European Commision


EIP Water News May 2014, 14. May 2014
EIP Water | Boosting opportunities - Innovating water

Dear Reader,

Welcome to the May 2014 edition of our newsletter!

We are pleased to announce that the city of Barcelona will host the 2nd EIP Water Conference on 5th and 6th November 2014. In March this year, the European Commission awarded the European Capital of Innovation - "iCapital" - prize to Barcelona "for introducing the use of new technologies to bring the city closer to citizens"; the EIP Water is very honored that the Barcelona City Council will host our second annual Conference. Please save the date! More detailed information will follow soon!

You will be pleased to note that all 25 EIP Water Action Groups now have an online presence on the EIP Water Marketplace, where they briefly introduce their specific challenges, members and other interesting information. Do make a point of visiting the Action Group section on the Marketplace and check out the EIP Water Action Groups!

Best regards,

The EIP Water Secretariat


EIP Water News and Updates

Taskforce meeting on 3 April 2014

The EIP Water Task Force (TF) met on April 3rd with a long list of topics for action on its agenda. In particular, the Task Force analysed the progress of Action Groups, with the perspective of ensuring the impacts of their activities. A further analysis, focussing on matching their work with demand in challenges in water policy implementation for example, will be carried out. This will be presented at the next meeting of the Task Force. Furthermore, the Task Force discussed coordination with the DG Environment Eco-Innovation Action Plan (EcoAP) and agreed on a number of action points such as cooperation with the EcoAP network of Eco Financiers, coordinating needs vis-à-vis future Horizon 2020 work programs and linking with the member state representatives in the EcoAP high-level working group. These activities will be implemented in the coming months.

A key issue on the agenda was the discussion on developed action plans for the removal of barriers to (water) innovation. Some first concrete proposals were presented and will be developed further over the coming months. The actions focus on the following areas: financial instruments, public procurement, PPPs, regulation, and dissemination via showcases. In addition, interesting insights on dissemination activities under the EIP on Active & Healthy Ageing (AHA) were presented. The Task Force also prepared a joint EIP Water response to the independent evaluation report on the EIPs, ‘outriders for European competitiveness’, in preparation for the Steering Group meeting on 23rd May.


Czech water technology platform and Water Research Centre Innovation Day

EIP Water considers it of great importance to inform stakeholders about its activities and the opportunities it offers. On 5th May, EIP Water accepted an invitation for a presentation at   a meeting of the Czech Water Technology Platform in Brussels. Currently, the involvement of stakeholders from central and eastern European countries in the EIP Water is still limited so the meeting with representatives of the Czech Water Technology Platform provided an excellent opportunity to engage with the Czech water sector.
On 30th April, EIP Water also featured at the Water Research Centre (WRc) 3rd Annual Water Innovation Day in Swindon, UK. The WRc is an independent and employee-controlled organization. WRc is one of a number of very well developed initiatives currently working in the UK in the field of water and innovation. The EIP Water presentation proved to be a valuable entry point for informing UK stakeholders about the opportunities for cooperation at the European level and for investigating potential coordination between EIP Water and UK initiatives.

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Steering Group to meet at the end of May: what’s on the agenda?

The EIP Water Steering Group will meet on 23rd May to deliberate on: the continuation of the EIP Water after 2014 and the 'outriders for European Competitiveness' report; progress to date on EIP Water activities; Member State involvement in the EIP - improving impacts and connecting demand and supply; and the steering of the next phase of the EIP Water.

EIP Water at Smart Water Networks Forum

EIP Water participated in the Smart Water Networks Forum, which took place on 12th and 13th May in Madrid, Spain. SWAN promotes the development and adoption of data technologies in water networks and works to make them smarter, more efficient and more sustainable.

On the first day of the forum, Mr. Javier Fernandez from Madrid’s water supplier Canal Isabel II focussed on innovation in areas most relevant for end users: better knowledge for the planning phase, reduction of non-revenue water (NRW) and costumer services. Ms. Elena Maneiro from aqualia explained the company’s focus on innovation, and presented the EIP Water Action Group MEET-ME4Water. Richard Elelman from the AG City Blueprints and Guido Schmidt from the EIP Water Secretariat were amongst the speakers on the second day of the forum.

For all those interested, please do not hesitate to also have a look at the new EIP Water Action Group “Ctrl+Swan - Monitoring and smart water network” or approach its leader Armando di Nardo.

EIP Water Action Group News

Webpages of all 25 AG’s Online!

All 16 new EIP Water Action Groups have started their activities and are currently scheduling virtual kick-off meetings between the partners. All the new Action Groups now have an online presence with more information on the EIP Water Marketplace, and several of them are already populating their pages with more information. Please visit the Action Groups on the EIP Water Marketplace to explore opportunities for collaboration!

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Rapid Benefits for Benchmarking Action Group

The European Benchmarking Co-operation (EBC) Foundation was selected as an EIP Water Action Group in March 2014 and started its activities immediately. The EBC Foundation is a not-for-profit water industry initiative, which offers a benchmarking programme for water and wastewater utilities in Europe; it aims to improve and innovate their services through mutual learning.

To date, not many utilities from Eastern Europe have benefited from this benchmarking. The Danube Water Programme, a capacity-building initiative of the World Bank and International Association of Water Supply Companies in the Danube for utilities and associations in the Danube region, has selected EBC as preferred partner to facilitate utility benchmarking. The recent selection of EBC as an EIP Water Action Group has accelerated this process significantly: it allowed the EBC Foundation to be contracted by the World Bank as a single-source provider and quickly start facilitating benchmarking activities for the Danube region. Congratulations!

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Selected Water Innovation News

In China, Innovation in Water Rights Leads to Real Water Savings

“China’s most arid regions are facing an increasingly serious water crisis, and local water policies often aggravate the problem. In such climates, growth in the agricultural sector has come with high environmental costs”, writes Liping Jiang of the World Bank in a blog about water rights in China.

With the help of new technologies that measure real water consumption in agriculture, governments are designing innovative water rights systems that actually save water. Based on results from two successful pilots, the World Bank Group is partnering with China to tap into science to transform water management in agriculture at the national level. “

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Ontario Number One Water Patent Jurisdiction in the World

“Ontario, Canada's most populous province, has granted more water-related industry patents over the past 30 years than any other comparable government jurisdiction in the world”, according to the Water Technology Acceleration Project– WaterTAP.

“With 10% more clean technology companies than any other province in the country, and 900 water-industry-specific companies, the Ontario government's Water Sector Strategy also includes targeted provisions for growing the water industry and maintaining its position as a global water innovation leader.”

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Recommended Reading

Innovation the NASA way ...

One of the challenges in Rob Pyle’s new book, sub-titled “Harnessing the power of your organization for breakthrough success” and recently published by McGraw Hill-Education is: “Convince upper management - and your peers - that a complex, difficult-to-explain system would work.” – Fortunately, each challenge in the book comes with a solution which is, in this case: “Think boldly, be daring, exhibit confidence, and, above all, test everything. Ducking the potential for failure can lead to disaster.”

In between a huge number of “challenges”, “solutions” and many “innovations” in each of the book’s 18 chapters are fun-to-read stories describing “Innovation the NASA way” such as: “Huh? Each engineer, flight specialist, scientist, and, most impor­tant, NASA bureaucrat who saw this had his or her own individual reaction. Many blanched; some chuckled; others sucked wind and held it. This was a wild design, with a few hundred things that could go wrong (the landing sequence alone used 79 pyrotechnic devices - the little explosives- just to get to the surface). All it would take was for one of those things to fail and bye-bye, Curiosity.”


That is NASA’s name for ”the Mars Science Laboratory, known more popularly as Curios­ity (after the rover’s name).” It “was launched on November 26, 2011, but the mission design had been underway since before 2000. The machine was huge and vastly more complex than previous rovers. It would use a nuclear power source instead of solar panels to sup­port an amazing array of cutting-edge sensing and analysis equip­ment. …”

Here’s one more challenge from the book: “How to move ahead with an innovative program when powers beyond your control are holding you back.” For all those interested in the solution NASA found … we recommend you read the book – it’s fun!


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Water Communication – an Analysis of strategies and campaigns from the water sector

Water Communication, published recently by the International Water Association IWA, “aims at setting a first general outlook at what communication on water means, who communicates and on what topics. Through different examples and based on different research and contributions, this book presents an original first overview of “water communication”. It sets its academic value as one distinct scientific domain and provides tips and practical tools to professionals. The book contributes to avoid mixing messages, targets and discourses when setting communication related to water issues”, writes the IWA. The book provides
  • a general outlook and retrospective of the history of the water sector in terms of communication
  • the landscape of organizations communicating on water and classification of topics
  • the differences between communication, information, mediation, raising awareness
  • examples of communication campaigns on water
Water Communication is an interesting resource for communication managers, utility managers and policy makers involved in water management and students in water sciences and environment.


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Announcements and Events

Water: Green Tape or Blue Gold?

The European Technology Platform for Water WssTP recently announced the 2014 edition of its annual Stakeholder Conference Water Innovation Europe, dedicated to the theme ''Water: Green Tape or Blue Gold?''. It will take place on 25 & 26 of June 2014 at the Diamant Centre in Brussels.

The conference, endorsed by the EIP Water and linked to its activities, will focus on the economic opportunities for the European water sector and on providing input to the drafting process of the Horizon2020 Work Program for 2016-2017, with an emphasis on the green economy.

In the context of Water Innovation Europe 2014, WssTP will also take the opportunity to celebrate its 10th anniversary, making this conference a special occasion for all those who will attend it.

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EIP Water Participates in money2water Summit

The Global Water Investment Summit money2water took place on 7th and 8th May in London and focused on water from an investment, finance and innovation perspective. The presentations and lively debates at the Summit clearly demonstrated that water regulation is considered as a key driver for innovation and investments in the water sector. During the Summit, many speakers touched on the importance of ensuring better communication with citizens, as well as educating and involving them in water management to create a better understanding of the value of water. Furthermore, it became clear that there is disconnect between the financing sector and the water sector and policy makers in their perspectives and understandings of needs and opportunities; money2water was a good initial step towards bridging this disconnect and bring the finance and water communities together.

Marianne Wenning, director ‘Quality of Life, Water & Air' of DG Environment of the European Commission gave a key-note speech on the policy perspective on water and finance and touched on the role the EIP Water can play in this area. Robert Schroder, policy officer in DG Environment, further discussed the opportunities the EIP Water offers in one of the panel sessions.

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OECD Online Survey on Water Governance

The OECD would like to invite our readers to participate in the OECD Online Survey “Stakeholder Engagement for Effective Water Governance” which is available in English, French and Spanish until 5 June 2014.

The objective is to collect data on stakeholder engagement trends, drivers and practices to assess the impact on decision-making processes related to water policy and projects. Results from the Survey will help provide evidence-based assessment, collect best practices, and formulate policy recommendations to the intention of decision-makers. Findings be published in an OECD report to be launched at the 7th World Water Forum (Korea, April 2015). They will also feed the ongoing preparation of OECD Principles on Water Governance and OECD Indicators on Water Governance.

The Survey is an undertaking of the working group on “stakeholder engagement” of the OECD Water Governance Initiative, a multi-stakeholder network of 100+ delegates from public, private and not-for-profit sectors gathering twice a year in a Policy Forum to share on-going reforms, projects, lessons and good practices in support of better governance in the water sector.

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WssTP launches first Water Innovation SME awards in Europe

To support the economic opportunities for the European water sector and especially the small and medium enterprises in Europe, the European Technology Platform for Water WssTP is taking the initiative to host a Water Innovation SME awards ceremony for the European SMEs that have generated innovative solutions or technologies for water resource management with high market potential.

All small and medium enterprises, registered in a Member State of the European Union or Associate Country are warmly invited to submit innovative breakthrough solutions or technologies that are in line with WssTP working groups topic areas.

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