“Spanish stakeholders are very interested in the water challenge and the Water EIP,” said Antonia Morales Perez, Innovation Manager at Cefic, representing SusChem at the meeting. “Spain, due to its geographical situation, is one of the most exposed European countries in terms of drought and this has a significant impact on the agricultural and industrial sectors.”
Robert Schroder, from the European Commission DG Environment updated the meeting on the 'European Innovation Partnership on Water'. The Communication to the European Parliament and the Council is now expected on April 12 and should be endorsed by June.
The Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP) developed under the EIP should start at the end of the year, and the priorities defined in the SIP will be the basis for the calls and 'Innovation Activities' selection in 2013. A variety of different funding mechanisms will be used for the EIP calls including FP7, Life, Structural and Cohesion funds, European Investment Bank, and others.
The Water EIP will:
- Join up knowledge and actions at European level to improve competitiveness through cooperation via a multidisciplinary, multi-sectoral approach
- Be focused on Innovation: not necessarily breakthroughs, but bringing ideas or technologies into the market and creating business opportunities
- Help to remove barriers (technological and non-technological) to water innovation
- Facilitate demonstration or pilots to test the value of the innovative solutions and dissemination
The current status of the Joint Programming Initiative (JPI) ‘Water Challenges for a Changing World’ was presented. The JPI, coordinated by Spain, is a Public - Public initiative focused on the preparation of a Strategic Research Agenda. It is led jointly by The Netherlands and Spain and now includes some 14 States as partners and 8 as observers
The European Water Platform (WssTP) outlined a list of pilot projects, located in several European Countries, with the aim of tackling a variety of topics to achieve more sustainable water management systems.
Antonia Morales discussed SusChem’s ‘Symbiotic approach model’. This is based on the integration of the Urban-Agricultural/bio-based economy and industrial areas, to implement innovative solutions that will allow: Reduced use of fresh water, Recycling of water, Reuse of water, Recovery of valuable material from waste water and optimisation of the Water-Energy nexus.
Other presentations included:
- Renewable energies applied to water treatment and desalination
- Cost reduction (water treatments and supply)
- Advanced water treatment technologies (nanotechnology, biotechnology)
- ICT solutions for water management
- Participation of SMEs in the development and implementation of innovative solutions
For more information on activities in SusChem’s Water priority, please contact Antonia Morales Perez at Cefic.