Tomas Michel, President’s Editorial
Dear Water Europe family,
2021 is coming to a close and over the last couple of months, we hosted two events and a members’ general meeting, restructured our collaboration programme, released new position papers, joined the EU’s zero pollution stakeholder platform, and the list could go on and on. Until the last days of the year, Water Europe remains active and busy on all its fronts.
After 2 years of virtual events, Water Knowledge Europe 2021 came back in a hybrid edition in Brussels on November 9-10, offering all participants the opportunity to catch up with their peers in person, while also keeping the digital interaction ongoing. Over 100 attendees joined the event, which was structured in one main session, a networking dinner, one Horizon Europe Workshop, fifteen Working Groups meetings and several B2B sessions.
Next to Water Knowledge Europe, we hosted last week also the Water Projects Europe event dedicated to the ‘Integrated water-smart strategies for industrial processes’ with over 300 registered participants and online viewers. Speakers from 5 innovative EU-projects Waste2Fresh, AccelWater, IntelWATT, AquaSPICE, iWAYS, the HaDEA and Process4Planet joined the panel discussion sharing with attendees the reasons why it’s crucial to preserve freshwater in industrial processes and how these projects can play a role in the integration of water-smart strategies.
Following October’s board meeting, new changes in the WE Collaboration Programme 2021-2024 have now come in place with the new structure of the VLT and WGs established, and the leadership teams appointed. What is new is the grouping of the WGs in six thematic clusters. This has been done on the one hand to stimulate related WGs to collaborate and coordinate and to help with the communication and marketing of the work done by the WGs to the outside world.
Great news this month is further that Water Europe has been selected by the European Commission as a member of the EU’s Zero Pollution Stakeholder Platform to represent the innovative water sector. The Platform aims at bringing together stakeholders and experts of different policy areas (health, agriculture, research and innovation, transport, digitalisation, and the environment) to effectively mainstream the zero-pollution agenda, promote collaboration, foster integrated solutions and actions that maximise synergies with decarbonisation and post-COVID 19 recovery efforts.
Water Europe is about innovation and almost half a year ago, five winners were awarded for their innovative solutions at the Water Europe Innovation Awards 2021. In this newsletter’s edition, they take the time to share with us their exciting developments and progress since then. Enjoy the reading!
As a complex and difficult year comes to an end, we should be proud of what has been, so far, achieved. The way ahead looks positive and inspiring. Water Europe has not only shown resilience adapting to the pandemic situation, but also innovative spirit finding new formulas to continue doing what we all know to do best: Creating an as visible as possible podium for water, sharing and explaining our view of a Water Smart society.
I wish you all a very happy Christmas, and the year, which is just around the corner, to be a better one!