Aragón represents one of Spain’s seventeen existing administrative divisions. Located in the north-east of the Iberian Peninsula, Aragón has a strategic geographical location and excellent communication network both with some of the main cities in Spain (Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia and Bilbao) and Pau and Toulouse in France.
As for regional RTDI capacities, there is wide offer of stakeholders working in water-related issues through the University of Zaragoza, EUPLA-Engineering Technical College, CIRCE – Research Centre for Energy Resources and Consumption, Aragon Institute of Technology (ITA), EEAD– Estación Experimental de Aula Dei, CITA-Agrifood Research and Technology Centre of Aragon, IAMZ-CIHEAM– Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Zaragoza, , San Valero Foundation, FNCA-New Water Culture Foundation and Aragon and the Aragonese Water Institute (IAA).
Aragon concentrates a significant group of business entities directly involved in the water industry, including products manufacturers and water services providers as well as water management companies, among others. The Region is home to 907 firms that employ 7,768 people, which represents 7.65% of the regional GDP. Also, building and high-tech companies in the ICT sector, water products suppliers and renewal energy sector are represented by around 5,600 companies in Aragon that employ nearly 38,500 people. Many water-related stakeholders in Aragon are represented in the “Urban Cluster for the Efficient Use of Water ZINNAE”. Officially created in 2010, after it is aimed to unite and coordinate regional efforts to improve efficiency in water usage. ZINNAE integrates the main economical agents that are linked with an efficient use of water in the city of Saragossa:
In 2010 ZINNAE launches line of work Waterlabs: enabling environments for experimentation. With the intention of consolidating this line of work, and at the same time give prominence to entrepreneurship, ZINNAE continues with projects Park ZERO, and Urban Hydrogeology, led by SMEs in the cluster.
Aragon has large capabilities in the development of decision support systems and monitoring in the management of water resources in the business field, in research and in the management of the water by their institutions. We have numerous Aragonese companies, many of them SMEs, leaders at the international level in the development of software and analysis, but also hardware and infrastructure development. Companies that lead the market in terms of the development of measurement and control, equipment as well as the development of sensors, but also companies that innovate in the development of systems that facilitate decision-making in the management of water, such as the development of integrated systems of management of aquifers.
At the institutional level, in Aragon was founded in 1926 the first organism of riven basin, the Confederación Hidrográfica del Ebro-CHE. Today it is an organism that continues at the forefront of innovation in the management of river basins, as you can check with your SAIH – automatic system of hydrological information of the basin of the Ebro designed, with information in real time, to rationalize and streamline the decision-making process. Its objectives are the flood forecast and the global management of water resources.
In this moment, Advanced Information Systems group of the University of Zaragoza (Spain) is coordinating the European project WE@EU: Water Efficiency in European Urban Areas. This project, with the participation of a network of regions: Aragon, in Spain; Provence-Alpes – Côte d’Azur, in France; the East of England, in the United Kingdom; Eastern Galilee, in Israel, and Malta, will set guidelines that let to prioritize public financing of RDI in the use and efficient management of the water in urban environments. The objective of this work is to influence regional, national and European administrations to continue innovating in areas that already have some competitive advantage.
University of Zaragoza, as partner, and ZINNAE, as Liaison Committee member, participate in the European project Water PiPP – Water Public Innovation Procurement Policies, which is aimed at exploring new public innovation procurement methodologies and testing it in water sector in the context where European innovation potential in the water sector is blocked by a number of bottlenecks and barriers.
Aragon is very active in the European Innovation Partnership on water that is implemented through Action Groups with public and private participation. Result of a first call, currently there are 9 groups working. Aragon participates in four of these Action Groups: governance of water (City Blueprint), financing for innovation (Finnowater), Ecosystem Services for Europe, and regional governance of water scarcity and drought issues (WaterCore).
See in enclosed document a relevant water-related projects in the region of Aragon-water CV.