Dear Water Europe family,
While we are running the last weeks of 2019 and before welcoming the new year, we would like to spare a moment and warmly thank you for being part of the Water Europe family over 2019. What we think as the best and maybe more practical way to show our gratitude is by providing you with the tangible results of what it means to be part of Water Europe. 2019 has been an intense and exciting year for us with activities on all fronts.
Three successful annual events with over 500 participants were held, more than 600 matchmaking sessions took place, three new publications saw the light and many more actions were made that may not be measurable in numbers but still count a great deal. Chief among them in 2019 was our name change. It has been already six months after the adoption of our new name, which more accurately reflects our evolution and our vision for the future. ‘Water Europe’ has been fondly embraced by the EU water sector not only as a stronger brand but also for what it brings along: A broader, more inclusive platform that represents the full water value chain and paves the way for the full transition to a Water-Smart society.
To implement our Water Vision and achieve a Water-Smart Society, the Water Oriented Living Labs are a key tool and thus, earlier this year, we did an analysis of all the existing living labs across Europe that resulted in our new publication the ‘Atlas of the EU WoLLS’ which serves as the first-ever mapping and categorisation of European WoLLs. In parallel with this and in line with our unceasing commitment to bring the water topic at the heart of the EU’s attention, we jointly developed with the UNESCO World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP) the publication ‘Water in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: How can Europe Act’ that advocates for the role that the European Union, the European Commission and the European Water Sector actors should continue to have, to contribute to achieving the 2030 Agenda, in particular to SDG 6 and other water-related targets.
Achieving a Water-Smart Society and raising the water topic on the EU agenda are key pillars of our strategy but not the only ones. Providing excellent services to our members remains at the centre of our everyday operation. We want our members to get results and we are happy to see that our efforts and work successfully deliver them. According to our publication ‘Analyses & Overview of WE members’ European Projects’, 179 water-related projects have been funded under H2020 and thus far Water Europe’s membership covers 74% of all participants to these projects.
We have many reasons to be proud of but nothing of all these would have been possible, without your enthusiast participation and input, the real fuel of our success. Therefore, the final applause goes to you for one more year. We eagerly anticipate and look forward working with you and for you again in 2020.
The latest WWF‘s flagship publication, reports the current situation of water supply and water sanitation in Europe by evaluating the holistic approach of the EU Water Framework Directive towards Europe’s water resources. Under this Directive, the EU Members States are legally committed to maintain and return 100% of their water bodies, including groundwater, to good health by 2027 at the latest.
But what is exactly the WFD? What are the initial objectives? How can the WFD’s deliver its full potential?
To find out more about the WWF’s latest publication “Water is everyone’s business” and the WFD, please click HERE
The Mülheim Water Award 2020 award is looking for practice-oriented research and development projects as well as the implementation of innovative concepts for secure drinking water supply and water analysis. The subject of submission for 2020: Innovations for a sustainable, safe and secure drinking water supply.
People or institutions from Europe can apply with innovative procedures, products, concepts and new findings with a strong focus on practical use and application within water management. The prize to win in 2020 are 10.000€, donated in equal parts by RWW Rheinisch-Westfälische Wasserwerksgesellschaft mbH and GERSTEL GmbH & Co. KG, both companies located in Mülheim in Germany.
The Mülheim Water Award is coordinated by IWW Water Centre in Mülheim an der Ruhr.
Application is a two-stage process, and the submission deadline for the first stage is 29 Feb 2020.
For more details about the award, the submission and the selection procedure, please visit the Muelheim website just by clicking HERERead More
Dear Water Europe family,
Lisbon. The Autumn Board Meeting took place on 23-24 October, hosted by our member, Aguas do Portugal. We had some very interesting interventions from DG ENV and DG RTD, regarding the priorities for a new Commission, and plans for an all-new Water Partnership. Keep posted for more on this to come early 2020.
At this board meeting, a series of important proposals have been validated by the Board. The proposal to increase Water Europe’s engagement with pertinent water policy dossiers, and to reinforce staff, and services to members to make such an activity more effective, has been endorsed. The Board has also accepted Water Europe to become a founding member of the UN World Water Quality Alliance.
On more general, but not less important ground, the Board also accepted unanimously a clear willingness and engagement by Water Europe to be representative of society’s diversity in all its governance bodies. As such we make public our commitment to communicate, propose and implement specific actions leading to gender equality at Board, Cluster and Working Group level by 2022.
From Lisbon to Brussels. Water Knowledge Europe (WKE) edition concluded last week in Brussels. This was our last edition for H2020 Calls and as usual a big success. A compact and highly interesting programme, 250 B2B meetings in 2 hours, 13 Working Group meetings. I am pleased to see that the attendants that I had the opportunity to speak with, value as a most effective, valuable and result-oriented tool to exchange, meet, discuss, and promote projects and consortia.
We took advantage of WKE to present and launch a new WE publication: Analyses & Overview of WE members’ European Projects, you can download this document from our web site, and I suggest warmly you do just that. The key fact and the best possible reason to realize how much has been done in so little time: Water Europe members cover 74% of all water-related H2020 project participations!
From Brussels to Amsterdam. I had the chance to represent Water Europe at the Industry Leaders Forum 2019, as part of the Amsterdam International Water Week. It is a pleasure and reason for pride to confirm that the key elements of our Water Vision, very specially the concept of the Value of Water, but also our push for Water Oriented Living Labs, are being accepted, mentioned and used to construct new value proposals for better market uptake. Our ambassador programme is precisely intended to spread these concepts clearly and further.
The Board in Lisbon also decided to promote, push forward, and support our Water Europe ambassadors. An excellent and very interesting example of how you all can contribute to making the voice of water heard, as well as, opening our community to the most up to date, and valuable insights are provided by our new Guest editorial. Ilari Aho, Water Europe Ambassador has a video interview with the Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Krista Mikkonen in light of the EU Finnish Presidency.
Water Europe. Do more. Do better.Read More
As a supporting partner of the EIP Water Conference 2019, Water Europe is getting ready for the much-anticipated event of the water sector. Back to back to the conference, Water Europe will host two side events on the 11th of December. Following up on the successful workshop held in the context of ENoLL Open Living Labs Day in September, Water Europe is now organising the workshop ‘Living Labs for a Water Smart Society’. Building on the outcomes of the September’s event, the workshop will continue the discussion on how WoLLs can effectively drive the research and the development of innovative solutions in a real environment with the proactive involvement of the water actors and stakeholders and facilitate the market outreach of innovations.
- Side-event 1: Living Labs for a Water Smart Society
Building on the outcomes of the latest ENoLL Open Living Labs Days, the Water Europe first workshop on “Living Labs for Water Smart Society” will continue the discussion on how WoLLs can effectively drive the research and the development of innovative solutions in a real environment with the proactive involvement of the water actors and stakeholders and facilitate the market outreach of innovations. The meeting intends to hold an open dialogue about the different types of sustainable water-oriented living labs, owing to the context-specific factors affecting the emergence of water problem types.
What are the WoLLs?
WoLLs (Water-oriented Living Labs ) are real-life, water-oriented and demo-type and platform-type environments with a cross-sector nexus approach, which have the involvement and commitment of multi-stakeholders (including water authorities) and a certain continuity (good chance to continue to their existence), and provide a “field lab” to develop, test, and validate a combination of solutions as defined in the SIRA, which include technologies, their integration as well as combination with new business models and innovative policies based on the value of water. There is no one single water problem type.
When? Wednesday, December 11, 2019
What time? From 09:30 to 12:00
Venue: Palacio de Congresos de Zaragoza – Room 8
- Side event 2: Human Capital in the Water Sector – towards a European skills agenda?
Same time, the European Junior Water Programme (EJWP) and the WE Working Group on Human Capital are jointly organising the ‘Human Capital in the Water Sector – towards a European skills agenda?’ session that will present the findings of the consultation on Human Capital in Europe happened earlier this year, creating this way more insights, knowledge and collaborative actions on this significant topic and its effect for the achievement of the Water Smart Society.
During the conference, Water Europe will have its own stand. Seize the chance to pass by to meet us and discuss with us.
When? Wednesday, December 11, 2019
What time? From 16:15 to 18:00
Venue: Palacio de Congresos de Zaragoza – Room 2
For more information or to register to the ‘Human Capital in the Water Sector – towards a European skills agenda?” workshop, please send an email to email@example.comRead More
RIMA’s Open call for small & medium-sized and slightly bigger companies has still one month to go before selecting its winning applicants. Launched within the framework of the H2020, RIMA (Robotics for Inspection and Maintenance) is an acceleration project that aims at connecting research and industry organisations to deploy robotics technologies in I&M (Inspection & Maintenance) applications to fit market needs. Water Europe is a partner of RIMA project, representing the water sector.
The first open call of the project, launched in September 2019, will select 25 European Technology Transfer & Technology Demonstrator Experiments in the fields of water supply & sanitation; road, rail & infrastructure in cities; transport hubs; nuclear infrastructure; oil & gas extraction; energy generation & distribution. Proposals for the water sector include I&M robotic solutions for clean water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructures.
Each selected consortium will receive up to €300.000 equity-free funding, access to acceleration services and expertise of a network of 13 Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs), all dedicated to help the innovation and commercialization process of new I&M robotics solutions in Europe. Applications to the Open Call will be accepted until the 19th December 2019 at 16:00 CET.
To apply and find more detailed information, please click here.
Interested? Please click here to watch the new video of RIMA.Read More
The third edition of G-STIC is coming up on 20-22 November in Brussels with a compelling agenda of different thematic programmes, aiming at bringing forward market-ready integrated technological solutions that can have a big impact on the achievement of the SDGs. Chief among them remains the water topic and Water Europe is glad to actively contribute to the conference’s discussions with three WE ambassadors present to address how we can embrace water innovations and accelerate their wide-scale deployment.
In particular, Alexis de Kerchove, WE Board member and member of the WE Vision Leadership Team on Water-Smart Cities will share his insights, delivering a keynote speech on ‘Urban water sector technological transitions and innovations towards 2030’ , the moment that Mehdi Ahmadi, leader of the WE WG ‘Nature-Based Solutions’ will elaborate on how water and climate-resilient management will shape the transition in water management and contribute to delivering the SDGs. Durk Krol, WG Executive Director will moderate the panel discussion on the topic ‘Grey to green infrastructure: can nature teach us climate resilience?’
To read more on the G-STIC Conference, click here.Read More
Climate change is real and already happening’ says Tim aus der Beek, leader of the WE WG ‘Water & Climate’
Why is it important to have a new Working Group dedicated to the theme of ‘Water & Climate’?
The occurrence and use of water are largely dependent on the climatic conditions and equally affected by them. Climate change is real and already happening. As shown by the European drought in 2018, many different water-related sectors are affected, for example, food production, transportation, health and ecology. This means that the water sector, in general, needs to cope and adapt to these changes. Therefore, it is very important to have a Working Group at a European level, where researchers and stakeholders get together on a regular basis to define problems, develop solutions and discuss implementation options. Water Europe provides an excellent platform for this work. Especially, as the new Working Group also aims at integrating relevant water and climate topics from other Working Groups, such as Water and: Agrifood, Nexus, Ecosystem Services, Energy.
What are the main priorities of the newly launched Working Group?
The Working Group “Water & Climate” was first established at the Water Innovation Europe meeting in Brussels in June 2019. The scope of the working group aims at (i) understanding the current and future impact of climate and climate change on European water availability and management, (ii) sustainable and innovative solutions to mitigate and cope with these impacts, and (iii) enable and improve participation of different water stakeholders and sectors. Furthermore, the Working Group Water & Climate will define and prioritize R&D gaps and provide an overview of strategies and measures to adjust European water management to a changing climate on multiple scales.
What are you currently working on and what are you expecting to deliver within the upcoming year?
We have used the first two meetings in June and October 2019 to attract new members for the working group and together we have gathered and prioritized the most important topics concerning water and climate. Our next step includes the description of problems, related research needs, as well as options for solutions, mitigation and implementation. We will start with the highest-ranked water and climate topics. By the end of next year, we are planning to summarize the results in a white paper, which will be publically available and also be delivered to the European Commission.Read More
WE Working Groups have set up their meetings for the much anticipated Water Knowledge Europe 2019 event.
On the 31st of October, the Working Groups will convene to present the latest advances of their WGs, their current activities and their annual work plan for 2020, in parallel with their preparations for the H2020 calls. As every year, the meetings will be divided into morning and afternoon parallel sessions for participants who want to attend different WG meetings.
In the afternoon, a joint meeting of the three Working Groups ‘Contaminants of Emerging Concerns’, ‘Bathing Waters’ and ‘Urban Water Pollution’ has been organised with the aim to put together efforts and resources on common water challenges and produce a work plan for the development of a white paper on water pollution.
FYI, Water Knowledge Europe 2019 standard fee will end on the 28h of October! If you wish to attend the event & join the Working Groups, please register HERE asap.
The detailed schedule of the Working Groups meetings follows below:Read More
The H2020 project aqua3S has officially started its activities. On the 25th and 26th of September 2019, the kick-off meeting of the project was held at the Centre of Research and Technology Hellas (CERTH) premises in Thessaloniki, Greece.
aqua3S is a new project that will create strategies and methods, enabling a water facilities to easily integrate solutions regarding water safety. aqua3S combines novel technologies in water safety and security, aiming to standardise existing sensor technologies complemented by state-of-the-art detection mechanisms.
aqua3S coordinator is the Information Technologies Institute (ITI) of CERTH and more specifically the Multimedia Knowledge and Social Media Analytics Laboratory (MKLab). The aqua3S consortium consists of 23 partners from 10 European countries (Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, France, Greece, Italy, Spain, Germany and United Kingdom). The consortium includes 4 water-related first responders organizations (LHA2, RCM, SVK, WBL), 1 water authority (AAWA), 5 water utility operators (AcegasApsAmga S.p.A., EYATH, SOFYISKA, SUEZ Smart solutions, Vivaqua), 1 public security agency (BDI), 6 academic/research institutes (CERTH, CENTRIC, FZU, ICCS/NTUA, UNEXE, USTUTT), 4 technical SMEs (Everis, mirSense, DRAXIS, EGM), 1 SME working on ethical and legal issues (Trilateral) and Water Europe to support all the dissemination actions. Representatives from all partners were present at the kick-off meeting, empowering the project with their own particular skills and expertise. Each partner will have a critical role to play in the development of aqua3S the next three years.Read More