Tomas Michel, Editorial: Summer Edition 2020
Dear Water Europe Family,
After some days of rest, we are ready for a new season. Unfortunately, so will be COVID-19, keeping up the challenge of delivering maximal value to our members, despite the difficulties.
Despite COVID-19, WIE2020 took place in June with the largest participation ever. This (first) digital edition well exceeded our own and participant´s expectations. Over 500 participants joined us for 5 days online during an innovative water week with 5 plenary sessions, 6 Water Europe Innovation Awards sessions, 2 side events and 16 Working Group meetings. More than 200 B2B meetings took place and participants visited 15 virtual booths at the digital exhibition area. Digital has come to stay, and we are very proud to have been able to offer our community this digital experience, overcoming the COVID-19 challenge, turning adversity into opportunity. If you missed WIE2020 or you wish to remind yourselves of the key highlights and messages of the conference, check out our new YouTube video.
Following the 2020 Annual General Meeting, WE has a new Board composition for the period 2020-2021. In line with the new governance adopted five Vice-Presidents will be elected by the Board in September to lead different portfolios according to the main priorities of Water Europe. At WIE the Water Europe Annual Report, presenting our association´s progress, was released. This year, we have gone one step further and have launched our report in an innovative and interactive web format. Check it out and browse online all our activities and developments!
The past season ended with the launch of the Water Vision Implementation Strategy 2020-2027 entitled ‘Water Europe contributions to the European Green Deal and Horizon Europe’. This new publication stresses 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.
To support this strategy, our Working Groups and Vision Leadership Teams are working and collaborating to produce white papers that will be used to support WE’s advocacy activities towards a Water-Smart Society with science-based arguments. With new incorporations and a reorganization of our staff, this essential activity will be further strengthened and better supported by WE.
Water Oriented Living Labs are an essential priority of the WE strategy to drive water innovation and market uptake. Thus, from the 2nd to the 4th of September, Water Europe will participate to the ENOLL Digital Living Labs Days.
To increase the visibility of running or recently closed projects, and to strengthen their collaboration with the EC and other stakeholders we have created a new event ‘Water Projects Europe’ and scheduled its 1st edition from the 5th to the 9th of October. This edition will be dedicated to the topic ‘Industrial Water Reuse’.
Water Knowledge Europe on Horizon Europe 2021 will take place from the 14th to the 18th of December 2020. The ultimate format for this event, largely based on our big family coming together and exchanging ideas and opportunities, still depends on the COVID-19 status we shall encounter at the time. Yet, I am sure it will be, as usual, a success.
Don’t miss out on our guest editorial article below by Christopher Gasson, keynote speaker of WIE2020.