, Sweden, Netherlands, USA are Leaders

Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Sweden, the Netherlands and the United States of America are the world’s five most innovative nations, according to the Global Innovation Index 2015 while China, Malaysia, Viet Nam, India, Jordan, Kenya, and Uganda are among a group of countries outperforming their economic peers.

The GII 2015 looks at “Effective Innovation Policies for Development” and shows new ways that emerging-economy policymakers can boost innovation and spur growth by building on local strengths and ensuring the development of a sound national innovation environment.

“Innovation holds far-reaching promise for spurring economic growth in countries at all stages of development. However, realizing this promise is not automatic,” said WIPO Director General Francis Gurry.  He added: “Each nation must find the right mix of policies to mobilize the innate innovative and creative potential in their economies.”

While the report does not mention water specifically, it provides some insights on the role of innovation in resource-limited countries and world regions: : With limited budgets, most countries will have to make hard choices on where to invest to make the most of their available human and natural resources and their competitive advantage. Choices of smart specialization may also be done in collaboration with other countries."

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Water, Energy and Food Security Nexus: research and innovation in the context of climate change

In spring 2015 the PROSPEKTIKER-ICATALIST Consortium carried out a Nexus Interviews-Online survey whose results will feed into a "Study on the Nexus between water, energy and food security: research and innovation in the context of climate change" which the Consortium develops for the European Commission, DG Research and Innovation.

The summary of the first results of the interviews that served as the basis to develop the Delphi survey launched in May 2015 are currently being analysed and integrated into a Second Stage report for the European Commission. These first results show already the importance of the Nexus issue for the future R&I priorities and confirm the need to analyse the key variables related to the nexus.

The conclusions, together with the results of the rest of the Second Stage activities (Delphi, analysis,...) will be further discussed during the workshop the consortium is planning to organize in September in Brussels, in order to agree on the final recommendations.

The final report of this study is planned to be published by the EC at the end of the project.

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Announcements and Events

Welcome to AquaMatch 2015

"B2B pre-arranged speed dates. Fast & efficient!" AquaMatch 2015 will take place on 5 November 2015 and you are welcome to participate!

AquaMatch is an international Water Technology & Innovation brokerage event, organised by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland) and the Enterprise Europe Network, the largest business support network in Europe.

It will take place at Aquatech Amsterdam during the Amsterdam International Water Week. From 2 - 6 November you will have access to the Aquatech Amsterdam exhibition, an extensive conference and workshop programme and various excursions. The programme provides many opportunities, to share your knowledge and experience, learn from water professionals & best practices and be inspired by the world’s leading water experts.

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Amsterdam International Water Week: 10% EIP Water discount

The Amsterdam International Water Week, taking place from 2-6 November in Amsterdam, is the platform for creating new alliances and generating fresh ideas. The event connects industry, science, business, policy and technology; it crosses borders between water and sanitation, delta technology, food, agriculture, finance and governance and brings together a unique mix of professionals conducive to the transition to a circular economy and resilient cities.

The Netherlands Water Partnership (NWP), part of the EIP Action Group of European National Water Partnerships, is co-organizing this conference. As we warmly invite stakeholders from the European water sector to join the event, EIP Water partners, Action Group members and other supporters can now benefit from a special offer: if you get your conference ticket before October 4th within the category ‘EIP Water contact’, you will receive a discount of 10%. 

For more information about the Amsterdam International Water Week or questions about this opportunity, please contact Selma Hilgersom

Sixth aquaNOW Audience by OOSKAnews on 24 September

OOSKAnews Inc. will host the sixth “aquaNOW Audience,” at the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) in Oban, Scotland at 2:00 PM UK time (9:00 AM EST) on Thursday, September 24, 2015; the event will also be live-streamed

aquaNOW Audiences adopt a “question-time” panel format with renowned international and Scottish water experts discussing current international water and water-related events.

There are two key rationales for the aquaNOW Audience series. First, the events are designed to engender “joined-up thinking” about water from disparate points of view in the international water family - water policy; water conflict; water technology; water risk; water opportunity; climate change; sustainability; development aid; the nexus of water, energy and food; and popular political and media awareness of critical water challenges. The second aim is to raise societal awareness of crucial planetary challenges to water as a vital global strategic resource.

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SANITAS held final Conference

On 18 Sep 2015, EIP Water participated in the final SANITAS Conference "Towards a sustainable and integrated urban water management in Europe and beyond: from science to policy". 

The Conference aimed to integrate the research carried out in the project within the larger context of the EU water policy and the EIP Water. The aim was to present the individual research findings with a practical perspective, highlighting their relevance to current and upcoming water issues and policies, as well as their uptake by water managers on the ground.

More specifically, the SANITAS fellows presented their results and showed how their work in the past three years contributes to meeting the challenges identified by the EIP Water: water reuse, emerging pollutants, energy efficiency, climate change (adaptation and mitigation), stricter water quality standards, resource recovery, overall efficiency, minimizing environmental impact, or developing integrated/holistic solutions, are just a few of the issues that were discussed at the conference. A round table moderated by Prof. Gustaf Olsson from Lund University and with prestigious researchers in the network was organized at the end of the conference.

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Water Innovation Lab Europe from 4 to 9 October in Scotland

Based on the success of the Water Innovation Labs in Canada, Waterlution is offering the first pan European Water Innovation Lab gathering in Perthshire, Scotland in early October. 

The Water Innovation Lab (WIL) is designed for 20 to 35 year-olds from a diversity of backgrounds and nationalities who are enthusiastic about innovating within the European water context. WIL 2015 Europe will bring together inquiring and committed individuals from: the water sector, engineering, art and design, the sciences, business, social sciences, planning and ICT to build our capacity to collaborate for a resilient future. EIP Water will officially participate in the WIL 2015 and we'll report our impressions and the results. 

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11th EWA Brussels Conference “Water Challenges in Europe” in November

Join the European Water Association at the EWA Brussels days taking place from 16th until 18th of November 2015. During the three days of events, the EWA gives you the unique opportunity to take stock on the hot topics of the European water policy agenda. 

Held in cooperation with the DG Environment of the European Commission, the main objective of the annual EWA Brussels Conference is to establish a dialogue between the European Commission and European water professionals and stakeholders.

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