Call for evidence: the economic benefits of EU water policy and the costs of non-implementation
The Commission is 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: a) 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 b) collect opinions, ideas and suggestions on which areas of the “economics” of the EU water acquis should be further investigated by the European Commission.
The call for evidence is the second step in a process organised by the European Commission with a view to launching an open call for tenders for contracting a study on the economic benefits of EU water policy and the costs of non-implementation, which aims at generating new and solid economic arguments to promote effective protection and efficient use of water resources for the well-being of European nature and citizens. All individual experts, stakeholders, organisations, research centers, universities, think-tanks with expertise in water economics are welcome to contribute to this consultation.
To read more, please visit the European Commission’s website.
A Pact for Knowledge and Innovation
Today, perhaps more than ever, Europe is torn between several priorities, all of which are equally high. Challenges we face become only more complex and grandeur with time. To some of them – innovation is able to respond. Europe has a strong commitment to innovation. It sees the crucial role innovation can play in its economy on the long run. To celebrate and manifest this commitment 7th European Innovation Summit will take place from 7-10 December 2015 in the European Parliament in Brussels.
At the heart of this summit is a launch of the Pact for Innovation: a brave initiative of the knowledge4innovation, supported by key innovation stakeholders and European Institutions. The goal of the Pact for Innovation is to support and enhance a direct collaboration between stakeholders and policy makers.
The signatories of the Pact share a common vision of a globally competitive, agile Europe, supported by success of its industry, academia and entrepreneurship. They have an ambition to create a healthy, innovation-driven economy, able to take risks and win, thus bringing a long-term prosperity to this continent.
The President of the European Committee of the Regions, Markku Markkula commented on the ‘Pact for Innovation’: “”As President of the European Committee of the Regions, the EU assembly of 350 regional and local political representatives, I welcome initiatives like the Pact on Innovation “INPACT” which is today proposed by members of the European Parliament. I am also glad that the INPACT takes on board the need to work at EU and national but also at regional and local level in order to achieve growth and jobs. For this to happen we need to effectively orchestrate innovation ecosystems at all levels. We need to move from strategies and planning into concrete action to boost innovation policies on the ground. I will pass on this message to all members of the European Committee of the Regions and propose them to support this initiative.”
The Chair of the K4i Forum Governing Board Lambert van Nistelrooij explained that ‘The Pact for Innovation’ embodies the concept for a bottom-up entrepreneurial spirit in European regions and cities. According to him “The initiative of the ‘Pact for Innovation’ will lead to a stronger EU wide commitment and a closer cooperation in the field of innovation in the European Union. We focus on the achievements at all levels in the EU. We will work on a targeted revision on the EU 2020 strategy in 2016, together with strong performance based programmes for innovation in the years to come.”
The Summit will be covered extensively via social media providing everyone with the possibility to participate in the debates. Follow us on Facebook (Knowledge4Innovation) and Twitter (@k4innovation), and join the conversation by using the hashtags #7EIS or #inpact.
For more information on the Summit, please visit the Knowledge4Innovation website.Read More
European Commission adopts new Circular Economy Package
On 2nd of December, the European Commission presented a new Circular Economy Package to stimulate Europe’s transition towards a circular economy, which will boost global competitiveness, foster economic growth and generate new jobs. According to the EC, the proposed actions contribute to “closing the loop” of product lifecycles through greater recycling and reuse, bringing benefits to both the economy and the environment.
First Vice-President Frans Timmermans, responsible for sustainable development, said: “Our planet and our economy cannot survive if we continue with the ‘take, make, use and throw away’ approach. We need to retain precious resources and fully exploit all the economic value within them. The circular economy is about reducing waste and protecting the environment, but it is also about a profound transformation of the way our entire economy works. By rethinking the way we produce, work and buy we can generate new opportunities and create new jobs. With today’s package, we are delivering the comprehensive framework that will truly enable this change to happen. It sets a credible and ambitious path for better waste management in Europe with supportive actions that cover the full product cycle. This mix of smart regulation and incentives at EU level will help businesses and consumers, as well as national and local authorities, to drive this transformation.”
The Circular Economy Package gives a clear signal to economic operators that the EU is using all the tools available to transform its economy, opening the way to new business opportunities and boosting competitiveness. The broad measures for changing the full product lifecycle go beyond a narrow focus on the end-of-life stage and underline the Commission’s clear ambition to transform the EU economy and deliver results. Innovative and more efficient ways of producing and consuming should increasingly emerge as a result of the incentives we are putting in place. The circular economy has the potential to create many jobs in Europe, while preserving precious and increasingly scarce resources, reducing environmental impacts of resource use and injecting new value into waste products. Sectoral measures are also set out, as well as quality standards for secondary raw materials. Key actions adopted on 2nd of December or to be carried out under the current Commission’s mandate include:
- Funding of over €650 million under Horizon 2020 and €5.5 billion under the structural funds;
- Actions to reduce food wasteincluding a common measurement methodology, improved date marking, and tools to meet the global Sustainable Development Goal to halve food waste by 2030;
- Development of quality standards for secondary raw materialsto increase the confidence of operators in the single market;
- Measures in the Ecodesign working plan for 2015-2017to promote reparability, durability and recyclability of products, in addition to energy efficiency;
- Arevised Regulation on fertilisers, to facilitate the recognition of organic and waste-based fertilisers in the single market and support the role of bio-nutrients;
- A strategy on plastics in the circular economy, addressing issues of recyclability, biodegradability, the presence of hazardous substances in plastics, and the Sustainable Development Goals target for significantly reducing marine litter;
- A series of actions on water reuseincluding a legislative proposal on minimum requirements for the reuse of wastewater.
Additional information is available in the EC’s press release.Read More
WssTP Brokerage & WG Event 2015 concluded with success!
We’re glad to announce that this year’s WssTP Brokerage and WG event was held, as planned, on 23rd and 24th of November 2015 at the Diamant Conference Centre. Thanks to our interesting speakers and active participants, who honoured us with their presence besides Brussel’s terror alert, WssTP annual
Brokerage and WG event concluded with success, once again.
The first day of the event featured an excellent line-up of speakers from the European Commission and other leading water organisations who gave a thorough analysis of the opportunities for water in the Horizon 2020 WP2016-2017. WssTP also presented its overview of the 92 calls with potential link to water.
Participants had the opportunity to present their project ideas at the second session of the event and proceed to more in-depth and interactive discussions with other interested participants at the matchmaking session that followed.
Representatives from ongoing projects also presented why they believe their proposal has been successful, sharing tips and ideas with the audience. The first day ended with a networking dinner, where all participants met and exchanged ideas on the topics presented during the event.
The second day of the event, WssTP Working Groups were in the limelight, presenting their latest advances, current activities and future plans, as nurseries for project ideas. To learn more about the topics of WssTP Working Groups and how you can join them, please follow the links below![message_box title=”Working Groups Session Downloads” color=”blue”]
Working Group Lead Person
Financing for EU Competitiveness Arturo BUENAVENTURA
Water-Energy-Food biodiversity nexus Michiel BLIND
Water Cooperation Beyond Europe Gaetano CASALE
Water in industry Albert JANSEN
Resource Recovery Martijn BIJMANS
Advanced Membrane Technologies Gilbert RIOS
Emerging Compounds Leonard OSTE
Urban Water Pollution Adriana HULSMANN
Water and Agrifood Jochen FROEBRICH
Eco-systems Services Lena GOLDKUHL
Green Infrastructures Victor BEUMER
Managing HydroClimatic Extremes Alan JENKINS
Renewable Energy Desalination Guillermo Zaragoza
Nano4Water Inge Genne
Presentations – please contact us by mailRead More
Dinner event with European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella
On Wednesday 18th of November, European Commissioner Karmenu VELLA for Environment, Maritime affairs, and Fisheries met with members of the European Parliament and key representatives from the European water sector to debate the role of water in the circular economy, sustainable development goals, and the mainstreaming of water in other policies such as regional policy, agricultural policy, and research and innovation policy. The meeting was hosted by MEP Esther DE LANGE in her capacity as chair of the EP Water Group, for which WssTP is the management body. Bruno Tisserand, EurEau president was there to deliver a speech on behalf of the European water sector.
Commissioner VELLA expressed his firm support for the EP Water Group as a forum that continuously ensures that key water issues are highlighted in the European decision-making process. Commissioner Vella emphasized the quintessential importance of closing the water loop in the circular economy. Special attention was given to the reuse and recycling of water in industrial processes and reuse of municipal waste water, as areas with greatest potential in relation to the circular economy.
In particular, Commissioner Vella added that ‘European companies are already among the global leaders in the field of reusing municipal wastewater. Our expertise in this field can become a globally recognised source for sound investments, quality jobs, and economic growth.’
Commissioner Vella pointed out that we need to address and tackle the barriers to water reuse, so that reuse becomes an obvious solution for water managers, farmers and utilities across Europe.He also clearly indicated his intention to work closely with the EIP on Water to ensure that investment in water resources plays an important role in H2020 across all relevant societal challenges. According to Commissioner Vella, water will have a central role to play in the process of transition to an efficient and sustainable economy.
Download the full text of Commissioner’s VELLA speechRead More
Interview with Business Mathematician Nicole Annett Müller on TRUST’s Financial Sustainability Rating Tool
Solid financial position of water and wastewater utilities builds the basis for their sustainable services in the future, because it allows adequate investments into infrastructure renewal, technical innovations and ecological measures. The Financial Sustainability Rating Tool (FSRT) offers water supply and/or wastewater removal companies an opportunity to rate the utility’s financial sustainability. Business Mathematician Nicole Annett Müller was part of the team that developed the tool and she explains the benefits of it.
Why was there a need to create a tool like the Financial Sustainability Rating Tool?
On one hand, if financial performance is evaluated internally, subjective influences cannot be totally avoided. On the other hand, most external measurements are either binding, e.g. in the context of evaluating a utility’s creditworthiness, or they are chargeable and linked to a certain certificate or official rating result, which hinders especially water utilities with poor financial performance and missing budgets from participating.
The Financial Sustainability Rating Tool is freely available and has a non-binding nature, which shall prevent participation barriers and create incentives to prove if the current financing strategies and related economic measurements ensure a sustainable operation of urban water systems in the future. Especially, water utilities that expect a poor financial sustainability rating result shall not hesitate to make use of the rating tool.
What does the tool do?
Main purpose of the tool is rather a good public image than a self-rating. Accordingly, it has set itself the goal to uncover economic deficits and/or best practises to show the user where potentials for development are and which financial strategies are already viable for the future. The tool considers 37 input variables, 14 inner calculations and 21 indicators with an actual scoring result and thereby gives the user an indication, which area from financial situation over asset management to business operations and forecasts needs optimization.
Whom is the tool made for?
The tool is directed at water and/or wastewater utilities, which provide either only one of the two services or are able to split up the information and costs related to each service. Otherwise, meaningful results cannot be achieved.
Why using a tool like this? If I look at my numbers, I can see how I am doing financially so what does the tool offers me additionally?
The internal assessment of quantitative values is always characterised by an element of subjectivity. The use of external scoring intervals and weights, as developed within the FSRT offers the inclusion of an objective component, which can be used for internal or external debates and may support a rethink of certain historically evolved concepts.
What happens after the financial assessment? Does the tool suggest improvement actions or best practices?
The FSRT encompasses 21 selected performance indicators, which help to analyse a utility’s financial position. If the tool detects deficits in one of the evaluated areas, specific recommendations help to take the first step to improve financial stability. Moreover, the recommendations come together with advice on further reading to support the implementation of certain improvement measurements.
Is the tool suitable for every utility from Norway to Africa?
Since the Financial Sustainability Rating Tool is a standardised online tool, it cannot reflect every specific national regulatory framework, e.g. in the context of prices and tariffs. However, the tool can also be used by regulated utilities, so results can be the basis for discussions and debates with the economic regulator on potential system adaptations.
You can find the tool and additional information at http://fsrt-trust.ing.unibo.it/fsrt/ and at www.trust-i.net
141 highly innovative SMEs get funded under Phase 1 of the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument
141 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from 24 countries have been selected for funding in the latest round of Horizon2020 SME Instrument, for Phase 1. For each project, the participants will receive € 50,000 to finance feasibility studies for new products that can disrupt the market. They can also ask for up to three days of business coaching. The European Commission received 1873 proposals under Phase 1 by 17 September 2015, the third cut-off date for this year.
Italian SMEs were particularly successful with 30 beneficiaries accepted for funding, followed by firms from Spain (24) and the UK (15). Since the launch of the programme on 1st January 2014, 1099 SMEs have been selected under Phase 1 of the SME Instrument.
The results for the second phase of the SME Instrument, where companies get funding up to € 2.5 million to make their products ready for the market, will follow around mid-November 2015.
Source and more information on the Horizon 2020 website of the European Commission.Read More
LG Sonic among the Aquatech Innovation Award 2015 winners
The winners of the 2015 Aquatech Innovation Award were announced at the opening ceremony of the Amsterdam International Water Week and 25th edition of Aquatech Amsterdam, with many distinguished guests and keynote speakers present, including Karmenu Vella, European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries and Melanie Schultz van Haegen, Minister Infrastructure and the Environment, Government of the Netherlands.
WssTP member and winner of WssTP SME Awards 2014 & 2015, LG Sonic received the Aquatech Innovation Award 2015 in the category water supply/water treatment for the development and commercialization of the MPC-Buoy. This environmentally friendly system provides continuous online water quality monitoring to predict and control algae by using ultrasound technology, thereby offering a complete algae control solution.
The jury rewarded the MPC-Buoy for being a complete algae control solution; “We believe it will have an impact on the market because it is a fully integrated product and can work completely independently”.
At this moment, the MPC-Buoy is installed in lakes and water reservoirs in, among other countries, Azerbaijan, the United States of America, Canada, Colombia, the United Kingdom, Malaysia, and Poland. The MPC-Buoy will be displayed during the Aquatech Exhibition at Hall 1 stand 136 and at the InnovationLAB. Visitors will be able to find out more about all the winning entries at the InnovationLAB feature in the exhibition, part of an increased focus on innovation at the show.
Have a look at the results of Aquatech Innovation Award 2015:
[accordion] [acc_item title=”Overall winner, and category winner – Waste water treatment”]DyVaR O&G ZLD, Salttech BV[/acc_item] [acc_item title=”Category winner Water supply / water treatment”]MPC-Buoy: Monitor, Predict & Control Algal Blooms by LG Sonic BV – an ultrasonic system for treating algal blooms from Dutch company LG Sonic[/acc_item] [acc_item title=”Category winner Not-yet-to-market”]PearlAqua by AquiSense Technologies – a world-first UV LED water disinfection system from US company AquiSense Technologies[/acc_item]
[acc_item title=”Category winner – Process control technology & Process automation”]Hach Prognosys predictive diagnostic system by Hach – an instrument predictive diagnostic system[/acc_item] [acc_item title=”Category winner – Transport & Storage”]AQS-SYS, Aquarius Spectrum Ltd. – an automated system for detecting when leaks develop in supply networks from Israeli company Aquarius Spectrum[/acc_item] [/accordion]
Dragon’s Den: EIP Water’s got talent
In collaboration with Isle Utilities, the 2016 edition of the EIP Water Conference will present a “Dragon’s Den” or “EIP Water’s Got Talent” session in the afternoon of 10 February.
“EIP Water’s Got Talent” is designed to make it easier than ever before for innovators to connect with investors, partners and end users in a fun and interactive way. The feature will offer technology developers a critical and unrivalled chance to pitch their innovations to an expert panel and audience.
To participate, please complete and send the questionnaire below by 30th November 2015 to Isle Utilities. If shortlisted, you will be contacted to arrange a conference call for stage 2 of the due diligence process.
All further details and instructions can be found in the questionnaire.
For more information, please click here.Read More
PENTAIR PRESENTS BREAKTHROUGH WATER TREATMENT TECHNOLOGIES AT AQUATECH AMSTERDAM
Aquatech is the world’s leading trade exhibition on water treatment. At the forthcoming edition in Amsterdam RAI, which takes place from 3-6 November 2015, Pentair will present several breakthrough technologies in water purification. Two Pentair companies, Advanced Filtration and Water Purification, are both among the global market leaders in their respective fields. They will showcase their latest innovations and technologies for the separation, filtration, treatment and quality control of water and other fluids.
Pentair Advanced Filtration has just launched its new Helix flux enhancement technology. In ultrafiltration of high-strength wastewater with tubular membranes, Helix solves the problem of heavy membrane fouling by introducing constant turbulence. The resulting flux enhancement boosts productivity and reduces energy costs significantly. Helix is available on all X-flow tubular membrane modules. The latest addition to this product range, the 12 inch Compact 75G with high mechanical strength and high chemical resistance, was developed for the most demanding tasks in industrial wastewater treatment.
X-line is a revolutionary, pre-engineered ultrafiltration (UF) solution. With maximum flexibility in rack design and a minimized footprint, this unique concept is a complete and ready-to-use water purification system. Its robust design and versatility makes X-Line applicable in a wide range of industrial and municipal filtration operations. Another innovation is Aqualine, developed for pretreatment and as protection for Reverse Osmosis (RO) membranes. Aqualine is a high-flow microfiltration system with lower capital and operational costs than any comparable conventional system.
Pentair Water Purification focuses on residential, commercial and industrial water treatment applications. In many parts of the world, the quality of tap water leaves much to be desired, which allow new products from Water Purification to be the perfect match for the users daily needs :
- The Green RO encapsulated membrane provides an extremely efficient way to produce drinking water of the highest quality at home by saving 50% of water compared to other RO systems
- The Fleck 5800 valve Series includes now 2 new hydraulic bases and a new touch screen timer, for a maximum user-friendliness and versatility
- The Evolio softener, drawn to provide the market with a visually pleasing product, owns an innovative salt lid compartment which can be delicately opened with a simple touch.
On the e-tools, besides a new EMEA website and several apps, Pentair Water Purification will be unveiling the “Scan & Service” app. This new concept is based on the technology of augmented reality, that allows installers to find out everything about products just by scanning a special sticker on the product with their own smartphone.
Visitors of Aquatech Amsterdam will be able to find out more about these innovations, products, services, and technologies at Pentair booth 332 in hall 1 in Amsterdam RAI.
More information available on Pentair’s website.Read More