Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Water Task Force Priorities

The Task Force set up to draft the Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP) for the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on Water met for the first time on 25 September in Brussels.

The Task Force has 45 members covering a wide representation of stakeholders al with great interest in solving, through innovation, the current water challenges that Europe and the rest of the world are facing. The chemical industry is represented by Gernot Klotz (for Cefic and SusChem) and Markus Bush (of Dow Water Solutions and also representing Cefic).

“This first meeting of the Task Force was a very productive meeting, mainly dedicated to discussing the priorities to be selected as a further step to those already proposed by the Steering Group,” commented Gernot Klotz.

Priorities
The three priorities already selected by the EIP High-Level Steering Group were:

  • Water-energy nexus
  • Water governance
  • Financing for innovation.

Following a ranking exercise two further priorities stood out and the Task Force consensus was to add these as EIP on Water priorities. These priorities are:

  • Water re-use and recycling
  • Water and wastewater treatment

Three further priorities were also selected by the Task Forcefollowing an in-depth discussion at the meeting. They are:

  • Risk management of water-related extreme events (floods & droughts)
  • Management models and monitoring
  • Ecosystem services

Out of the eight priorities chosen by the Task Force, some have clear cross cutting characteristics, whereas others are priorities in themselves.

From the chemical industry point of view all the priorities reflect the value of a “Symbiotic approach” based on the integration of the Urban-Rural and Industrial areas that will achieve faster implementation of innovative solutions and obtain the maximum benefit from the synergies among them. The priorities, their innovation potential, market opportunities and concrete actions will be described in the EIP on Water (SIP) that will be drafted by the Task Force

A summary report on the outcomes of the Task Force meeting is available on the Water EIP website.

The Task Force proposal has to be approved by the Steering Group during October. The Task Force will then start writing a first draft of the SIP, including concrete activities related to the full set of priorities.

The Task Force reports to the EIP’s High-level Steering Group which provides strategic guidance for the development of the SIP. The SIP document should be finished by the end of November and approved by the Steering Group before the end of this year.

Background
The background to the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on Water is outlined in the European Commission Communication of May 2012. The EIP will be a tool to support the Blueprint to safeguard Europe's water resources, which will be presented by the Commission in November 2012 as the water milestone of the European Commission’s Resource Efficiency roadmap.

For more information on SusChem activities in the water sector contact Antonia Morales Perez, Innovation Manager at Cefic.

Note this is an update to an article first published on 3 October 2012.

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