European Commision


EIP Water News / September 2014 edition, 08. September 2014
EIP Water | Boosting opportunities - Innovating water

Dear Reader,

Welcome to the 15th edition of EIP Water News!

We hope you had a great summer break and we are very pleased to announce that registration for the EIP Water Conference 2014 scheduled for Wednesday 5th November in Europe’s "iCapital" Barcelona is now open! We invite you to have a look at the detailed preliminary conference programme with numerous high-level speakers and thought-provoking sessions lined up for you at this Water Innovation Conference. We look forward to your active involvement in the conference through participating in Question & Answer sessions, casting your vote on innovative water solutions, and making the most of the excellent networking opportunities available at this forum. The programme also includes the launch of the CDP water program's Global Water report 2014, which analyses business understanding of water risk at the world’s largest listed corporations on behalf of 573 institutional investors representing in excess of US$60 trillion.

Places are limited so please register soon to join us in Barcelona!

The EIP Water Conference 2014 is organised by the European Commission, with the support of the Municipality of Barcelona, the Generalitat de Catalunya, the Spanish Ministry for Economy and Competitiveness, and CETaqua / Agbar. We are grateful to these conference partners for generously organising free-of-charge site visits in and around Barcelona on Thursday 6th November to innovative and state-of-the-art water facilities.

Furthermore, you will be able to interact with the 25 EIP Water Action Groups, WssTP, Water JPI and others in the conference exhibition area. Several organisations including ZINNAE, the European Water Partnership (EWP), the Portuguese Water Partnership and others have scheduled back-to-back meetings which are open to Conference participants just before or after the Conference.

We are proud to see our annual Conference grow into Europe’s flagship event on water innovation within just a year and 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

Register now for the
EIP Water Conference!

Registration for the 2nd EIP Water Conference scheduled for 5th November in Europe’s iCapital 2014" Barcelona, Spain, is now open! Places are limited and we invite you to have a look at the preliminary programme and register sooner rather than later to join us in Barcelona!

The EIP Water Conference 2014 is organised by the European Commission, with the support of the Municipality of Barcelona, the Generalitat de Catalunya, the Spanish Ministry for Economy and Competitiveness, CETaqua / Agbar.

The conference partners have also organised free-of-charge Site visits for all participants on 6th November. Please do not hesitate to contact the EIP Water Secretariat for any questions you might have related to the Conference.

We look forward to seeing you in Barcelona!

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EIP Water Secretariat led by "Fresh Thoughts" Consortium

Since the establishment of the EIP Water in 2012, a secretariat supports the Directorate General for the Environment of the EU Commission (EC) which leads the EIP. The secretariat is in charge of developing calls for commitment for Action Groups, supporting their evaluation, managing content for the online Marketplace, organising the EIP Water Conference, Taskforce and Steering Group meetings, supporting and promoting the Action Groups’ work, producing the EIP Water newsletter and managing various other activities.

A Consortium, led by the Vienna-based consultancy Fresh Thoughts", recently won the European Commission (EC) tender for managing the EIP Water Secretariat from summer 2014 to 2016. The Consortium’s agencies and partners come from Austria, Germany, Kenya, Romania, Spain and The Netherlands. The EIP Water Secretariat is supporting the EC in preparing and coordinating the EIP Water Conference 2014 and all its partners look forward to seeing you in Barcelona!

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EIP Water Action Group News

RESEWAM-O makes progress

(Due to omission of the graph in the previous newsletter, we are republishing this Action Group item.)

RESEWAM-O is an acronym for “Remote Sensing for Water Management Optimisation”- one of 16 new EIP Water Action Groups established in April 2014. The Action Group aims to develop agricultural Adaptation to Climate Change activities using Earth Observation Remote Sensing techniques and water management solutions in order to enhance socio-economic and environmental values in water-sensitive areas.

RESEWAM-O has recently obtained TVDI - Temperature Vegetation Dryness Index - results from the Jucar River and the Segura River basins in Spain as the pilot areas to start developing its methodology. These results, together with Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) data have been obtained for the years 2009-2013 with a spatial resolution of one kilometer. In addition, wastewater treatment plants classified according to their different treatment types have been added using ArcInfo GIS software. The figure above shows an example presenting the TVDI data for one week in March 2013 - the red sections indicate extremely dry areas, the dark blue sections show wet areas, and the coloured dots indicate the treatment plants by type. This mapping will allow for a preliminary selection of significant sensitive areas to start developing engineering feasibility studies.

RESEWAM-O presented its activities at the Spanish Technological Platform on Water on 11th June and will showcase its work at two forthcoming events in August, namely the 40th COSPAR Scientific Assembly in Moscow and the ESA Earth Observation Summer School on Earth System Monitoring & Modelling. On September 22-26th, RESEWAM-O will present its preliminary achievements at the 4th International Symposium on Recent Advances in Quantitative Remote Sensing in Valencia.

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City Blueprints Atlas
on urban water

The Action Group "City Blueprints" is intensifying its activities which are expected to result in a City Blueprints Atlas.

An editorial consortium for the Atlas was constituted at the Joint Research Centre facility in Ispra on 4th September. The Atlas will serve as a magnificent tool to disseminate best practices and illustrate the water-related challenges facing cities which have participated in the City Blueprint experience so far, as well as municipalities in general from around the world.

To date, 30 cities from Europe, Australia, South America, Asia and the Middle East have participated in the initiative to have a City Blueprint created.

The Action Group is currently submitting publications on several cities which have been analysed and other cities are now in the process of answering the City Blueprint questionnaire. These include Bristol, Helsinki, Barcelona and Bethlehem.

Since the onset of its participation in EIP Water, the City Blueprints Action Group has been very active in conferences, seminars and workshops. The Action Group will present its work on 25th September at two simultaneous events: the International Conference Deltas in Times of Climate Change in Rotterdam and a special City Blueprint session of the IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition 2014 in Lisbon as part of KWR’s WATERSHARE scheme.

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Selected Water Innovation News

Water Innovation at the
World Water Week 2014

This year’s World Water Week held in Stockholm, Sweden, from 31st August to 5th September, took the theme “Water and Energy”. Over 2,000 participants from both the water and energy sectors gathered to share ideas about the increasing interdependencies between water and energy. Innovative approaches for overcoming water and energy challenges and addressing and their interdependencies were high on the agenda.

The following sessions introduced and promoted such innovative approaches; each link provides a description, detailed programme, resources such as presentations and conclusions of each WWW 2014 session: In 2015, the World Water Week will have its 25th anniversary; the theme will be “Water and Development”.

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IDB's AquaFund:
Funding innovative solutions
in water and sanitation

The AquaFund of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) carries the slogan “Funding innovative solutions in water and sanitation”. It provides grants that contribute to the achievement of the water-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the targets established under the IDB’s Water and Sanitation Initiative.

The AquaFund facilitates investment in water supply and sanitation, water resources management, solid waste management, and wastewater treatment and contributes to making these services sustainable and accessible to the poor. The fund also assists IDB client countries in coping with the emerging challenges of climate change, the rapid degradation of freshwater ecosystems, and mounting water insecurity.

National, sub-national, and local government entities, water and sanitation service providers (public, private, mixed-capital, cooperatives), and academic and research institutions are eligible to receive AquaFund grants. NGOs may be eligible at the request of governments. All grant recipients must operate in Latin America or the Caribbean.

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Recommended Reading

10 companies making waves
in water innovation

“The data on water scarcity continues to be sobering, and shortages increasingly are linked to both natural and human-made causes. By 2025, 1.8 billion people will live in regions that face "absolute water scarcity," reports the United Nations. Stemming the losses and re-diverting the flow to stressed regions this will take a big investment: almost $1.8 trillion over the next 20 years, according to the U.N. University Institute for Water, Environment and Health”, writes Heather Clancy in an article titled “10 companies making waves in water innovation” published on 4 August 2014 by

“The good news is corporate investments in innovative technologies and processes for reducing the drain on aquifers, detecting leaky infrastructure, reusing wastewater and addressing the troublesome water-energy nexus are on the rise” continues Clancy’s article which presents10 companies that have our attention - ranging from more major manufacturers working hard to reduce their freshwater dependence, technology startups that address the water-energy generation nexus and need for more intelligent infrastructure, and organizations that are advancing what it means to be a responsible water steward.”

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Innovators challenged to create the water company of the future 

“Anglian Water is challenging innovators to create the water company of the future, and bring it to life this autumn” writes Martin Moore of Peterborough Business in the UK on 4 September.

“Through the Water Innovation Network (WIN), a joint initiative with economic development company Opportunity Peterborough, the water company is inviting suppliers to an event in October to create and visualise how each element of the water cycle of 2030 could operate, from water abstraction to water recycling. Through its ‘Shop Window’ project the company aims to find solutions to long-term challenges such as climate change and population growth which are putting a strain on water resources.

Steve Kaye, Anglian Water’s Head of Innovation, said, “We are aiming to produce a ‘Shop Window’ of innovation to create the water company of the future.”

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Global Innovation Index:

Switzerland, UK and Sweden lead

Encouraging Signs from
Sub-Saharan Africa

On 18 July 2014, the World Intellectual Property Organisation WIPO, Cornell University, INSEAD and its Global Innovation Index 2014 edition Knowledge Partners, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), du and Huawei jointly release released the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2014. Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Sweden topped this year’s GII, while Sub-Saharan Africa posted significant regional improvement in the annual rankings.

Amid a newly documented slowdown in the growth of global research and development, the theme of the Global Innovation Index 2014 is “The Human Factor in Innovation,” exploring the role of human capital in the innovation process and underlining the growing interest that firms and governments have shown in identifying and energizing creative individuals and teams.

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Cambrian Innovation Selected as 2015 Technology Pioneer by World Economic Forum

Cambrian Innovation, a water and bioenergy technology provider, recently announced that it had been named a 2015 Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum. Cambrian Innovation is the only company with a solution for the growing global water crisis selected for this year’s prestigious distinction, honoring the most innovative technology companies across a wide range of industries.

“Cambrian’s selection as a 2015 World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer provides an unparalleled opportunity to collaborate with technology innovators from all over the world,” said Cambrian Innovation CEO Matthew Silver. “Our passionate team has developed a novel solution that can make a meaningful impact on one of the most pressing challenges of our generation—access to clean water. We’re honored that the World Economic Forum has recognized our progress and hope it will spur the innovation of more advanced water technologies worldwide.”

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Announcements and Events

CDP Water Report 2014 launch
at EIP Water Conference

US$63 trillion is at stake by 2050 if the current approach to water management continues, according to a recent report by Veolia. Moreover it is estimated that in the same period, approximately $8 trillion is required for investment in water infrastructure (supply and sewerage) in order to sustain water resources for a growing population. 

CDP is an international not-for-profit organization providing the only global environmental disclosure system. Working with investors, companies and governments, CDP provides unique insights that drive action to achieve sustainable economies.  CDP’s fifth global water report will analyze the business risks of water at the world’s largest listed corporations on behalf of 573 institutional investors representing in excess of US$60 trillion.  It will provide guidance on how to mitigate risk and capitalize on financial opportunities associated with water.

The report will launch during the session "Untapping the private sector potential for innovation" of the EIP Water Conference on 5 November.  Featuring a panel of high level speakers, this one hour session will explore water as a driver of innovative sustainable growth as well as the potential for business failure arising from the mismanagement of this vital natural resource.  We will soon inform our readers about the registration process for all those that are unable to attend in person - join us virtually through a live stream of the entire session and web-based discussions on the CDP global water report 2014! 

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Second "Mission for Growth"
to China

Building on the successful European Commission-led 'Mission for Growth' to China in 2013, a new similar mission will take place from 21st to 23rd October 2014 in conjunction with the IX EU-China Business and Technology Cooperation Fair.  In 2013, Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik joined Enterprise Commissioner Antonio Tajani to draw attention to cleantech export opportunities, including water.

The 2014 mission will be led by Director General Calleja Crespo of DG Enterprise accompanied by a delegation of representatives from the European business/industry sector. The mission’s objectives are to: promote sustainable and inclusive growth in the EU and China; to help European companies, and in particular EU SMEs, to operate internationally by exploiting business opportunities in China; and to promote EU-China industry collaboration in target sectors by participating in matchmaking events with local entrepreneurs. Environmental protection is one of the key sectors identified. Registration is open until the 15th of September. 

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EIP Water meets
Baltic Water SMEs

On 27th August, EIP Water participated in a Conference on Financial Instruments for Water Business Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) organized by Novago in Helsinki in the Baltic Region. The Conference brought together over 50 representatives of innovation accelerators and water-related SMEs from the Baltic region with a specific interest in learning more about relevant European and global financial instruments and EIP Water. Many of the participating organisations from the Baltic region expressed an interest in participating in EIP Water and the upcoming EIP Water Conference.

The Conference on Financial Instruments for Water Business SMEs provided an excellent opportunity for participants to exchange thoughts, ideas and experiences. The presentations can be viewed hereDuring the Conference, participants agreed on the importance of clustering organisations in the area of water innovation, and the need for further deepening interregional/international networks to find suitable partners and markets. EIP Water was considered to have a key role in this, as it can provide a European platform for individual organisations, and clusters to connect.

In addition, barriers to bringing innovative solutions to the market were discussed in a number of case studies; these illustrated that technical solutions are often the 'easy part' in developing a solution. However, realising the need for application of technological innovations brings to the fore a wide variety of barriers ranging from the ability to demonstrate functionality in practice, to cultural and economic limitations. EIP Water will continue to work on addressing such barriers to innovation.

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The Role of Science & Technology for innovation & growth

How can we better understand the role of science and technology in innovation in the water sector? How can we create market and network opportunities for problem-owners and scientists, as well as technology and engineering solution-providers? 

A workshop addressing these and other questions will take place in Barcelona on 6th November. The workshop will bring researchers, producers and end-users together to discuss European and global water challenges and also raise the following topics:
  • How can more efficient water management and integrated solutions in urban water management be achieved?
  • What is the role of innovation in resources recovery from water and waste water systems?
  • How can the development of smart water technologies be accelerated?
The workshop will take place a day after the EIP Water Conference and is an important element of the European preparations for the 7th World Water Forum in South Korea in April 2015. 

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Sino-European Knowledge
and Innovation Forum

The EIP Water will be present at the 2014 VCWI Knowledge and Innovation Forum with the theme “Innovation@Work: Creating Value through Collaboration” on 3 October in Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands.

Participants will examine a broad range of topics in science and knowledge creation, with a special focus on how to put innovation to work and how to create value out of collaboration. Successful innovators are invited to present their case studies and success stories. To improve skills in either academia or industry, there will be a mini-workshop on how to develop the perfect pitch, followed by excellent examples with round table discussions. 

The Forum will also have a dedicated session on “Water cycle, Climate and Environment” in which water innovators will present how their innovative ideas were formed and organized into proposals and what the most important elements for turn innovative ideas into successful projects were: Deltares  will present on Global Earth Observation for Integrated Water Resource Assessment, Nelen&Schuurmans  on Optimal design and installation of water systems in relation to environmental planning, TNO on Adaptive multi-sensor networks including anomaly detection for future use in the Dike Data Service Center) and SmartHydrology  on Incubating state-of-the-art GEO-ICT solutions and operational monitoring and prediction of water quantity and quality.

Registration for the Forum is now open. 

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Standards: Your innovation bridge

Standardization is increasingly seen as a bridge between research, innovation, and the market, and as a means of capturing and disseminating knowledge, standards have a central role to play in supporting innovation. The European conference “Standards: Your innovation bridge” on 30 October in Brussels will bring together the research, innovation and standardization communities to explore and discuss the role of standards in research and innovation. 

Leading experts in innovation and standardization will present their experiences in linking the two worlds and how each one is benefitting from the other. Thematic parallel sessions will allow more detailed insight into the various aspects of standardization as a bridge between research, innovation, and the market, and as a means of capturing and disseminating knowledge, supporting innovation.

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EWA Brussels Days -
10th EWA Brussels Conference "Water in the Cities"

A growing world population, climate change and pollution already strongly affect the availability for water in cities. This situation makes efficient water resources management at every stage an increasing necessity. 

Organised in cooperation with the DG Environment of the European Commission, the main objective of the 10th annual EWA Brussels Conference from 17 to 19 November in Brussels is to establish a dialogue between the European Commission and European water professionals and stakeholders.

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