Tomas Michel, President’s Editorial, Summer Edition 2021
Dear Water Europe family,
At a moment when most of us, and yourself probably, are slowly returning from a well-deserved rest, it is time to look back at some of the important events and milestones Water Europe has been able to convert into success stories.
We have continued and will continue for the larger part of the year, being unable to meet physically or in person. For an association whose main objective is coming together and collaboration this might be considered a handicap. Yet, Water Europe has managed, once again, to overcome problems and find imaginative solutions.
This year’s edition of Water Innovation Europe 2021 gathered more than 500 zoom-participants and 100 speakers across Europe to discuss the challenges and solutions towards a Water-Smart Society for Global Impact. An additional 6.700 contacts followed the web-streaming of the event over social media. During the event, we had 5 plenary sessions, 17 Working Group meetings, 8 Workshops, 10 Side events, 8 digital booths and the Water Europe Annual General Meeting. We have compiled all the key take-home messages from this year’s edition in this factsheet. In case you missed our event, enjoy its highlights in this short video.
Technology also came to the rescue for our Annual General Meeting (AGM), held in the context of the digital edition of Water Innovation Europe 2021 conference on the 18th of June 2020. Digital proved its value and we had again a great turnout. The Board presented its Annual Report 2021, and all the Vice-Presidents gave an overview of all the activities in their portfolios. Elections by each of the colleges who had a Board Members finalizing his or her term were held at the end of the AGM to nominate new representatives to the Water Europe Board. We want to thank all those coming forward with candidatures for their commitment with Water Europe, and to congratulate those elected, who we wish a fruitful and successful term. To check the new composition of the board for the period 2021-2023, please click here.
Just before the summer break, the European Commission opened the calls for proposals for the Work Programme 2021-2022 of Horizon Europe and we seized the opportunity to organise a special half-day summer edition of Water Knowledge Europe to offer our network a full overview of the Horizon Europe (HEU) programme. Water Europe made an analysis of the Horizon Europe calls that all the event’s participants received, and more than 100 calls were identified as calls with great potential for water. Speakers from the European Commission shared their analyses and insights about the new programme and provided valuable tips on how to write a winning project proposal.
More recently, Water Europe has been working on the National Recovery and Resilience plans position paper, identifying water-related investments for a post-covid19 Europe. This has been a follow-up mapping exercise to Water Europe’s position on COVID-19 released last year. Same time, WE developed a position paper to reply to the public consultation for a strategy on Sustainable Textile Industry, building on the conclusions of the first session of Water Innovation Europe 2021 and the inputs from the Water Europe members.
COVID will stay with us still for years to come, but better times are showing up already around the corner. I wish you all a good return from a restful and refreshing summer.