Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Sustainable Chemistry at Forefront of Water EIP Implementation

Today (18 December) the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on Water published its Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP) at a meeting of the High Level Steering Group in Brussels. The chemical industry underlined its commitment to the EIP’s objectives to develop and deploy innovative solutions to the water challenges facing Europe and the world.

This second meeting of the Steering Group of the EIP on Water was led by European Environment Commissioner Janez Poto─Źnik. The chemical industry’s commitment to the work and implementation of the SIP was voiced by Anton Valero, CEO of Dow Iberica, who is a member of the high-level steering group.

“The chemical industry fully supports the aims of the water innovation partnership,” said Valero. “We are ready to provide high-impact, cutting-edge solutions to one of Europe’s and the world’s most pressing problems”.

Janez Poto─Źnik commented: "We need innovation to solve our water challenges, and to help deliver on the objectives of the Blueprint to Safeguard Europe's Water Resources that we recently adopted. The Water Innovation Partnership brings together the private and public actors who can take ideas to the market. Implementing the Strategic Implementation Plan will not only ensure that enough good quality water is available to meet the needs of people, the economy and the environment, it will also strengthen the European water industry on the global market which is expected to double by 2030."

Intense cooperation
“Water issues go well beyond the boundaries of the water sector,” said Gernot Klotz, Cefic R&I Executive Director. “Our engagement in the partnership is a natural fit: the chemical sector is significantly innovating in its process to be more water efficient and is one of the biggest solutions providers addressing water challenges through new materials and technologies.”

To achieve implementation of the SIP will require intense cooperation between the EIP on Water and other knowledge-driven activities at the European, national and regional level. The platform intends to work directly with existing initiatives, such as FP7 and Horizon 2020, as well as other European and national activities such as Technology Platforms, including of course SusChem, and other EIPs of interest for the chemical sector: Critical Raw Materials and Smart Cities.

The candidate Public Private Partnership SPIRE (Sustainable Process Industry through Resource and Energy Efficiency), proposed by the chemical industry together with seven other industrial sectors, will also make a considerable contribution to many of the priorities highlighted by the EIP on Water including water recycling and reuse, and the water-energy nexus.

€40 million of FP7 research funding will be made available in 2013 to support projects that contribute to the aims of the EIP Water. A call for proposals is now open with a closing date of 4 April 2013 and an information day for potential applicants is being organised in Brussels on 15 January 2013 by DG Research and Innovation. Registration for this event is open until 10 January 2013 but there is limit on participation on-site of 250 delegates. The event will also be web-streamed.

A call for expressions of commitment to the EIP Water Action Groups is also open to stakeholders.

About the SIP
The SIP looks at nine previously identified priority areas and briefly analyses challenges, bottlenecks, market opportunities and objectives for each. From this analysis 27 Actions have been identified around which Action Groups will be formed. The Action Groups will be at the core of the implementation strategy and will be reviewed twice a year.

In addition to the action groups a number of Commission-led EIP initiatives are proposed including an annual EIP on Water stakeholder meeting, a web-based market place for water innovations plus other tools such as trade missions.

Water chemistry
The European chemical industry fully supports the objective of the EIP on Water as water is an increasingly valuable resource for the industry and a crucial element in the sector’s competitiveness.

Significant investments in water innovations will address societal and environmental issues in order to develop recycling processes and wastewater treatment that will deliver highest impact and provide opportunities. The EIP Water will also be the driver for future investments decisions that will create jobs and growth.

Innovations from the chemical sector could lead to a 20% reduction in water and water-related energy usage, as well as in industrial waste water production (reduction of 20-40% in water use, 30-70% in waste production, 15-40% in energy use).

For more information on the chemical industry’s commitment and input to the EIP on Water and other water-related innovation activities, please contact Antonia Morales-Perez, Innovation Manager at Cefic.

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