The European Commission is working towards adapting its work programme for 2020. The COVID19 crisis needs a strong response from the European Union to tackle the sanitarian, economic and societal crisis. The institution will soon release its new document in this regard.
At this stage, the Commissioner Sinkevičius sees this situation as an opportunity to take the right way of accelerating and updating our two priorities; the Green Deal and digitalisation. The zero-pollution strategy, biodiversity 2030 and the Farm to Fork strategy might not be too much affected by the delay.
Water Europe welcomes that the Green Deal and the digitalisation of Europe remain the two key priorities in the European response to the post COVID19. From our side, we contributed to this through a position paper, A Water-Smart Society for a successful post COVID19 recovery plan, stressing out the importance of water as a key enabler to reboot and accelerate the recovery towards a resilient and united Europe.
Together with the support of our ambassadors and different external stakeholders, particularly the members of the EU Water Alliance, Water Europe presents recommendations that water can contribute to the post-COVID-19 strategy through:
- Achieving a Water-Smart Society to reboot and build a resilient Europe.
- Supporting digitalisation for a water-driven sustainable growth.
- Encouraging an inclusive Water Smart society for our citizens
- Reinforcing European leadership to improve international solidarity.
The European Commission published today a new call for “Medical technologies, Digital tools and Artificial Intelligence (AI) analytics to improve surveillance and care at high Technology Readiness Levels (TRL).” The call supports solutions that are close-to-market or for further developing and maturing innovative solutions in one of the COVID-19 areas.
The call is for Innovation Actions of one of the following two categories to:
- Support solutions that are close-to-market (TRL 7) in one of the COVID-19 areas mentioned below and that have already received, or are about to receive, the CE marking to proceed to large scale testing, piloting and deployment operations in critical healthcare areas (or wherever else is relevant) (type 1);
- Support market innovation (from lab-to-fab) for further developing and maturing innovative solutions that have already been validated in lab environments (TRL 6-7 or higher) with the aim to help accelerate developments and achieve conformity assessment (CE marking) (type 2).
This topic addresses consortia consisting of innovative technology providers, including SMEs, and/or organisations that can offer the range of activities required to address the objectives of the topic; the latter could for example be based on Digital Innovation Hubs, digital health accelerators and knowledge hubs, Centres offering Pilot Lines or similar technology, business and/or knowledge transfer organisations.
Expected EU contribution per proposal between EUR 2 and 5 million. For proposals with financial support to third parties (FSTP), up to EUR 10 million may be requested. Total budget for this call EUR 56 million.
The call is single stage and closes on 11th June 2020.
For more information, click here.
Water Europe launched an online public consultation on its new upcoming publication titled ‘Water Europe contributions to the European Green Deal and Horizon Europe’. The publication aspires to stress how the WE Vision and SIRA relate to and feed the renewed European strategies and policies, with a strong focus on the European Green Deal and the Horizon Europe.
The results of the consultation will be used to finalise our document that aims to support those (EC and other EU Institution officers, researchers and innovators from private and public organisations, NGOs and CSOs, MS committees and advisory boards) who are engaged and responsible to develop contents and mechanisms of the European Green Deal and Horizon Europe, to identify the key water-related research and development needs.
We invite all the water sector’s stakeholders to have their say on the document by providing their valuable feedback until May 18, 2020. Start the questionnaire here!Read More
Water scarcity is one of the main challenges that the continent will have to face in the coming years. A third of Europe is already suffering water stress situations with drought in Greece, Portugal, or Spain, as well as difficulties in other countries like Germany, according to The European Environment Agency (EEA).
To bring innovative solutions for this reality, EIT Food will select a total of 30 startups – presented in Italy, Greece, and Spain – that seek to cope with water scarcity. The call, which will be held for the first time this year, is already open through this link and ends on the 7th of June.
The aim is to increase the competitiveness in Southern Europe through innovative solutions tackling water scarcity and drought, as well as its over-usage.
For more information on how to apply, please click here.Read More
Co-organised by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre and RSA Europe, the third “Conference on Smart Specialisation and Territorial Development: Connecting grand societal challenges with local goals in place-based innovation policy” will take place from the 30th of September to the 2nd of October 2020 in Seville, Spain.
The conference will provide a comprehensive picture of the Smart Specialisation policy experience, including an evaluation of its results and an account of its recent developments both conceptually and empirically.
The conference also offers an opportunity to discuss and compare different territorial development approaches, exploring how they engage with the European Commission’s priorities for 2019-2024 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Submission of complete special session and paper proposals should be sent through the Regional Studies Association online portal by the 15th of May 2020.Read More
AfriAlliance Needs & Solutions Hub is now online to match innovative solutions with water and climate-related needs of stakeholders
The Hub follows the core goal of AfriAlliance, which is to facilitate interactions amongst stakeholders to generate and share water and climate knowledge and innovation. In the AfriAlliance Needs & Solutions Hub, customers can search for solutions to their needs in the same way that solutions providers can identify needs that could benefit from their solutions.
The AfriAlliance Needs & Solutions Hub is interactive. Customers and solution providers can submit their specific needs and solutions to the Hub.
If you have a specific need to add to the Hub, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have a solution that matches one of the identified water-related needs of African stakeholders, please submit it to the AfriAlliance Solutions Hub here.
How does the Hub identify needs?
Often, customers do not have a clear vision of specific products or services they need, especially in the field of complex water and climate-related programs. To solve this issue, AfriAlliance adapted the approach Value Proposition Canvas (VPC) from individual to organisational level and to climate change impacts on water resources, especially in African contexts.
This adapted VPC focuses organisational tasks that are either triggered or affected by Climate Change, the main obstacles organisations are facing during such tasks (pains) and the improved outcomes they are trying to achieve (gains).
The needs-related content of the Hub was collated by the AfriAlliance partners in a combined top-down and bottom-up approach. The top-down approach reviewed knowledge needs expressed in calls for proposals, policy documents and strategic agendas. The bottom-up approach complemented this, by using the adjusted VPC approach in workshops, interviews and online surveys to identify needs at local level in interactions with more than 130 African stakeholders from 36 countries.
Creating an ever-growing pool of knowledge on water and climate needs & solutions
The portfolio of specific needs on the AfriAlliance Needs & Solutions Hub provides the ‘supply side’ of water innovation – such as entrepreneurs, industry players, researchers and scientists – with an outlook of opportunities to apply their research and innovation efforts, results and solutions to the specific water-related needs of African stakeholders that arise in the context of climate change.
In the longer run, the ambition is to enhance the Hub and include the needs of other African stakeholders, especially water users, in the AfriAlliance Needs & Solutions hub, along with other, emerging solutions. This will help create an ever-growing pool of knowledge on water and climate-related needs and solutions, especially for African contexts.
For more information, click here.Read More
The European Commission’s Joint Research Centre and the Directorate-General for Environment, are teaming up with the EU Hackathon’s winners Sewers4COVID with the assistance Water Europe and EurEau for a call for participation in a provisional pan-European Feasibility Assessment. The goal is to explore the development of a wastewater-based monitoring exercise for SARS-CoV-2 and exchange experiences in SARS-CoV-2 monitoring in wastewater.
To gather the ongoing efforts and to streamline protocols while facilitating the exchange of knowledge, interested research groups are invited to contact immediately the Joint Research Centre at JRCWATERLAB@ec.europa.eu.
A spontaneous snapshot exercise is taking place employing a previously used EU-wide monitoring mechanism at a selected number of wastewater treatment plants.
Full set of information and the call notice is available at this link.Read More
EU Water Alliance launches its manifesto: Opportunity & Νecessity for Europe to build a Water-Smart Society and Circular Economy
The EU Water Alliance is proud to release today its new Manifesto which aims to highlight the pressing water challenges Europe faces and to set out the key actions required to overcome them. Water issues are set to become the most pressing challenge for Europe in the coming years, as underlined by the recent 2020 UN Report. Europe must get ready to prevent water-related disasters by making our society resilient.
During this legislature, some key water-related legislation may be revised. What should our targets be to prevent water crises? What decisions should be made to have a sustainable water-driven growth and what is the way towards a Water-Smart Society & Circular Economy?
EUWA Manifesto: Our key messages
- Achieving a Water Smart Society is key to solving and preventing water crises.
- Green growth is the opportunity to reboot Europe after the COVID19 crisis, and it cannot be a success without water.
- We need to uphold and fully implement the high environmental standards.
- Supporting Nature-based solutions is an imperative.
- Boosting digitalisation is at the core of better resource management and a water-driven sustainable growth.
- Water-oriented Living Labs are vital to support local authorities and engage dialogue with citizens.
The EU Water Alliance is a coalition of European members-based organisations representing the wide range of water stakeholders across the entire value chain (associations, NGOs, universities, large water users, SMEs, water operators, and local authorities).
Authors of accepted abstracts have been invited to start submitting their contributions to the symposium platform – a dedicated networking space created for all of our symposium participants. Over the coming weeks all registered participants will be able meet and discuss the issues, cases and solutions that they face as water researchers and professionals in delivering water capacity, in its broadest sense, across the globe.
From May 26 to May 29 the symposium itself will present a series of live events including keynote presentations from world leading experts and specialist discussion Tracks which focus on issues ranging from complexity and negotiation to education and finance. You can find out more about the symposium – and what you need to do – here.Read More
A team consisting of five organisations, all of which are Water Europe members, won first place in one of the six categories of the #EUvsVirus Hackathon with the Sewers4COVID solution. Organised by the European Commission and led by the European Innovation Council, the goal of the #EUvsVirus Hackathon was to connect civil society, innovators, partners, and investors across Europe to develop innovative solutions for coronavirus-related challenges.
The organisations KWR Water Research Institute, Eurecat – Technology Centre of Catalonia, University of Thessaly, National Technical University of Athens and University of Exeter joined the hackathon from the 24 to the 26 of April 2020 and have developed the Sewers4COVID to integrate sewer surveillance and machine learning for an early warning on pandemic outbreaks, emergency response and recovery decision making in a timely and cost-effective manner.
Participants had 48 hours to collaborate via different online platforms and build a solution within the challenge areas. A total of 117 out of 2160 innovative solutions to tackle the coronavirus have been selected as winners of the European Innovation Council-led #EUvsVirus Hackathon.
Sewers4COVID includes participants from Greece, Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom who have developed a sewer surveillance platform for early virus detection to help decision-makers direct resources where they are most needed.
The 117 solutions were selected by a jury and weighted according to impact potential (40%), technical complexity & novelty (20%), prototype completion (20%), and efficacy of business plan (20%). Winners and two runners up were also selected for each challenge, of which there are 37. Cash prizes will be offered by partners to winners of their choosing – a total of over €100,000 has been pledged by partners to date.
In the next two weeks, the financing and resource needs of the winning teams to develop and scale their ideas, as well as the financing and resources that partners are willing to dedicate, will be collated. From 22 to 25 May, a Matchathon event will take place to match the needs with available resources. Winning solutions will be invited to join an EIC COVID Platform – to be launched at the end of May – to facilitate connections with end-users, such as hospitals, and provide access to investors, foundations, and other funding opportunities from across the EU.
– KWR Water Research Institute (Dragan Savic FREng, Lydia Vamvakeridou-Lyroudia, Frederic Been, Gertjan Medema)
– Eurecat – Technology Centre of Catalonia (Gabriel Anzaldi Varas, Xavier Domingo i Albin, Lluis Echeverria, Marc Ribalta Gené)
– University of Thessaly (Chrysi Laspidou, Dimitris Kofinas, Alexandra Ioannou)
– National Technical University of Athens (Maria P. Papadopoulou)
– University of Exeter (Mehdi Khoury, Gareth Lewis, Albert Chen)
Learn more about the SEWERS4COVID project.Read More