European Commision


EIP Water News May 2016, 11. May 2016
EIP Water | Boosting opportunities - Innovating water

Dear Reader,

Welcome to the May edition of our monthly newsletter!

This edition presents the candidates of our call for proposals for hosting #EIPWater2017, the fourth EIP Water conference. We have received five great proposals from all over Europe and aim to announce the selected host city before the summer break.

Furthermore, there is a big number of water-innovation related events coming up, such as the ARREAU Struvite Recovery & Recycling Learning Alliance workshop on 16 June 2016, or the Water Tech Fest at the end of May, and many more. We hope you will be able to participate in some of them and look forward to meeting you there!

Best regards,
The EIP Water Secretariat


EIP Water News and Updates

How can researchers in the water sector have greater impact?

With the aim to help overcome barriers in the innovation chain and having identified the inadequate set-up of partnerships when developing innovation driven-projects as a priority barrier, EIP Water has joined hands with the Water Joint Programming Initiative (Water JPI), an intergovernmental collaboration between 20 European partner countries. Water JPI aims to tackle major societal challenges unable to be addressed by individual countries and in doing so contribute to the knowledge and innovation development in the water area.

Both organisations have agreed that training for researchers in the area of more strategic communication and stakeholder engagement will add value to both, researchers and potential end-users. Water JPI and EIP Water will offer a first half-day workshop, planned to be held as a webinar, on strategic communication planning and stakeholder engagement in September 2016. Further action will be decided after the evaluation of this first webinar.

The webinar is targeted to 18 researchers of the Water JPI network. Presenters will come from EIP Water, Water JPI and Fast Track Impact. 

We will soon announce the opening for applications here.

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Where will #EIPWater2017
take place?

After three successful conferences in Brussels, Barcelona and Leeuwarden, the competitive process for selecting the host city of #EIPWater2017 - the fourth conference of EIP Water - is now in its second step. 

By the deadline of 29 April 2016, EIP Water had received five applications to hold the 2017 conference in:
  1. Mülheim (Germany)
  2. Lund (Sweden)
  3. La Valetta (Malta)
  4. Turku (Finland)
  5. Porto (Portugal)
We would like to thank all colleagues for their efforts in developing these applications and look forward to communicating the results of our evaluation and the final decision before the Summer 2016.

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Survey on the Impact of Regulation on Innovation

It is a high priority for the European Commission (EC) to ensure that the conditions for innovation in Europe are right. Currently, the Commission is seeking to improve the regulatory framework and adapt to the pace of change of new technologies and new forms of innovation.

Thus the Evaluation Unit of DG Research and Innovation has initiated a survey which will run until 16 May 2016; it is managed by external contractors (Ernst & Young / Technopolis Group) on behalf of the European Commission and will provide stakeholders with the opportunity to give input to the Commission in this important area. In case of any questions you might have, please do not hesitate to contact the survey organizers here

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EIP Water Action Group News

Struvite Recovery & Recycling Learning Alliance: mid-June 2016

Are you operating or intending to implement struvite recovery at your Wastewater Treatment Plant?

Meet European struvite recovery operators willing to share their practical experiences and learn more about running recovery technologies - join us at the ARREAU Struvite Recovery & Recycling Learning Alliance kick-off workshop in Amersfoort, The Netherlands, on 16 June 2016. The workshop will be linked with the official commissioning of the first WASSTRIP/PEARL/LYSOTHERM facility in the world. The main topics will be:
  • Struvite recovery at work – advantages and limitations
  • Bridging the gap from recovery to recycling - practical and legal aspects
  • Discuss with operators
  • Meet technology providers and downstream users
  • Technical tour at WWTP Amersfoort
The event will be organized by the EIP WATER Action Group ARREAU and the local Waterboard Vallei en Velluwe at WWTP Amersfoort. Please do not hesitate to write to Dr Christian Kabbe for more detailed information.

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EIP Water Action Groups:
Who? Why? What? How?

EIP Water Action Groups (AGs) are highly motivated, voluntary, multi-stakeholder groups at the core of EIP Water; they form the central element of the partnership’s implementation phase. Currently, there are 29 Action Groups working to develop, test, scale up, disseminate and stimulate the uptake of innovative solutions to water-related challenges by the market.

They have been formalised via Calls for Expression of Commitment and a short evaluation phase of proposals in line with EIP Water's eight priority areas.

If you wish to join one of the Action Groups, please contact the respective lead partners. The decision to add partners is made by the Action Groups themselves. You have to be a registered Marketplace user to access the additional information following which the Action Group will get back to you.

The EIP Secretariat which works under the supervision of the European Commission, supports the EIP Water AGs to fulfill their objectives.

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Selected Water Innovation News

Innovative Policy Instruments for Water Quality Management  

In mid-March 2016 EIP Water participated in an OECD Workshop on Innovative Policy Instruments for Water Quality Management in The Hague, the Netherlands. Water quality in OECD countries continues to deteriorate despite improvements in the control of industrial point source pollution and wastewater treatment. As a consequence, the relative importance of diffuse pollution loads is increasing in OECD countries, and increasing treatment and regulation of point source pollution is no longer necessarily the most cost-effective approach to improving water quality. Water quality issues in OECD countries are characterised by a number of pollutants, none more so than nutrient pollution, primarily from agricultural sources, which leads to eutrophication and harmful algal blooms. Prevailing solutions to control diffuse source pollution (e.g. voluntary subsidies and regulatory instruments) often fail to deliver expected outcomes. There is an opportunity to better design and implement voluntary and regulatory instruments, and to harness economic instruments, to achieve water quality outcomes.

The aim of the Workshop was to enhance knowledge of effective and innovative water quality policies, to ultimately deliver improved water quality outcomes in OECD countries. It built on the preliminary report "The Economics of Water Quality in OECD Countries and BRICS" undertaken by the OECD Secretariat, and discussed at the last meeting of the Working Party on Biodiversity, Water and Ecosystems, 21-23 October 2015, Paris. The workshop objectives were to:
  • Take stock of recent developments of water quality reform and innovative management practices in OECD countries;
  • Identify lessons learnt from case studies and requisites for effective policy design and implementation; and
  • Discuss barriers to effective policy reform and improvements in water quality, and how these may be overcome.
Workshop presentations and discussions will be part of an OECD report to be released in early 2017; for further information please contact Hannah Leckie at the OECD.

EIP Water identified the following highlights or strategy elements to be taken into account in addressing barriers to water innovation: Barriers are mainly of political, and not of technical nature. The water sector needs to improve on how it tells its story in order to access the financial resources required for renewal, upgrading and innovation. Health aspects should be considered when assessing pollution pressures. Citizens can play a relevant role in water quality monitoring. Incremental innovation seems insufficient to solve problems of diffuse pollution and emergent pollutants. The polluter-pays-principle is not implemented in a way that would successfully address diffuse pollution.

India and European Union
sign Water Partnership

A joint declaration by the Republic of India and the European Union (EU) on an India-EU Water Partnership (IEWP) has been undersigned on 30 March 2016, with the Objective to strengthen technological, scientific and management capabilities of India and the EU in the field of water management on the basis of equality, reciprocity and mutual benefit.

The areas of cooperation India and the EU endeavor to encourage and promote cooperation on:
  1. Work towards the establishment of an India-EU Water Partnership (IEWP), bringing together representatives of relevant stakeholders, including interested EU Member States and Indian States, European and Indian institutions, businesses and civil society.
  2. Exchange views on regulatory approaches, including procurement, governance, best practices, business solutions and research and innovation opportunities in the water field in India and Europe, taking into account lessons learnt in the implementation of the EU’s Water Framework Directive and the already ongoing exchange of information on cooperation under major river conventions, such as the Danube and the Rhine.
  3. Continue technical exchange on water issues, notably through study visits to the EU and European experts’ missions to India.
  4. Jointly organize Indo-European Water Forum events at regular intervals to discuss and share views on water-related matters of common interest.
  5. Support the implementation of the Ganga Rejuvenation Initiative of the Indian Government, in particular through quick-win business solutions based on EU best practices, by developing a consolidated analysis taking into account joint research activities and identifying key problems and solutions, including innovations European solutions, and by contributing to an analysis of a possible appropriate governance and legal set-up for the Ganga River Basin. The IEWP should be part and parcel of a coordinated approach by the EU and its Member States – and in coordination with other relevant players – on these and other relevant aspects of the Ganga Rejuvenation Initiative.
For more information, please check the text of the Declaration or information on the India-EU summit or approach the EU Delegation in New Delhi.

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Professional and Investment Opportunities

PPI public procurer survey

The European Commission (EC) is collecting data from key public procurers, including from the water sector, with potential interest in procuring new innovative solutions in the coming years. The results will help the EC to prioritise these needs in the upcoming years, in view of allocating funding for calls under the next Horizon 2020 Work Programme (2018 – 2020).

A total budget of circa €130 million is available under different 2016-17 Horizon 2020 Work Programmes (see calls overview) to support groups of procurers that join forces to implement joint cross-border Pre-Commercial Procurements (PCP) or Public Procurements for Innovative Solutions (PPI).

It takes 5 minutes to fill out this survey to provide EAFIP some general information about your potential interest in innovation procurement in the following years. The information collected in this survey will only be used for the purpose of this initiative.

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Stakeholder consultation on Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2018- 2020

The multiannual work programme will take into account the political priorities of the European Union and foresight exercises. Consultation of stakeholders is an integral part of the programming process. Therefore, a targeted consultation of stakeholders was held until 8 April 2016.

Further details on the results of the consultation will be made available on this webpage by summer 2016. The EIP Water Secretariat and other partners and research teams have compiled some contributions already.

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Recommended Reading

Position papers on EU Innovation Council and ESIF simplification

The European Association of Research and Technology Organisations EARTO recently published two new position papers: on the European Innovation Council (EIC) and on the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) Simplification.

The first paper is an answer to EC consultation on the EIC and follows EARTO's first paper on the EIC. The paper presents recommendations for an EIC pilot in Horizon 2020. EARTO believes the EIC Pilot should focus on three key priorities:
  • Streamlining Existing Instruments & Organizing Complementary Support
  • Taking Stock of Existing Research & Innovation Infrastructures
  • Supporting the Growth of Innovative Research-Driven Entrepreneurship
EARTO paper on ESIF simplification: following EARTO's interview by DG REGIO High-Level Group on ESIF Simplification, its Working Group "Structural Funds Experts" has written down the key points to be looked at from RTOs' perspective during the on-going discussions on ESIF Simplification. The paper focuses on financial, administration and audits aspects for ESIF.

With these papers, "EARTO hopes to contribute to the debates by bringing further ideas on how the EIC should be designed to support EU innovation policy and how ESIF rules can be simplified for a more effective use of regional funds."

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EUR 48 mln loan to Romania for pollution control initiative

"Romania has received another EUR 48 million from the World Bank to expand the Integrated Nutrient Pollution Control Project", writes Ovidiu Posirca recently in an article in the Business Review. 

"It is estimated that around 30,000 small farmers and 100 localities will benefit from fresh investments due to the  loan. The EUR 48 million additional financing will complement the ongoing EUR 50 million WB-backed project and will focus on scaling-up investments and management practices to reduce nutrient pollution from agricultural, livestock and human sources nationwide. There are not EU grants allotted for such initiatives in the country.

“Romania continues to have extensive agricultural production on small-size farms, which raises the challenge of how production practices are applied with respect to the environment”, said Anca Dragu, the minister of finance.

The project will support Romania’s efforts to reduce the discharge of nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) into Romania’s water bodies and meet EU provisions in this area."

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Announcements and Events

Sustainable Development Goal on Water: Business as Usual for Brussels?

On 31 May 2016 the European Water Partnership EWP and Team Finland will hold their annual event in Brussels. Its main topic is: Is Europe Ready for the Sustainable Development Goal on Water?

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Water Innovation Europe 2016:
21 -23 June 2016

WssTP has opened the registrations for its annual stakeholder conference, Water Innovation Europe 2016, scheduled to take place from 21 to 23 of June at the Diamant Centre in Brussels. This year’s edition is dedicated to the topic ‘Water Smart: European Solutions for a smart water society’.
  •     How can the value of water boost sustainable and economic growth?
  •     How can the water sector benefit from digital opportunities?
  •     How can we make the water-energy-food nexus work in practice?
  •     Can water be the enabler of tackling the global social and environmental challenges?
This and much more will be addressed during the three-day conference that aims to bring to light clever solutions on how to face the water-related global challenges and lay the foundations for ‘Water-Smart Societies’. WssTP will also host the third edition of the WssTP SME Innovation Awards during the first day of the conference, on 22nd June 2016. Attracting over 200 participants from all around Europe every year, WIE2016 offers an open platform for information gathering and networking among the most influential stakeholders from within and beyond the water sector.

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Excellent response to call for ideas on European Innovation Council

More than 1000 replies and 170 supporting documents were submitted in response to the European Commission's call for ideas on a European Innovation Council to support Europe's most promising innovators.

A first analysis shows that over 80% of respondents agree or strongly agree that the lack of disruptive market-creating innovation is an obstacle to growth in Europe. Many commented that although there is a wealth of good ideas and skilled people and many promising start-ups, companies are struggling to scale up.

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Irrigating the valley of death
for Water Tech

On May 25, 2016, the Water Tech Fest (WTF) will be organized in Leeuwarden as part of StartupFest Europe. At the physical hotspot for innovation in water technology, WaterCampus Leeuwarden will put the spotlight on entrepreneurs and their innovative products and ideas. The WaterCampus will be the meeting point for entrepreneurs, start-ups, scale-ups and investors focusing on water technology and crossovers in Oil & Gas, Food, Delta, Cleantech and Energy.

A full day program will offer the floor to success stories, but above all for matchmaking between entrepreneurs, investors and launching customers. On different levels discussions and negotiations will be initiated to stimulate the development of breakthrough Water Tech. A “High-Rollers” stage will show the absolute top of entrepeneurs in Water Tech.

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Water in  the Urban Agenda

On Wednesday 6th of April, the MEP Water Group, in cooperation with the Dutch EU Presidency, held a public session dedicated to the theme ‘Water in the Urban Agenda’ at the European Parliament in Brussels. It was chaired by Esther de Lange, in her capacity as the President of the MEP Water Group and featured Aziza Akhmouch, Head of the OECD Water Governance Programme, Mario Cerutti, Senior Water Expert, Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure & Environment, Richard Elelman, Coordinator of the BlueSCities Project and Pavel Misiga, Head of the Water Unit, European Commission as speakers of the session.

Esther de Lange pointed out that although 7 out of 10 Europeans live in urban areas, the visibility of water has been massively declined in cities and thus water-related challenges are growing. Among other considerations put forward by the speakers were that water is key to sustainable cities and that there should be simultaneous action that links infrastructures, institutions, and information together.

The DG Environment of the European Commission has expressed its commitment to support the initiative of influencing the EU research agenda by linking urban cities and water, and connecting water directors and regional levels of implementation. It was also highlighted that action needs to be taken so that the urban water-related issues are included in the upcoming Horizon 2020 Work Programme.  

The presentations of the session can be downloaded here.


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