European Commision


EIP Water News 29 / March 2016, 16. March 2016
EIP Water | Boosting opportunities - Innovating water

Dear Reader,

Welcome to the March edition of our newsletter!

After a successful 3rd EIP Water conference in February in Leeuwarden, this edition presents our call for hosting #EIPWater2017 in 2017 - a one day conference once again planned to be preceded and followed by side meetings and site events. 

With this newsletter we are also pleased to support World Water Day 2016 and the forthcoming World Water Development Report 2016 whose theme will be "Water and Jobs"; the report illustrates that nearly 3 out of 4 jobs of the global workforce - 3.2 billion people - are moderately or highly dependent upon access to water and water-related services. In the European Union innovation in water and other industries is considered a driver to enhance Europe's competitiveness and recognised as contributing to job creation and economic growth.

We wish all our readers a great Easter and send our best regards,

The EIP Water Secretariat


EIP Water News and Updates

Where will #EIPWater2017
take place?

The EIP Water is pleased to announce a call for applications to host the fourth one-day EIP Water conference which is planned to take place in either June or September 2017. The conference shall be preceded or followed by side events and site visits. All interested host cities and conference partners in Europe are now invited to develop and submit their proposals by the deadline of 29 April 2016.

The host city and conference partners of the EIP Water’s fourth Conference will benefit from the great visibility of the event within the European water sector as well as a number of high-level speakers and international participants. The European Innovation Partnership on Water has taken a central role on the European water innovation landscape, providing a platform for collaboration of all actors in the field of water and innovation. It has succeeded in bringing together a pan-European community of policy-makers, researchers and academia, SME’s and global corporations who collaborate to drive the development of innovative solutions to water challenges and shape water innovation policy in Europe and globally.

The host city and conference partners will be able to showcase their experiences related to water & innovation and, if so agreed with EIP Water, suggest specific topics and challenges of their concern. The previous EIP Water conferences in Brussels (2013), Barcelona (2014) and Leeuwarden (2016) have demonstrated that the EIP Water conference is a brilliant opportunity for strengthening pan-European and global networking for boosting innovation in the water sector. Since 2013, the event has continued to increase with over 350 participants in Brussels in 2013, more than 400 in Barcelona in 2014 and 520 participants in February 2016 in Leeuwarden.

The organizers are confident that the 2017 conference will once again be an outstanding event for the European water sector and will contribute to removing innovation barriers and creating opportunities for more water innovation in Europe and globally.

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Online Marketplace presents
new features

Tailor-made daily water innovation news? On your desktop? Free of charge?

This is only one of the new features of the EIP Water online Marketplace - our so-called News Aggregator. It filters news related to water and innovation according to your needs and individual settings - just chose your topic(s), preferred regional coverage and chronology once and register your personal RSS Feed.

The news aggregator will provide your customized water innovation news on a daily basis, free of charge.

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Water Innovation in Europe - check out over 40 presentations

Since the launch of its slideshare account in 2013 EIP Water has posted over 40 presentations on topics related to water innovation from our three conferences and other events. The most viewed presentation with over 2000 views are from the China-EU Water Platform on "CHINA as world’s single largest market in 2016" and the EU Commission on "EU Horizon 2020 for Water Innovation".

More recently, the "Leeuwarden declaration: How to drive water innovation in Europe" has been uploaded and already been viewed almost 1000 times in four weeks. Many more presentations from Action Groups and conference partners are available here.

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EIP Water Action Group News

Challenges of Water, Waste and Climate Change in Cities.
A warming-up for Migration 2.0?

This publication by Stef Koop and Kees van Leeuwen is an introduction for politicians, mayors, companies, citizens, NGOs and all other persons interested in the challenges of water in the next decades.  A summary presentation is available too. The paper can be summarized in 10 bullet points:
  1. Relevance. Cities play a prominent role in our economic development as more than 80 % of the gross world product (GWP) comes from cities.
  2. Challenges in cities. Climate change and urbanization are among the most significant trends of the twenty-first century, affecting global natural resources such as water, economic development and human well-being. 
  3. Transitioning and developing countries. Particularly at risk are cities in transitional and developing countries.
  4. Cities and Citizens. Cities are the major problem holders. 
  5. Water Governance. “Before fixing the urban water pipes, fix the institutions”. 
  6. City-to-city learning. The challenges require a multi-level water governance approach, a long-term strategy, a bottom-up approach and collaboration among cities and regions. 
  7. Smarter Cities. Cities require a long-term framing of their sectorial challenges into a proactive and coherent Urban Agenda to maximize the co-benefits and to minimize their cost. 
  8. SMART goals. Cities should develop a cohesive set of long-term objectives that should be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic, Time-related.
  9. Implementation matters. Regular benchmarking, with e.g. the City Blueprint approach, based on SMART goals is needed to monitor progress of the transition process towards water-wise UWCS in cities.
  10. Sense of Urgency. The time window to implement a smarter city approach is narrow and rapidly closing. 

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EU and EIP Water Action Groups active on Water reuse

During the EIP Water conference in February 2016 in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands, a side meeting on water reuse took place. Water reuse is indicated as an important topic in the recent communication by the European Commission (EC) on Circular Economy. Furthermore, a series of actions is under development to promote water reuse at EU level. This includes a new version of the draft Common Implementation Strategy (CIS) guidance document on water reuse, and a possible legislation setting minimum requirements for water reuse in irrigation and groundwater recharge.

During the EIP Water conference in February 2016 in Leeuwarden, the EIP Water Action Groups InDure (Industria Water Reuse), RESEWAM (Remote Sensing for Water Management Operation), WIRE (Water & Irrigated agriculture Resilient Europe) and RTWQM (Real Time Water Quality Monitoring) organized a meeting to discuss the innovation aspects in water reuse.

In this meeting Joaquim Capitao (EU, DG Environment) presented the status of the EC's initiative to promote water reuse. Bernd Gawlik and Claudia de Luca from the EU Joint Research Center JRC presented the development of EU minimum requirements for water reuse in irrigation and aquifer recharge followed by an introduction on the above-mentioned second draft guidance document on water reuse.

Participants of the meeting discussed these documents and provided valuable input for further development of the guidance paper. Meeting minutes can be found here. In the second part of the meeting, the Action Groups presented various cases in which they expressed how they contribute to the development of reuse, their opinion on barriers to innovation and need for support.

All presentations form the side meeting are now available here.


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Selected Water Innovation News

Innovation alliance on water and climate between Africa and Europe kicks off

‘AfriAlliance’ is an ambitious five year project that officially started in early March with a kick-off meeting hosted by UNESCO-IHE. Its main objective: getting African and European stakeholders to work together on water innovation, research, policy and capacity development to increase the preparedness of Africa to address future climate change vulnerabilities.

“The project has made an excellent start with this lively and engaging meeting. All partners are clearly committed to making AfriAlliance a success and to strengthening African preparedness for the impacts of climate change”, explains Dr. Uta Wehn, AfriAlliance Project Director and Associate Professor of Water Innovation Studies at UNESCO-IHE. 

Africa will be one of the world regions most in need of innovative solutions for tackling water and climate change-related challenges. The fruitful interaction among relevant stakeholders in water management is of central importance when trying to generate, increase and exchange knowledge and innovation that address the demands of workable, effective solutions that have tangible impact. The 16 consortium partners from Europe and Africa present at the kick-of meeting will jointly address these challenges over the coming five years.

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European clusters connect
to the world

As a new initiative of DG Growth, the European Cluster Collaboration Platform (ECCP) has been launched on the 8th of March in Brussels. It hosts the European Strategic Cluster Partnerships – Going International (ESCPs-4i), that develop and implement a joint internationalisation strategy and support Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME) internationalisation towards third countries beyond Europe. These transnational cluster partnerships aim to develop common actions and an implementation roadmap as part of a long-term cooperation agenda. Currently there are 23 ESCPs funded through COSME, the EU programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and SMEs. The European Commission has invited the ESCPs to register all of their cluster members in the ECCP database, and all other European clusters are now invited to register in the ECCP as well. 

This initiative is also related to the EIP Water's work on water innovation hubs in Europe and beyond; this EIP Water activity focuses specifically on innovation in the water sector and the existing overview of water innovation hubs is updated regularly.

One of the European Strategic Cluster Partnerships is Energy in Water (EnW), formed by seven cluster organisations active in the fields of Energy and Water: Water Innovation Network (UK), AVEASEN and ZINNAE (ES), CD2E and EA (FR), CLEAN (DK) and Water Alliance (NL). 

Furthermore, cluster representatives from every South-American country and  Mexico attended the ECCP launch event in Brussels, which took place in parallel with the partnering event of  ELAN  - the European and Latin American Technology based Business Network which is hosted by the European Regions Research and Innovation Network ERRIN; ELAN brings together business support organisations, public sector actors and research & technology based organisations from Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) and the EU. More cooperation with Latin America and the Caribbean is foreseen in the framework of COSME and representatives from Energy in Water have engaged with several LAC cluster organisations active in the field of water and energy. 

Professional and Investment Opportunities

Over 300 proposals for climate, environment projects - decisions within six months

The European Commission has received 333 proposals for projects in the areas of climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials by the call deadline on 8 March 2016. All in all, a budget of about €283 million is available in 2016 for the Societal Challenge "Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials" of Horizon 2020. 

In April, independent expert panels will evaluate the proposals selecting the best ones for funding. The Commission will then inform all applicants – within five months of the call deadline – whether or not their proposal has been successful. Applicants who answered to a two-stage call will be informed in May of the outcome of the remote review: those invited to submit a full proposal will have to do so by 6 September 2016.

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RegioStar Awards - discover them!

The objective of the RegioStars Awards is to identify good practices in regional development and to highlight original and innovative projects which could be attractive and inspiring to other regions. Several documents provide further information:
  • An analysis of existing support to water reuse projects at EU level was recently carried out by an intern in our unit. Her report is accessible in Circa (with other background documents for the Commission initiative).
  • Application to RegioStars Award 2016 is now open. The objective of the RegioStars Awards is to identify good practices in regional development and to highlight original and innovative projects which could be attractive and inspiring to other regions. Water reuse related projects and initiative funded by the EU Cohesion Policy can be eligible under Category 2 "Sustainable Growth: Circular Economy".

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Recommended Reading

Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive Report out now

The 8th Implementation Report on the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive shows high compliance rates at EU level, whilst gaps still exist in some Member States. Compliance rates at EU-15 level have been found to be, in general, very high. At individual Member State level, rates of 95-100% are quite frequent. Results are much lower in EU-13, especially in sensitive areas. However, significant progress has been observed since the time of the last report (SWD (2013) 298 final). 

To reach full compliance, action is needed to overcome the existing gaps:
  • 11 million p.e. (2%) have to be connected and treated, or addressed through IAS;
  • 48 million p.e. (9%) of the urban waste water already connected have to meet the performance of a secondary treatment; and
  • 39 million p.e. (12%) of the urban waste water already connected have to meet the performance of a more stringent treatment

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Water is unlike any other investment

"Water does not play by the usual rules — it simply does not behave like any other resource or any other commodity. Not oil, not carbon. Water is unique", writes Scott Mosley, Director of Investment Strategies at The Water Council in Milwaukee, USA, in a recent article titled "The Curious Case of Water Innovation":

"Water is not priced in the global marketplace. When water is priced locally, it is priced irrationally with locations in dire water stress often pricing lower than locations with water abundance. Water is necessary to survive. Yet too much water can cause catastrophic damage. And like water, investing in water technology does not follow conventional rules", continues Scott Mosley who  then looks into venture capital, so-called impact investors and more. His conclusion? 

"If venture-like returns can be produced, the asset class will become attractive to venture. If venture deploys capital, more companies can be funded. If more companies are funded, more positive technology can be brought to the market. It’s a virtuous cycle. But, it is going to take someone with a checkbook who is willing to be first. Will it be you?"

read more

Water & Jobs -
Watch out for WWDR 2016!

The upcoming World Water Development Report WWDR 2016 with the theme “Water and Jobs” will be launched on 22 March 2016 in Geneva; it illustrates that nearly 3 out of 4 jobs of the global workforce (3.2 billion people) are moderately or highly dependent upon access to water and water-related services and therefore states that “Water is essential to decent jobs and sustainable development”. Water stress and the lack of decent work can exacerbate security challenges, force migration and undo the progress made in the fight to eradicate poverty. 

To disseminate these key findings and to add momentum to the official launch event in Geneva (22 March), WWAP is organizing a briefing session for the representatives of the Member States at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on 24 March and at the UN Headquarters in New York on 29 March. In parallel, various UNESCO Field Offices with their national partners and United Nations counterparts are organizing regional events on the topic ‘Water and Jobs’, spread over the globe. Almaty, Amman, Bangkok, Beijing, Brasilia, Cairo, Jakarta, Montevideo, Nairobi, New Delhi, Tashkent are a grasp of the locations where such activities are taking place. 

For the first time, the WWDR will not only be launched in English but also in Spanish and French. The Executive summary of the Report will be made available in all 6 UN languages as well as in Italian, Portuguese and Hindi.

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Water Tight 2.0 
Deloitte's top trends in the
global water sector

"Water scarcity, changing demographics and operational efficiency are top issues for the global water sector, which are amplified by the unpredictable impact of climate change", write Deloitte in the Executive Summary of its new report "Water Tight 2.0". 

"Demand for water continues to rise, declining water quality has grown to be a global concern, water loss through leakage continues to prove a major issue both in the developed and developing world, and the long-term impact of climate change is unpredictable which makes planning difficult. Ultimately, the world needs flexible and resilient water systems that anticipate and monitor changes in circumstances. Sustainable management techniques need to be implemented to protect water cycles and reduce the impact of human activity on them. These need to go hand-in-hand with optimizing water and wastewater provision and consumption, and will require closer collaboration between utilities, users and regulators to incentivize water conservation, reuse and recycling."

The report which can be downloaded free of charge identifies several trends such as "The value of data", "The power of the customer" or "The future of regulation".

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Announcements and Events

Black Sea – Danube Integral Innovation Forum 6

The key-goal of the 6th edition of this Forum is to largely promote and demonstrate the advantages of the transnational co-operation at the level of the Danube Region, and under the aegis of EUSDR. This requires to coagulate the most advanced mechanisms and methods through the emergence of the “communities of practices”, the internationalisation of clusters, the industrial renaissance of the most promising branches and the foundation of an integral innovation hub at the level of stakeholders of public and private sectors of the Lower Danube and the Black Sea Littoral.

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Water JPI 2016 Conferenc: 19 May in Rome

The Water Joint Programming Initiative (JPI) will host its 2016 Conference in Rome on the 19th May 2016. This international event is targeted to a wide range of stakeholders and will present the new version of the Water JPI Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA), and discuss on how to implement it and the benefits from international cooperation.

The WATER JPI SRIA version 2.0 lays out research, innovation and development needs in the water sector grouped by thematic areas and priorities selected after a stakeholders’ consultation for their scientific and societal importance and structured around these five core themes: Improving Ecosystem Sustainability and Human Well-being; Developing Safe Water Systems for the Citizens; Promoting Competitiveness in the Water Industry; Implementing a Water-Wise Bio-Based Economy; Closing the Water Cycle Gap Improving Sustainable water Resources Management.

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Sharing Knowledge for a Changing World:
5th WRC Innovation Day

The WRc Innovation Day is the premier innovation cross-sector (water, waste and gas) networking event for utilities in the UK. Building on the success of the last four years, WRc’s 5th Innovation Day will take place on the 27th April 2016.

The theme for 2016 is Sharing Knowledge for a Changing World and will explore how our business world needs to adapt to changing forms of communication and behavior and advances in technology.  How do we need to adapt our own behaviors to make best use of this new digital era? What new technologies and processes can we implement to move our businesses forward?

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Sustainable Urban Deltas
at Innovation Expo

The Innovation Expo in the Netherlands accelerates innovation, thus encouraging economic growth and quality of life in The Netherlands. It consists of both the biennial event and the accompanying network of more than 4000 entrepreneurs, policy makers, academics and engaged citizens. Together they work towards technical breakthroughs and innovations that will make a difference in the future.

The closing day of the sixth edition of the Innovation Expo will be 14 April 2016 and focus on ‘Sustainable Urban Delta’. In the run up to the event, there will be a search for innovations that can be further stimulated. Why this theme?

Megacities are the main drivers of economic growth. Though there is no such thing as a megacity in The Netherlands, there is one big green wetland and urban network. To be globally competitive, the Netherlands need to focus on economies of agglomeration and innovation. The knowledge which the Netherlands have built up as urban delta and the innovations that were developed are very valuable worldwide. Innovations provide solutions to urban and societal challenges. Moreover: innovation creates new jobs.

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