RIMA (Robotics for Inspection and Maintenance), has launched its first open call with €8.1million equity-free funding for small & medium-sized and slightly bigger companies.
Launched within the framework of the H2020, RIMA 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 from September to December 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.Read More
Networking, knowledge sharing, experience exchange, and collaborative activities are essential to address common water challenges, develop new solutions and shape successful project consortia. Our Collaboration programme at Water Europe is all about making these happen and our Working Groups are the beating heart of this programme.
As a major instrument in Water Europe’s ambition to achieve a Water Smart Society, our Working Groups are members’ driven and dynamically structured to allow WE members to meet, network, and collaborate around specific water-related challenges and work-out solutions. Water Europe currently counts 17 active Working Groups, among which we have five new ones launched over the last year. Our new Working Groups address the themes of Water & Climate; Water Security; Water & Energy; Water and Human Capital and Water Distribution Infrastructure. Among the most recent achievements of our Working Groups have been the new publication of the WG Water Beyond Europe titled “Water in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: How Europe can act?” and the organisation of the CybersecureWater Workshop in Barcelona, organised by the WG Water & ICT and AIOTI, with the support of Cetaqua, Eurecat, FEUGA, and SUEZ.
WE Working Groups produce bi-annual work plans, aligned and harmonised to their respective scopes and objectives, during their face to face or online meetings across the year. Only during the last year, our Working Groups convened 36 times back to back to Water Europe’s main events and other occasions.
Each WE WG is led by a leadership team whose members act as Water Europe Ambassadors advocating for a Water Smart Society. WE Working Groups remain open for new members along the year.Read More
Launched in July 2018, HYDROUSA project already counts one year of work.
Financed by Horizon 2020, Hydrousa will provide innovative, regenerative and circular solutions for: (1) nature-based water management of Mediterranean coastal areas, closing water loops; (2) nutrient management, boosting the agricultural and energy profile; and (3) local economies, based on circular value chains.
The services provided will lead to a win-win-win situation for the economy, environment and community within the water-energy-food-employment nexus. HYDROUSA water loops will include water from non-conventional sources including wastewater, rainwater, seawater, groundwater and vapour water, all resulting in recovered and marketable products. Water Europe is participating in this project which involves 27 European partners from 10 countries and has 25 replication actions all over the world. The project has now launched its new video that you can watch here. To learn more about Hydrousa project, please visit its website.Read More
The continuous existence of humanity depends crucially on its ability to achieve a more sustainable and self-sufficient future envisaged by the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This depends largely on a better understanding of the complexities and the interdependencies between various resource sectors, e.g., water, energy, food and land, to name a few.
Water and energy, as the key elements of this nexus, are inextricably linked – water supply depends on energy and energy supply depends on water. Due to population growth, climate change and economic development, both sectors face rising future demands and stricter constraints on potential sources. These additional pressures will intensify the interdependencies between the sectors bringing further challenges to achieving SDGs and nexus security.
Even with the considerable progress being made with the SDGs we have today a situation that more than 2.2 billion people worldwide lack access to safe drinking water with more than half of the world population (4.2 billion) lacking access to proper sanitation. The situation with global electrification rate is better, although about 840 million people still lack electricity access (or 11% of the global population). Furthermore, an estimated 8% will not have access to electricity in 2030, with 90% of them being in sub-Saharan Africa. The link between water and energy is often less prominent in these SDG considerations, thus making it difficult to think of synergistic technological and policy solutions that benefit both sectors. The following examples illustrate some of the research and practical applications that can lead to a more secure nexus and get us closer to achieving the SDGs.
Renewables, water and hydrogen
Many agree that renewable energy technologies can help limit and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases to mitigate global climate change. Nowadays, more than a quarter of global electricity is generated from renewables and that trend is increasing. However, due to a spatial and temporal imbalance between sources of renewables and energy demand, there is a great need for energy conversion and storage technologies. Those technologies could address the issues with energy grid congestion, curtailment or seasonal/spatial shortages. Furthermore, they could address the issue of renewables currently not being well integrated into the heating, cooling and transport sectors, which are among the largest in terms of energy usage around the world.
‘Green hydrogen’, which is produced from water by electrolysis using dedicated or excess renewable energy, is a part of the systemic answer to the zero-emission climate puzzle. Hydrogen generated by renewables promises solutions to energy storage, distribution and power-to-heat challenges leading to a clean, reliable and affordable energy system. Abstracting, treating and distributing water in cities require energy, which for the large part can be generated from renewables and stored via the green hydrogen technology. The route to urban water utility zero-emission, secure and affordable energy future will probably include a great deal of green hydrogen.
Another promising technology with the potential to contribute to achieving a zero-emission water utility is sewer mining. In theory, enough energy from organic waste can be recovered from wastewater to provide the energy required in the urban water cycle. However, these organics are present in relatively low concentrations. This also means that there is a lot of water that can be potentially recovered from wastewater and reused with the additional benefit of resulting in more concentrated organics. In the sewer mining project CoRe Water (Concentration, Recovery, Reuse), high-quality water is extracted from sewage by means of forward osmosis (FO) in combination with a reconcentration system, e.g., reverse osmosis (RO), while the concentrated sewage waste is converted into a renewable energy source (i.e., biogas). First results are encouraging and CoRe Water pilots are currently underway to evaluate the effectiveness of FO membranes in the recovery of water from sewage.
Depending on geohydrological conditions, aquifer thermal energy storage (ATES) systems may allow for efficient storage energy for space heating and cooling in many regions worldwide. Surplus heat can be stored in aquifers in the summer and then recovered for use in the winter. Thermal energy may also be abstracted from the native groundwater stored in the aquifer or from surface water sources. For regions that have substantial diurnal or seasonal variations in ambient air temperature, it may be possible to produce and balance the need for both heating and cooling energy. Extensive practical experience with seasonally balanced ATES systems has been gained in the Netherlands. These ATES systems store seasonal thermal energy at relatively low temperatures (below 25°C) alternating between cooling and heating mode, the latter must be assisted by a heat pump. In a country with a temperate climate and widespread presence of shallow sedimentary aquifers suitable for storage, the number of ATES systems in the Netherlands has grown rapidly in the past decade to almost 3,000 systems nowadays. Although recent research has shown that the design and operation of these systems can still be improved, there is a large and clear potential for the water sector to contribute to the energy transition. Through their experience of managing water systems from sources to customer taps, water utilities can contribute to the provision of sustainable thermal energy from available water sources and subsurface storage in ATES systems. Furthermore, their expertise in managing water distribution systems can also be transferred or utilized in managing district heating networks.
Water and energy are inextricably linked and those interdependencies can only intensify in the future leading to many difficult challenges:
- Firstly, looking into the future they both face rising demands and stricter constraints on potential sources. On the positive side, while in the past they were considered separately there is more evidence of growing realisation that the nexus approach is necessary to meet those increasing demands. The three examples of technologies presented here show that ample synergy can be found in the water and energy cycles, which can lead to the much wider development of renewable energy sources and zero-emission water systems.
- Secondly, water and energy systems are entering the digital era, which can help achieve better management of individual sectors and also enable better integration between them. Both sectors also face challenges associated with interoperability (software, interfaces and equipment) and data sharing. Smart water networks and smart energy grids will benefit from efficiency gains, improved security and sustainability afforded by the digital transformation of the sectors, but will only flourish if the two smart systems start working together.
- Thirdly, researchers and practitioners from the two sectors seldom mix, thus quite a lot of opportunities for integration are missed. This separation also contributes to the lack of available synergistic policies for water and energy. The situation is also not helped by the research funders issuing separate calls for proposals for water and energy.
The emergence of circular economy concepts and new business models associated with the move away from a linear economy should be a cause for optimism. For example, water and energy reuse are linked by innovative technologies. This may then lead to new business models for combined water/energy markets, zero-emissions in both sectors and win-win situations. Climate change awareness is also helping to promote green energy and storage, energy optimization, energy recovery and resource efficiency actions. Water can play a significant role in these technologies primarily aimed at energy. Therefore, clean energy and clean water is not a pipe dream, but a dream future for humanity.
Dear Water Europe family!
It feels strange not to use the WssTP name any longer, and believe me…., it will take some doing to get it fully out of our heads. That is because a lot of time, personal involvement, valuable input, hard work and significant achievements stand behind this name.
All of that we intend, of course, to drag along into our new name as visualized with the growing list of Ηonorary Members, who have contributed so significantly in the past.
Water Innovation Europe (WIE) 2019 the flagship institutional event of Water Europe was once more a huge success. I want to publicly acknowledge and congratulate our staff and all those who participated in the organization of this most successful event.
This edition was clearly better than the previous one. It is impossible to set up such a high quality, high impact event, without the direct and most personal implication of all those involved. So, thank you to all, and congratulations on the results obtained!
Within WIE, we also had the first Water Europe General Assembly, elections to the Board (in some colleges), and elections for a new two-year term of Water Europe presidency. Let me welcome our new Board Members and allow me to use this opportunity to express gratitude and above all an utmost sense of responsibility for the continued support I am receiving from our Board.
Water Europe is more than just a new name, it anticipates a bright future! With this much stronger brand, which much better reflects our goals and ambitions, I look forward during this new term to working even closer with our Working Groups and Cluster Leaders.
Those who know me well, know I have the uptake into practice of all the knowledge and value Water Europe can mobilize, very specially at heart. I believe its time for Water Europe to show results!
Living Labs and a clear strategy make Water Europe stronger, and bring the market and innovation closer! It’s time to move! The launch of our new publications on the SDGs, the WoLLs, as well as, other publications soon to follow, are good examples. Another one will be the participation of our three vertical Clusters in the Open Living Labs Day event from the 3rd to the 5th of September in Thessaloniki, Greece. Water Knowledge Europe 2019 has been scheduled for 30 and 31 of October and Water Market Europe 2020 events are already currently under preparation, too.
Have a great summer…., have a well-deserved rest,… and buckle up for more, to come and happen!
Water EuropeRead More
Public Consultation: EJWP opens a new consultation dedicated to water-related organisations focusing on Human Capital
Within the WG Water & Human Capital, The European Junior Water Programme has opened a public consultation to map the situation on human capital in the European Water sector.
For this survey, the eight water professionals from the European Junior Water programme based themselves in the definition of Human Capital of the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development). According to the OECD, human capital is defined as: “the knowledge, skills, competencies and attributes embodied in individuals that facilitate the creation of personal, social and economic well-being”.
If you are a relevant stakeholder in this sector, please fell free to fill in this survey HERE
For your Information, the link will still open until Friday 19th July midnight. The survey lasts 10 minutes maximumRead More
Water Europe is pleased to launch the first edition of the “Atlas of the European Water-Oriented Living Labs” which contains a first-ever mapping and categorisation of European WoLLs (Water-oriented Living Labs).
What are the Water-Oriented Living Labs?
WoLLs are a key tool for the implementation of Water Europe’s Vision “The Value of Water”, to promote the systematic innovations in the water systems that are needed to achieve a Water-Smart Society and economy. WoLLs are defined as:
-Real-life, water-oriented demo-type and platform-type environments of a cross-sector nexus approach.
-‘Field labs’ where a combination of solutions can be developed, tested and validated.
-Open and local multi-stakeholder governance structures with democratic control systems.
5 Key Findings
- Over 200 RDI settings were identified in 24 European countries.
- In total, 105 water oriented living lab research settings met the Water Europe Living Labs assessment criteria.
- The majority of Water oriented Living Labs are located in Denmark, France, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, and UK.
- The water oriented living labs have various organizational forms: action lab, association, cluster, experimental catchment, urban lab, water treatment plant, research platform, and network platform.
- The geographical scale of the majority of living labs is sub regional.
To download the Publication, please click HERERead More
AfriAlliance Call to Action – Put your organisation on the map of organisations working on water & climate issues in Africa & Europe
Is your organisation working in the fields of water and climate actions in Africa and/or Europe? Then become part of the AfriAlliance Stakeholder Map by participating in this short survey.
In order to achieve improved interactions to overcome knowledge fragmentation in climate and water issues, we need to generate a profound understanding of how people, groups, organizations and networks currently interact – within Africa and between Africa and the European Union – in the context of water and climate actions.
An initial map of the AfriAlliance stakeholders and interactions has already been developed (You can find it here).
The responses to this survey will allow us to gain a better depiction of the networks and the key institutions working in the area of water and climate as well as their relationships to ultimately enlarge the initial map. This will enable us to enlarge the map of the AfriAlliance Stakeholder Map and to identify gaps as well as key connections.
Please, complete this survey on behalf of your organisation hereRead More
Water Europe is pleased to announce the composition of its Board of Directors for the period 2019-2020.
The Annual General Meeting was held in the context of the WE Water Innovation Europe 2019 conference on 12th of June 2019 in Brussels. The Board of Directors is the Water Europe’s deliberative and decision-making body with representatives from all five corporate membership colleges.
The priorities of the new board for the next term will include a further strengthening of the WE WGs structure and WE Vision Leadership Teams, rolling out the WE Water-Oriented Living Labs concepts, as one of the cornerstones of our Vision and SIRA, strengthening WE membership among industrial water users, public authorities, civil society organisations, in Eastern European EU Member States, and advocacy for a progressive and innovative EU water policy that will enable the transition to a European Water-Smart Society
To discover the Water’s Europe decision-making body, please click hereRead More
WssTP, the recognized voice and promoter of water-related Research, Technology and Innovation in Europe, announced its name change to Water Europe during the Water Innovation Awards Ceremony on the 12th of June in Brussels.
Whilst, the name WssTP is well known in the EU water sector and is fondly embedded into our work the last 15 years, we believe the time has come to progress to the next stage, with a name that reflects more accurately its evolution, as well as its vision for the future.
Want to know more about our new name ? Read the full press-release hereRead More