European Commision


EIP Water News January 2016, 13. January 2016
EIP Water | Boosting opportunities - Innovating water

Dear Reader,

Welcome to the first edition of our monthly newsletter in 2016!

Our 3rd Conference will take place in less than one month and over 400 participants have already registered - join them and us on 10 February and register here by 31 January! This newsletter provides you with some more details of the event to which we are already looking forward!

We are also pleased to announce that the EIP Water Steering Group composition will be renewed - we invite all interested individuals to submit their application for joining the Steering Group until the end of January and provide you with the selection criteria and more details in this newsletter.

And there's more: make sure you sign up for EIP Water Conference side meetings presented below, read stories about innovative technologies from the UK and Austria or glance through the first-ever overview of water innovation hubs globally about which we provide an update in this newsletter. 

Happy new year and best regards,

The EIP Water Secretariat


EIP Water News and Updates

EIP Water Conference 2016:
side meetings, site events & more 

More than 400 participants have already registered for the EIP Water conference on 10 February 2016 and we invite you to have a look at the detailed list of participants to find out whom you can meet. Please ensure you register by 31 January at the latest to join us for a great event whose detailed program is almost finalized. Here are a few more updates:

Several side meetings and workshops will take place on 9 and 11 February - please ensure you also register your participation in them when registering for the conference. On 11 February, Conference partners invite you to attend several site visits; please sign up for them when registering for the conference by the end of January. The "Innovation Dragon’s den" will take place in the afternoon of the one day event; we have received 15 applications and expect three of the candidates to present in a session designed to make it easier than ever for innovators to connect with investors, partners and end users in a fun and interactive way.

We look forward to your participation in a great event - welcome to Leeuwarden! 

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Individual Matchmaking Program allows participants to join several side events

One of the EIP Water conference side meetings on 9 February will be the WaterMatch matchmaking event, organized by the Water Alliance and the Enterprise Europe Network. The event allows companies, scientists and universities to meet with potential business partners who could help further develop the particpant’s product, idea or business. With individual meeting schedules participants can attend this and other side events. 

The flexible individual programme allows participants to meet with parties of their interest and at the same time take part in other side events as well.

“Every person who registers can invite other participants he or she wants to meet with. A week before the actual event participants will receive their individual meeting schedule. For example, if you have a meeting with one other party, you only need to be there for that specific meeting, the rest of the day participants could join other side events” says Matthijs Plijnaar, the organizer of the matchmaking event. The matchmaking event and flexible programme have attracted companies from, among others, Spain, the UK, Germany and Hungary.

In addition to the actual matchmaking, participants can inform themselves on European subsidy programmes and other schemes to support innovative businesses in Europe during a one hour information session organized in collaboration with the NCP CaRE network and the Finnowater Action Group. Registration and participation will be free of charge.

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Water Innovation Hubs:
what’s new?

Since we published a first overview of over 40 innovation hubs in early December 2015 we have received a number of very valuable suggestions for modification and expansion. These will be incorporated by the end of January at the latest. 

Furthermore, we have received requests for inclusion of over 30 more hubs in Europe and globally in addition to the 44 already identified hubs we had originally analysed. We are currently analyzing each of these new hubs according to our earlier defined criteria – such as their general and geographical focus, their core constituency, their technology stage, as well as their main activities - and will most probably extend the EIP Water hubs overview significantly within the next weeks. 

We invite our readers to continue suggesting water innovation hubs for our consideration and inclusion in the overview whose aim is to enhance the visibility of each hub and inform and offer insights to develop future water innovation strategies. By the end of January we will also further clarify how we defined and categorized the originally identified as well as the new hubs to ensure our analysis and overview are continuously optimized and fine-tuned, and also consider the various users’ feedback. Thank you again for your involvement and contributions! 

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Call for evidence: the economic benefits of EU water policy and the costs of non-implementation

The EU Commission is now looking for empirical evidence, studies and concrete feedback on:
  • Water as a key resource for economic growth and well-being of the EU;
  • Cost/benefit analysis of the proper implementation of the EU water acquis;
  • How to maximise the economic benefits of water by identifying its most efficient uses.
It is expected that the outcome of this consultation will provide information, data and other evidence on the role of good quality water for a sound economic growth in the EU. The call for evidence runs until  11 March 2016 and  has two objectives:
  1. Identify and collect existing knowledge (i.e. studies, research), evidence and data on the economic benefits of EU water policy and the costs of non-implementation.
  2. Collect opinions, ideas and suggestions on which areas of the "economics" of the EU water acquis should be further investigated by the European Commission.

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Join the EIP Water
Steering Group! 

The EIP Water has entered into its second phase, focusing on the delivery of impacts in fostering the uptake of innovations to address the key water challenges as identified within the Strategic Implementation Plan (priority areas: Water reuse and recycling; Water and wastewater treatment, including recovery of resources; Water-energy nexus; Flood and drought risk management; Ecosystem services. Cross-cutting priorities: Water governance; Decision support systems and monitoring; Financing for innovation).

In order to form a new Steering Group for the next three years, EIP Water calls for Expressions of Interest by individuals who wish to join the existing SG.

Candidates will be ranked according to the quality of their application in terms of results-oriented commitment, ambition to further increase EIP Water’s impact, and relevant executive level of the applicant.

The deadline for applications is 31 January 2016.

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Mayors & water: the future of urban water management

More and more cities and water utilities confirm their participation in the mayors and water conference on 11 February in Leeuwarden, the capital of Friesland. 

Water quality is under threat by emerging pollutants, pharmaceuticals, endocrine disruptors - how do we prevent these substances from entering the drinking water chain, or threatening agriculture? A further important topic is the recycling of nutrients - how do we connect cities with agriculture and restore the nutrient balance? The organizers look forward to your input in these topics! 

EU Commissioner Karmenu Vella will attend the event and already expressed that he's keen on receiving fresh ideas regarding water reuse, the circular economy, sustainable water infrastructure and flood prevention. 

Cities, water utilities, researchers and other water experts are invited to sign up for the event now. 

The Dutch, Slovak and Maltese Presidency Trio (2016-mid 2017) have a shared interest in water and the organizers expect to increase interest and solutions for urban water management throughout Europe. 

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Over 1 300 water innovation
projects online now 

We are pleased to inform our readers that our projects database related to water innovation now contains over 1300 projects and 200 products and services in Europe and globally.

The database provides a continuously increasing overview of mainly EU-funded projects related to climate change, water resources management, national water retention measures and other water-related topics. Here are some examples of featured projects:
  • „LIFE+ InSiTrate - In-situ treatment technology for drinking water production from nitrate-polluted groundwater“ 
  • „NWRM Case Study 116 - Reconstruction of the Lepiku channel in Tallinn's Botanic Garden in Estonia“
  • „Innovative combination of water technologies for the reduction of water consumption and waste in the beverage industry (LESS-WATER BEV.TECH.)“
Most recently, over 100 projects from the Eco-Innovation program were added to the database. As such, it allows users to screen an ever-increasing number of water innovation projects and gain very specific and concrete insights into a large variety of them,

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Side meeting on Water reuse
on 9 February

The European Commission and the EU Member States are currently developing a series of actions to promote water reuse at EU level. This includes the development of a Guidance Document on Water Reuse as part of the activities under the Common Implementation Strategy (CIS) of the water Framework Directive (WFD). 

Several useful inputs on previous drafts have already been received from innovators in this field in 2015. Before the EIP Water Conference, a side meeting is organized in the afternoon of 9 February; the outline of the new draft version of the Guidance Document will be briefly presented by Mr. Joaquim Capitao (European Commission)  to provide a basis for discussions and compile inputs on the water-innovation-related aspects of the EC initiative. These include approaches and technologies, in order to reflect the state of the art and foresee already expected developments in the next future.

If you are interested in joining the meeting, please contact  Eef Leeuw from the EIP Water Secretariat.

EIP Water Action Group News

Publications and more
by City Blueprints

In 2015, the City Blueprint Action Group published seven scientific publications. The work included detailed assessments of the cities of Istanbul, Amsterdam, Ho Chi Minh City and Melbourne, as well as an overview paper of all City Blueprint assessments in 45 municipalities and regions in 27 different countries.

As part of his master thesis, Stef Koop (KWR Watercycle Research Institute) critically reviewed the City Blueprint framework which resulted in
  1. a methodological paper, now also including solid waste indicators
  2. the application of this improved framework on the 45 municipalities and regions.
Almost all papers are published as open access publications. The work has been summarized in a City Blueprint E-Brochure with links to all these papers and can be found on the City Blueprint website. As part of the EU project BlueSCities, a compendium of best practices has been completed and a detailed review paper ‘The challenges of water, waste and climate change in cities’ has just been accepted for publication and will be used as input for the UN HABITAT- III conference at the end of this year.

Furthermore, City Blueprints' work has resulted in a second EU project, POWER. and the creation of the Dubrovnik Declaration of Intent, involving cities from the Middle East, The Balkans and Eastern Europe. The Action Group collaborates with UWIN (USA) and the OECD on water governance issues and currently explores further international collaboration to assess and involve more cities in other regions in the world. 

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Managed Aquifer Recharge Solutions in images

Following a recent workshop on "Managed Aquifer Recharge" MAR in Malta, a series of videos was produced illustrating its challenges. One general video is available here while a series including detailed description by partners from/in various countries also exists:

11 February: Clusterization of Ecosystem services projects 

The aim of this workshop in the morning of 11 February in Leeuwarden is to bring together the coordinators and participants of the most relevant projects funded under FP7 and H2020 programmes related to ecosystem services in order to update each other on activities, explore synergies and potential collaboration opportunities and to identify research gaps and bottlenecks in the uptake of the solutions developed. Special attention will be paid to dissemination activities, so as to take some actions to speak with a sole voice with the EU Commission and other stakeholders. In addition, a time slot will be dedicated to discuss the possibilities that the Action Group Ecosystem Services for Europe offers. One option could be to use the AG’s portal as the single access point to all EU funded ES projects. The workshop will be organized as a side event of the EIP Water annual conference 2016 with the support of the Secretariat.

Participation is restricted to ES project members and ESE AG members. The project officers from the European Commission in charge of the aforementioned projects will also be invited.

Close cooperation between MARsolutions and FP7 MARSOL Inno-Demo project 

MARSOL is a partner of the EIP Water Action Group “MAR Solutions – Managed Aquifer Recharge Strategies and Actions" and close cooperation has now been established between the EIP Water AG MARtoMARket and the FP7 MARSOL Inno-Demo project.

In the frame of this cooperation  a report with a descriptive analysis of the responses to a survey about protection and preservation of groundwater conducted with a sample of Portuguese farmers of the Algarve region has been developed and is now available.

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COWAMA in Latin America

On the occasion of a Conference on Climate Change, organized by the Brazilian EU-delegation in Rio de Janeiro in November 2015, the EIP Water Action Group COWAMA was presented by three COWAMA members in the Water-Panel.  COWAMA stands for "Mitigation of Water Stress in Coastal Zones by Sustainable Water Management". 

The interest in COWAMA at the Rio event was enormous - and thus COWAMA will welcome new partners from Latin America, namely two from Brazil, one from Colombia and one partner from Costa Rica which is preparing its participation. The COWAMA-partners from Europe which are focused on Latin America, especially from Spain, expect a more intensive cooperation with this region.

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Selected Water Innovation News

How an Austrian SME revolutionizes the international water industry with WATERLOO 

Austrian software provider Symvaro is among the TOP 10 most promising companies worldwide in the field of water solutions with its water management tool WATERLOO. This was the result of a vote by an international panel of experts during the renowned H2O Challenge, which took place in November 2015. With this voting, Symvaro gained entry to the sought after program for water-related business innovations - the H2O Challenge in Madrid. This was the ultimate chance for CEO Rudolf Ball and his team to push their business internationally and grow their network. During the finals of this challenge Symvaro took out 3rd place with WATERLOO and stood out with their ground-breaking solution as an international player.

With WATERLOO, Symvaro created an outstanding all-in-one tool for small- to big-sized water utilities. WATERLOO is a management-solution for water utilities to help manage the lifetime of water meters, daily business, to integrate their customers and to increase their visibility.

Symvaro, an expert for Software-as-a-Service Solutions, spezializes in the fields of water, energy and waste. Symvaro develop Apps and web-based solutions with the goal to improve the quality of life by raising awareness for the sustainable use of resources, increasing efficiency for utilities, and developing new business models.

The specialists were awarded the CESA Award for „Best User Experience“ and are expanding throughout Europe. You may contact Gernot Fleiss of Symvaro for any inquiries you might have.

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CRALEY Group successfully implements their patented “pipe in a pipe” solution

In December 2015, UK-based CRALEY Group announced the completion of the initial phase of the core fibre network of its first Fibre To The Home (FTTH) installation in Spain using the innovative Atlantis Hydrotec® solution. Phase 1 of the project, funded jointly by wireless telecommunications network provider and the CRALEY Group, included the provision of an end-to-end core fibre network extending across 16 km of rural terrain situated in the northern part of Osona, in the Barcelona Province of Spain.

Atlantis Hydrotec is a simple but cost-effective “pipe in a pipe” solution that uses the freshwater pipe system as the outer conduit for the fibre broadband network.   By installing a micro-bore pipe within the existing water supply infrastructure, a fibre communications cable can be safely installed with no adverse effect on the water supply. All of the ducting and connectivity components are manufactured using approved materials and is certified for use within potable water supply networks by the Water Regulations Advisory Scheme (WRAS) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). 

The vast majority of the installation in Spain utilised the existing water pipe infrastructure, with a couple of links via aerial fibre. The community project has recently received a European Broadband Award in the category of “innovative model of financing, business and investment”.

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Recommended Reading

Looking back at 2015: 
Water Scarcity Rises to Top
Global Concern & more 

"After a year of deep droughts, worsening pollution, rising sea levels, and floods, water was finally recognized as perilous to nations and the international economy." write Circle of Blue in their "Biggest Trends" review of 2015. The review presents a number of brief and well-written chapters of a "new narrative" on water security and a large number of "2015 Waternews Highlights". 

In the final piece "A New Narrative Emerges" Circle of Blue write: "Put these chapters together and a new set of conclusions emerge about how people and nations value fresh water. In the United States, the price of municipal drinking water is rising, according to Circle of Blue’s authoritative and widely watched annual survey of 30 cities. We’ve reported on the expanding global awareness of the value of the world’s groundwater, which is being depleted at an unsustainable rate. Circle of Blue also described the value of recycling water and cleansing wastewater of pollutants, both ways to enhance the quality of life in cities around the world ... "

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What will a new
EU innovation body do?

"Consultations on the shape of a European Innovation Council are underway, but it is far from clear what the remit should be", writes Éanna Kelly of Science|Business in a recent article in which she takes "a look at role models around the world." The role models are from Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark and other countries which provide inspiring examples of how different countries and regions approach and manage innovation policy-making. 

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State of the
Innovation Union 2015 

"Innovation is, for modern economies, the main driver for growth", writes Robert-Jan Smits, Director General of DG Research and Innovation of the EU Commission which recently published the "State of the Innovation Union 2015": 

"The EU itself started innovation policy 20 years ago, in 1995. The approach evolved, from linear, to a focus on networks and clusters, to the mainstreaming of innovation into sectorial policies, to an Innovation Union strategy, covering notably the role of the public sector in boosting innovation by setting the right framework conditions and acting itself as an innovator.

Five years after the Innovation Union was launched as one of the pillars of the Europe 2020 growth strategy, the present brochure shows that impressive progress has been made in numerous fields. We have achieved great progress in making Europe a more innovative continent since the launch of the Innovation Union in 2010.

Nevertheless, the world has evolved since then and new elements need to be taken into account so as to better tackle the challenge of innovation in Europe. It is now time to acknowledge the progress achieved and open a new chapter, with a focus on opening up our research and innovation systems through Open Innovation, Open Science and by being open to the World."

The report includes chapters on "Strengthening the knowledge base and reducing fragmentation", "Getting good ideas to market" and others as well as a series of commitments to make change happen.

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Announcements and Events

Workshop on water
innovation procurement

The European Commission is pleased to invite all EIP Water Conference participants and others to attend an eafip workshop on the preceding day of the EIP Water conference, 9 February in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands. It targets public procurers in the water sector such as ministries, regional and local authorities, public utility companies, and others.

The aim of the event is to highlight the benefits of innovation procurement using Information and Communication Technologies ICT solutions through the Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) and Public Procurement of Innovative Solutions (PPI) approaches across Europe. The workshop is free of charge and will feature presentations / networking discussions on the EU funding opportunities for PCP and PPI (in the framework of the Horizon 2020 calls), case examples, eafip Toolkit and lessons learned.

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Submit your Technological Water Innovation now!  

Water Innovation technology in Europe is the subject of the "PIANO" project which stands for "Policies, Innovation and Networks for enhancing Opportunities for China Europe Water Cooperation" and is funded by the Horizon 2020 program of the EU Commission.

PIANO is currently in the second stage of mapping Technological Water Innovations (TWI) in Europe in order to evaluate its status. As part of the mapping exercise, PIANO has started a survey in Europe and would like to invite all readers to contribute to and participate in the short online survey here. It’s results, i.e. the collected innovations, will subsequently be scored in order to identify the most promising European technological water innovations of interest for China.

PIANO has already developed an overview of existing PIANO water technological categories and invites those interested in the survey to consider a brief survey guide first. 

It is part of PIANO's objectives to  identify and prioritize European technological water innovations that have potential for application in China as well as water challenges where neither Europe nor China have suitable technologies to offer, and thus provide further opportunities for joint Europe-Chinese scientific and technological development. PIANO’s findings aim to support European as well as Chinese science and technology policy, and the project has already established collaboration with the Chinese Ministry of the Environment where the results will be used.

Please submit your response to the survey asap and latest by 29  January 2016.  You are very welcome to forward the survey to other relevant experts in the water sector. In case of any questions you might have,  please contact PIANO here. The final results of the survey will be shared at a later stage.

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