European Commision


EIP Water News October 2014, 16. October 2014
EIP Water | Boosting opportunities - Innovating water

Dear Reader,

Welcome to the 16th issue of EIP Water News!

Registration for the EIP Water Conference 2014 scheduled for Wednesday 5th November in Europe’s “iCapital 2014” Barcelona started a few weeks ago and more than 400 participants are already registered. Only a few spaces remain, so please register soon and join us in Barcelona!

We have recently updated the preliminary conference programme, and we are pleased to present a great line up of high-level speakers and thought-provoking sessions.  Before and after the conference there will be 18 back-to-back meetings, nine free-of-charge site visits, and all 25 Action Groups and other organizations will participate in the conference exhibition. The one-day conference also includes the global launch of the CDP Water Report 2014 on the perception of water risk by the world’s largest listed corporations.

Furthermore, the conference will mark the launch of the 3rd call for expressions of commitment to establish an EIP Water Action Group. Twenty five Action Groups are already working on a voluntary basis to develop innovative solutions addressing water challenges. This new call will have a particular focus on actors from central and eastern European countries and on those EIP Water priority areas that  are currently underrepresented.

We are proud to see our annual conference grow into one of Europe’s flagship events on water innovation in its first year.  We would like to thank all EIP Water stakeholders, friends and conference partners for their continued commitment and support.  We look forward to welcoming you to Barcelona!

Best regards,

The EIP Water Secretariat


EIP Water News and Updates

Final registration for the EIP Water Conference!

Registration for the 2nd EIP Water Conference scheduled for 5th November in Barcelona, Spain - Europe’s “iCapital 2014” - has been open since mid-October; only a few spaces remain for conference participants, so we invite you to review the preliminary programme and register as soon as possible to join us in Barcelona!

There will be a great line of speakers, 18 back-to-back meetings, nine free-of-charge site visits, and all 25 Action Groups and other organizations will participate in the conference exhibition. The conference also includes the global launch of the CDP Water Report 2014 on the perception of water risk by the world’s largest listed corporations. The entire conference will be live streamed - please sign up here if you wish to follow the conference online.

Please feel free to send your questions about the conference to the EIP Water Secretariat.
We look forward to seeing you in Barcelona!


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Key European water umbrella organisations support EIP Water

The key European water-related umbrella organisations are jointly asking the Juncker Commission to prioritise water during the next 5 years due to its importance for the EU’s economy, environment, and quality of life of the European citizens. These organisations increased their collaboration and coordination in the form of a European Water Alliance, with the objective of achieving a more coherent and thus more effective representation and visibility for water at the European Union level. The first result of this cooperation is a joint statement on the “Main priorities for water under the Juncker Commission (2014‐2019)”. It promotes a more informed and structured policymaking discourse on these matters and served as an inspiration for members of the EU Parliament to raise the importance of water. The water organizations identified the EIP Water as a clear priority and write:
  • The EIP Water as a strategic driver for systemic changes in European water sector has to be reinforced, and adequately resourced. Closer collaboration between all Innovation Partnerships has to be fortified.
  • The Commissioner for the Environment should take an active role in steering the EIP Water and ensure a coordinated approach with EIP on agriculture and smart cities.
  • More resources for the implementation of the EIP Water should be foreseen within the European Commission as well as for the implementation of the EU water policy and water sector to ensure a leading strategic role for smart and innovative changes of the European water sector and water‐dependent industries.

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EIP Water Action Group News

Third call for Action Groups:
focus on Central & Eastern Europe

EIP Water is pleased to announce a third call for commitment for establishing an EIP Water Action Group, which is planned for launch at the 2014 EIP Water Conference on 5 November.  Action Groups (AGs) lie at the core of EIP Water and operate as voluntary multi-stakeholder groups.  They bring an essential ability to commercialize and/or disseminate and demonstrate innovation by developing and bringing applied water innovation to the market and society, dealing with our water challenges.

Twenty five EIP Water Action Groups have already been formed.  They work on a voluntary basis to develop innovative solutions addressing water challenges. This third call for AGs is focused particularly on actors from central and eastern European countries and on those EIP Water priority areas that are currently under-represented.

More information will follow soon!


RTWQM seeks your input

The EIP Water Action Group “Real Time Water Quality Monitoring” (RTWQM) has recently developed a short questionnaire in order to identify market needs, best practices, and barriers to the use of online monitoring technologies.

The questionnaire results will be used help RTWQM achieve its overall goals of fostering solutions to water challenges based on online water quality monitoring technologies and affordable monitoring strategies.

Your input will help RTWQM determine a course of action that will benefit all stakeholders involved in water quality monitoring. Your answers will be treated confidentially. The questionnaire closes on November 14th. Thank you in advance for your contribution!


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Selected Water Innovation News

“Finance for water innovation”

The European Investment Bank (EIB) organised a roundtable on Innovative financing for innovative water projects at the recent 2014 IWA World Water Congress in Lisbon.

The session started with a discussion of a market diagnostic project commissioned by EIB and currently being carried out by Ernst &  Young. The study focuses on identifying gaps, successful practices, and recommendations for financing research, development, and innovation (RDI) in the water sector.

The EIB then presented the new EIB / European Commission joint “Innovfin” spectrum of instruments for  innovation financing as well as other innovations in financing not strictly related to innovation. The session concluded with a presentation from ISLE Utilities on its “market roll-out brokerage services” known as TAG.

To continue with this theme, the EIB will participate in the session ”Stimulating investment in water innovation” at the EIP Water Conference on 5 November.

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Carbon is Money.
From Wastewater to Renewable Energy

Untreated wastewater is a valuable energy supplier. The organic substances contained in wastewater have so much chemical energy that it would be possible to fully compensate the energy amount required so far for wastewater treatment and even generate an energy surplus. Still today, modern wastewater treatment plants are typically the largest consumers of energy in municipalities, explains a recent Press Release of the Berlin Centre of Competence for Water (KWB).

Within the framework of the project CARISMO -  standing for “CARbon IS MOney” – the KWB has developed and tested a new concept for wastewater treatment with the goal of tapping the full energy potential in wastewater and generate an energy gain. Through an innovative filtration process the high-energy organic substances are already withdrawn from the wastewater in the inflow of the wastewater treatment plant and directly transferred to sludge digestion where power is generated via biogas recovery.

„The pilot study by KWB has shown that a better utilisation of the energy potential from wastewater with currently available technologies is possible”, explains Boris Lesjean, chief research officer at KWB. 

CARISMO has now been nominated for the German Sustainability Award -  “Europe’s most prestigious award in the field of sustainable development“ - whose winner will be determined by online voting  - we invite you to cast your vote.


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Hydro Nation Scotland

The Scottish Government is committed to making Scotland a Hydro Nation.  Scotland's water resource is significant and in a world demanding more food and water, there is good reason to nurture it for long term sustainable use. Water is of fundamental importance for Scotland’s economy, health, social wellbeing and environment. All businesses rely on the water environment in some way or another and water plays a prominent role in the success of many sectors of the economy. Some are of strategic importance to Scotland’s economy, such as tourism, food and drinks manufacturing and renewable energy generation.

The hydro-economy provides huge opportunities for Scotland which the Scottish government is determined to seize. Establishing Scotland as a Hydro Nation will maximise the benefits to the Scottish economy through the economic development and good stewardship of Scotland’s abundant water resources. There are three main aspects of the Hydro Nation agenda:
  1.  Utilising Scottish expertise to maximise the economic benefit of Scotland’s abundant water resources within a sound ecological context by reducing energy use, improving efficiency and creating a low carbon water nation.
  2. Raising Scotland’s international profile through recognition of Scotland as an international leader on water management and governance – the first Hydro Nation.
  3. Developing a water centre of expertise and research with international reach.

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China, Germany eye innovative partnership of mutual benefit

“China and Germany on Friday announced their decision to develop an innovative partnership of mutual benefit with emphasis on innovation cooperation”, wrote the Chinese News agency Xinhua on 11 October. “The two economic giants laid out their commitment in a comprehensive guideline for bilateral cooperation in the medium and long terms issued during Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's ongoing official visit to Germany. According to the action plan, China and Germany are committed to promoting growth through reform and innovation so as to enhance the competitiveness of both countries. The two countries agreed to deepen innovation cooperation in industry, urbanization, agriculture and other fields, and jointly undertake the tasks of sustainable development and protection of global public goods.

Both sides highlighted the achievements of bilateral cooperation in research, technology and innovation, and decided to take the innovative partnership as an opportunity to deepen innovation cooperation in the field of research and development and lift the level of cooperation in jointly selected areas.

The fourth China-Germany innovation policy platform meeting, to be held in the first half of 2015 in Berlin, will be an important milestone, said the action plan. The action plan emphasized the role of the "Clean Water" China-Germany Innovation Center in Shanghai, urging the two countries to strengthen bilateral cooperation in water resources protection, drinking water safety, sewage treatment, recycling and other fields.“


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Professional and Investment Opportunities

New water innovation competition launching in the Middle East

The water challenges in the arid Middle East are of great urgency and the International Water Summit was launched in Abu Dhabi in 2013 following a call to action from the UAE government.

The 2015 edition of this annual event with some 8000 visitors will see the launch of a platform to connect innovators with end users, partners and investors. "Innovate@IWS" is being co-organised by Isle using their renowned TAG process. It will offer clean technology developers a critical and unrivalled chance to pitch their innovations to an expert panel of judges from around the world.

Please register by 21 October to showcase your innovation in a region that is investing heavily in water technology. For more information please contact Christina de Poitiers


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Water Technology Innovation:
Ten Market Opportunities

“Our nation’s water resource and sustainability issues offer market opportunities for technology and institutional innovation as well as a vehicle for economic growth”, wrote the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at the end of September.

“To that end, EPA’s Water Technology Innovation Blueprint identifies ten specific market opportunities.” Among them are “Conserving and Recovering Energy”, “Recovering Nutrients” or “Improving and Greening of the Water Infrastructure” and “Conserving and Eventually Reusing Water”.

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Recommended Reading

Science for Environment Policy

This free news and information service, from the DG Environment of the European Commission, focuses on top priority environmental issues. The service strengthens the links between science and policy by placing the latest research findings in a policy context. Science for Environment Policy provides a range of valuable and free services:
  • The weekly News Alert is delivered directly to your inbox. It presents accessible summaries of carefully selected studies, with policy implications clearly highlighted. Most recently, the News Alert has included  an article on how agricultural changes can improve lake water quality.
  • Thematic Issues bring together research on a single theme selected according to the environmental policy agenda. The last published Thematic Issue was ‘Seafloor Damage’ and the next issue will discuss the sustainable management of Coastal Zones.
  • Future Briefs are a series of horizon-scanning policy briefs, which provide an accessible overview of emerging areas of science and technology. Previously published Future Briefs include ‘Underwater Noise’ and ’Green Behaviour’. There is also a forthcoming Future Brief on Water Innovation.
  • In-depth Reports take a comprehensive look at the latest relevant science for key policy topics. Recent In-depth reports have covered topics such as ‘Social Innovation and the environment’ and ’Sustainable Phosphorus Use’.
Please subscribe to the News Alert here


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Sustaining disruptive
innovations in water

In the water industry, do not underestimate the role of sustaining innovations while keeping an eye out for disruptive innovations, writes “Asia One” in early October.

“Organisations dream about the development of the next "blockbuster" product that not only creates a high value but more importantly has the potential to make obsolete or disrupt the current product that is providing value to consumers. The video compact disc player, for example, disrupted the video cassette recorder technology, which was subsequently disrupted and displaced by digital video recorder technology.

Disruptive innovations can happen in any industry and have also taken place in the water industry although not with as much intensity, speed and frequency as in some other industries such as the Information Technology industry. Membrane technology is generally considered disruptive in the water industry. Developed in the first half of the last century, it provided slower filtration, was more expensive and often leaked - compromising water quality, compared with the existing technologies of the day such as particle filtration.”

The articles ends by stating that "enterprises should also keep an eye out for potential disruptions that could be game changing. To be more proactive they might consider partnering research institutes such as the Environmental & Water Technology Centre of Innovation in Singapore to co-develop the next disruption and work on sustaining these innovations."

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Mobile Water Data Center
issues its first analysis

“Throughout history, Thailand has been affected by damaging floods, often followed by a shortage of water. An overabundance of water in the rainy season is all too often followed by a drought in the drier months”, observed the National News Bureau of Thailand on 6 October.  

“Seeing the need to address such problems, the Ministry of Science and Technology recently launched what might be an answer to the problem. Initiated in 2011, three years on, the first and only Emergency Mobile Water Data Center in Asia is fully established and was launched just last week. Officials in the field are expecting it to make a real difference in the effort to tackle all water related issues this year.

Hydro and Agro Informatics Institute Director Dr. Royol Chitradon has revealed that they studied the past especially the big floods in the period 2010 to 2013. Flooding happened in many provinces, while the data center being used to analyze information was situated in Bangkok. Dr. Royol stressed that the working team had encountered a lot of problems especially with lines of communication during the crisis. Analysis and advice given to local governments and provinces to manage the excess water or to redirect the water flow was often inaccurate, and special equipment to collect correct data to supply better answers to the problem was clearly needed.


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Oil and gas sector must invest to tackle water problems

The LEIF Brief: Water Innovation in Oil and Gas 2014 was presented at ‘Venturing in the water- energy Nexus’, a round-table discussion and seminar in London on October 15th in partnership with Global Corporate Venturing who write: “A growing array of technologies and entrepreneurs are responding with innovative new solutions.  Venture capital – including the corporate venture capital funds established by ‘big oil’ and the ‘family offices’ of successful industrialists – is therefore seeking out water technology investment opportunities.

Global Water Intelligence (GWI) reports that the global market for water management solutions and services in the oil and gas industry is worth $37.9bn in 2014. The market for water-tech is growing globally:
  • North America – This region will experience 13.9% annual growth in capital expenditure, making it the fastest growing region in the world. Continued expansion of SAGD production in Canada, and the booming development of tight oil resources in the US make this one of the most exciting areas for water technology providers.
  • East Asia/Pacific – Coal seam gas in Australia accounts for most of the growth in this region, pushing total capital expenditure to $1.1 billion in 2020. Advanced treatment technologies, including reverse osmosis, are already being employed. Additional water treatment plants are already planned to cope with the produced water volumes from Australia’s CSG-to-LNG export projects.
  • Middle East/North Africa – Projected increases in production in Iraq will require substantial investments in produced water treatment: expenditure is expected to reach $85 million by 2020, with an annual growth rate of 8.2%. Maintaining production levels in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries will require the more efficient management of produced water. Expenditure across the Middle East/North Africa region is estimated to be $526 million in 2014.

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Announcements and Events

Launch event: JPI Strategic research and innovation agenda

 The Official Launch of the “Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA 1.0)” and the “Implementation Plan 2014-2016” of the Joint Programming Initiative “Water challenges for a changing world” (Water JPI) will take place on Tuesday, 21st October 2014 from 09:00 am to 1:00 pm at the EC COVE Building in Brussels.

The event will provide a forum to reflect on the progress made by the Water JPI and to boost its contribution to the European Research Area and the implementation of Horizon 2020.

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Agency meeting in Spain

On 30 September 2014, the Spanish Water Technology Platform held a one-day meeting with the participation of EIP Water, Water JPI and the Portuguese Water Partnership. At the meeting, different international opportunities were explored, and part of the discussion aimed to better team up as a network and learn lessons e.g. from the Portuguese colleagues. Research institutes, universities, private business and some public administrations attended the meeting.

The conclusions (Spanish only) of the meeting are available here


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