Couverture Stakeholders Report - Danish Water Forum

Couverture Stakeholders Report - Danish Water Forum

WssTP Stakeholders’ Event


17-18 May 2011

Brussels, Belgium

Strengthen collaboration

in research and innovation

for a “water efficient Europe”

Water and wastewater services play

a major economic role in Europe,

directly providing more than 600,000 jobs for

over 70,000 water services operators.

Water services are delivered through

more than 3.5 million km of drinking water networks,

more than 2.2 million km of sewers

and almost 70,000 wastewater treatment plants.

Annual investments in the sector represent overall

more than €33,000 million.

The annual turnover for the sector is around €72,000 million.

Our vision

“By 2030 the European water sector

will be regarded as the global leader

in the provision of sustainable water services.”

Table of contents

Executive Summary p. 2

Recommendations & Key figures p. 2

Setting the scene: p. 3

1. The EC activities towards water innovation

2. The activities of EU stakeholders

Inputs from stakeholders p. 5

1. How to better coordinate water actors

2. How to better innovate towards water efficiency

3. How to better integrate research results

Wrap-up & Concluding remarks p. 8

Conclusions p. 8

Glossary p. 8

Contact, Annex & Credits p. 9

In short

The 4 th Annual WssTP Stakeholder’s Event was held on

17 th and 18 th May in Brussels, Belgium. Its aim was to

discuss the concrete actions needed to identify the key

drivers to boost the competitiveness and innovation

potential of the water sector.

The objective of this report is to summarise the

contributions and expectations of the stakeholders

from the water sector to the European Commission.

The report will be a contribution from WssTP to the

Common Strategic Framework (CSF) for EU Research

and Innovation funding which will shape the future

European Innovation Partnership (EIP) for a “Water

Efficient Europe”.

Key figures

- 105 participants from 14 European countries

- 6 different DGs from the European Commission

represented during the morning session

- 14 presentations, 5 sessions, 3 workshops,

1 wrap-up session

- 1 report

A look at the agenda

Tuesday 17th May

Networking Cocktail

18h - 21h

Opening session, with Manuela Soares, European

Commission, DG RTD, Director and Mike Farrimond,

Chair of WssTP.

Wednesday 18th May

Setting the scene

Setting the scene with speakers from 6 DGs of the

European Commission:

Panagiotis Balabanis, DG RTD

Robert Schröder, DG Environment

Rosario Bento Pais, DG Climate

Antonios Barbas, DG Infso

Henriette van Eijl, DG Enterprise

María José Doval Tedín, DG Regional Policy

Moderator: Paul Reiter, IWA

Followed by a presentiation of the on-going EU

initiatives for water led by different stakeholders.

Enrique Playan, JPI WATER

Xavier Chazelle, ACQUEAU

Theo van den Hoven, WssTP

Consultation of Stakeholders

in 3 Workshops

Workshop 1: Promote a coordinated research

and Enabling Framework

Workshop 2: What is ressource efficiency for


Workshop 3: Interface Technology and Politics


Closing Session

Report of the conclusions to the European Commission.

Luisa Prista, DG RTD

Peter Gammeltoft, DG Environment

Mike Farrimond, WssTP



The 4 th Annual WssTP Stakeholder’s Event was held on

17 th and 18 th May in Brussels, Belgium. It aimed to discuss

the concrete actions needed to identify the key drivers and

actions necessary to boost the competitiveness and

innovation potential of the water sector. The Water supply

and sanitation Technology Platform (WssTP) has identified

three key gaps to address the need to boost the European

competitiveness of the water sector:

1. A better collaboration between EU water actors

2. A quicker innovation to bring more research to

the market

3. A stronger integration of research results to

speed up the innovation process

The European Commission (EC) is currently in the process

of establishing the future EU funding schemes and a

Common Strategic Framework (CSF); implementing the

objectives of the Innovation Union and shaping the

European Innovation Partnership (EIP) for “Water Efficient

Europe”. To ensure the creation of an efficient,

coordinated and strong European water research area, the

participants of the WssTP’s stakeholder workshop

provided key inputs on the important challenges related to

coordination of EU policies for the water sector, innovation

for improved water efficiency and integration of research

results to boost the innovation cycle.

The discussions underlined the strong commitment from

the EC and from EU stakeholders to support more research

activities and synergies within the water sector. The

different debates however highlighted an insufficient

coordination between the different DGs of the EC and the

need to set up strong coordinated governance that will

support boosting the competiveness of the European

water sector.

The participants of the WssTP called upon the EU

to pursue and accelerate its efforts to implement

strong policy and research initiatives to address

water efficiency.


For better coordination

• The coordinating programme should be overarching,

ambitious public private partnership with a target of €1 billion


• Strong policy oriented programme defining the role of

each initiative based on a foresight vision for future and setting

a common language

• The EIP should build on what is existing and try to fill

the gaps instead of creating a new programme not related to

any existing initiatives

• To boost coordination and innovation, an emphasis

should be put on competence building and capacity building.

Public authorities should put more efforts to innovation

• Focus on programming and integration of existing

on-going research to avoid duplication

For faster innovation

• Enable large demonstrations of innovative approaches

- Large-scale demonstrators to maximise research

impact (demonstration and transferability)

- Appropriate scale of water management options to

maximise return on investment (centralised

versus decentralized options for water services)

• Provide adequate European legislations and


- Water reuse

- Nutrients recovery (agricultural disposal of biosolids

and other practices)

- Renewable energy (biogas, biofuels, heat exchange, etc.)

- Water pricing

• Develop appropriate incentives and tender procedures

- Incentives for carbon and energy neutral / positive

Waste Water Treatment Plants

- Incentives for energy efficiency and minimum

environmental footprint of urban water systems

- Development of “Green Public Procurement”

for water infrastructures

• Options and developments should be assessed and

benchmarked with normalised tools for environmental

impacts such as Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA). This approach

would avoid « shifting effects » such as bringing environmental

impacts of one technology or initiative to another part of the


For stronger integration

• Streamline the existing instrument and programmes

• Improve the transferability of academic research to

industrial actors and end users

• Develop partnerships to overcome fragmentation

and duplication

• Develop tools from social sciences to measure the

impacts of research and to shorten the integration cycle

• Set a common language and rules across the different

funding programmes

• Ease the process of integration by facilitating a single

programme on water across the interface between science and




WssTP and its stakeholders want to participate actively in the on-going EU process

to define the future funding schemes and the Common Strategic Framework; and

to help to shape the objectives of the European Innovation Partnership for “Water

Efficient Europe”.

The participants of the WssTP stakeholders’ event provided key inputs on the

important challenges related to coordination of EU policies for the water sector.

They see the need for more innovation in the water sector in particular for water

efficiency and the creation of an efficient, coordinated and strong European water

research area.

Robert Schroder, DG Environnement

Panagiotis Balabanis, DG Research and Innovation

Key Figures

Water and wastewater infrastructure networks:

> 3.5 Million Km water distribution pipes

> 2.5 Million Km waste water sewers

> 70,000 wastewater treatment plants

Global market: €250 to €350 Billion (Bn)

for municipal and industrial drinking

water and waste water

EU iInvestment: €10,5 Bn/year

for water & wastewater equipment

for industrial markets

€33Bn invested in water infrastructures

Private funding: 19% of total investment

from €2 Bn/year to €6,1 Bn

EU R&D: €200 M/year for public funding

> €130 M/year for private funding

Employment: 600.000 direct jobs in Europe

SMEs: 136.000 employees, 9.000 SMEs

Expected 2% to 10% (Lead market: China, India,

growth: and Middle East)

Patents: Increased from 575 in 2000 to 957 in

2008. For desalination, they raised

from 5 in 2000, to 51 in 2008


the scence

Since the beginning of 2010, the European Commission (EC) has put

a clear emphasis on innovation, shifting towards strengthening

research, development and market deployments of innovative

systems and technologies. One of the major flagship initiatives

announced by the European Union (EU) is the launch of European

Innovation Partnership (EIP).

“The aim of the Partnership is to promote actions that can speed-up

innovation in the water sector and remove barriers to innovation.

The actions are intended to achieve the EU water policy objectives

while reducing the EU water footprint, improving water security and

promoting the worldwide leadership of the European water

industry.” As defined later by the EC, EIPs are a new way of bringing

together public and private actors at EU, national and regional level

to tackle the grand challenges Europe is facing. These challenges

also represent opportunities for new business and the Partnerships

will aim to give the EU a first-mover advantage in these markets.

The Commission’s proposal for the “Innovation Union” has

identified “Water Efficient Europe” as one of the candidates for such

an EIP. The EC is leading different actions to address the objectives

of water efficiency. Each Directorate General (DG) is driving key

actions to answer the needs of the Innovation Union by supporting

more research funding on the sustainable use of water, but these

actions are not coordinated…

1. The EU activities for water

Robert Schroder of DG Environment made the first presentation

and explained how the EIP will be shaped. He detailed the

preliminary structure of the EIP for Water Efficient Europe including

its specific targets. The EIP should particularly aim at the

“management of the efficiency of the water cycle to achieve

sufficient water of good quality by combining the supply and

demand side”. He further detailed targets and packages that will be

addressed by the EIP. This presentation led to a discussion on what

should be included considering the needs and the expectations

from stakeholders. Key issues from the debate included the target

to "reduce treatment requirement", and how to better integrate

industries and involve pioneers and young entrepreneurs.

The importance of involving industries was further underlined by

Panagiotis Balabanis, DG RTD who recalled the close collaboration

between DG RTD and WssTP since its creation. He highlighted the


EU initiatives that were being established at different levels and

that are supporting improved collaboration to strengthen research

and innovation i.e. the Task-Force on Science Policy Interface, and

the Joint Programming Initiative. He also recalled the importance of

water in Framework Programmes (FP) 6 and 7 which had invested

400€ Million on water research in last 15 years.

These activities to support more funding for water research were

also detailed by Antonios Barbas, DG Infso. He particularly

presented the call for ICT for Efficient Water Resources

Management. He detailed some EU funded projects and advocated

the creation of “open R&D" to better include end-users’ needs in

research. This interest and involvement from DG Infso showed a

converging approach for water technologies between the three DGs

Environment, RTD and Infso.

Rosario Bento-Pais, DG Climate Action

Antonios Barbas, DG Infso

Rosario Bento-Pais of DG Climate defined what was water efficiency

regarding the key challenge of climate change. After setting the

scene showing that water efficiency is related to both mitigation

and adaptation, she presented three initiatives to address the

challenges of water efficiency.

The two last presentations from the European Commission drove

the debates on implementation as led by DG Regional Policy and the

setting the EU standards to reach water efficiency as led by DG

Enterprise and Industry. The key target of DG Regio is to support

sustainable growth, to reach water efficiency based on the

sustainable use of water. Maria-Jose Doval-Tendin of DG Regio,

explained that DG Regio funded the implementation of water

efficiency through €22 billion (Bn) funding in 2001-2013 (€14Bn

wastewater, €8Bn water supply, €7Bn natural risk prevention).

Some more projects for water have been financed through the

€86Bn fund for innovation that covered all sectors. The DG has been

carrying out the development of Green Public Procurement on

water and environmental infrastructures.

Henriette van Eijl of DG Enterprise and Industry asked what were

the barriers and what could be the strategies to encourage a

sustainable use of water and to boost industries and enterprises to

innovate in the water sector, The presentation stimulated

discussions on creating incentives and setting stronger legislation as

the water sector.

The participants debated with the EU representatives on

collaboration, governance and topics in the future EIP. Paricipants

emphasized the need to build on existing efforts.

2. The activities of EU stakeholders

Today, there are many initiatives at the EU level to address the

needs of water research and innovation. One of the gaps identified

by WssTP is that many of these funds and initiatives are not

coordinated. The key challenge for the EU would be to promote a

greater coordination between allocated funds, institutions, actors

to improve water efficiency and the European societal grand


The Joint Programming Initiative (JPI) on Water focuses on aligning

national governments’ research agendas. Enrique Playan, the

coordinator of the JPI Water, underlined the successful efforts of

the JPI in getting the national support, delivering a vision, preparing

a SRA and promoting more coordination between Member States.

He also presented on how the JPI Water is addressing water

efficiency in his research agendas and key priorities.

The EUREKA Cluster for water, ACQUEAU, was created to boost

water innovation. Xavier Chazelle, Chair of ACQUEAU, reminded

the audience of the links with WssTP at the strategic level and how

the launch of ACQUEAU calls originated in the work of WssTP. He

underlined that ACQUEAU is addressing key technological

challenges for water innovation and wants to involve more SMEs.

ACQUEAU is based on a strong involvement from industries and

targets the funding of innovative projects that could bring

technological breakthroughs at the European level.

WssTP presented an integrated vision of the activities of WssTP,

ACQUEAU and JPI Water. Theo van den Hoven further developed

the five major programmes of WssTP to address water efficiency at

the European level and concluded that the proposed large

demonstration sites for innovative technologies was necessary to

boost investment in applied research, implementation and

diffusion into the market.

The three initiatives presented their synergies and

complementarities to support a better coordination at the EU level.

They underlined the need for stronger efforts in funding applied

research and participants approved the initiative of the

demonstration sites identified by WssTP.


Inputs from


Based on these discussions, participants were invited to join

workshops to debate the three gaps identified by WssTP:

“coordination, innovation and integration”. Each workshop

was facilitated by a member of WssTP and moderated by a

representative of the European Commission.

1. How to better coordinate water actors

In its Position Paper on future FP8 and on the Green Paper,

WssTP advocated launching a “Water Programme” under the

future research programmes of the European Commission.

Such a successful programme would ensure that commonality

and alignment of strategic goals between the different funding

mechanisms promoted by the Commission. Such a fund would


1. A better transfer from research to technology

development and from demonstration to applied research and

to the market.

2. A greater involvement of end-users in research and

innovation projects which is a key for the water sector today

3. A more efficient framework and rules of application

for water stakeholders under a coordinated programme that

will set up format and rules adapted to the specificities of the

water sector.

Partricipants believe that it is important to integrate a better

understanding of social, economic, climatic, environmental,

political, legal and regulatory concerns into the decision

processes used to select global and site-specific water

solutions. The main challenges are to identify, understand and

break the major barriers impeding the deployment of

integrated water solutions at the local, regional, national or

transnational level, namely: efficient and transparent

governance structures.

The EIP is an opportunity for improved coordination if based

on existing initiatives and on filling existing gaps.

During the workshop on “Promote a coordinated research and

Enabling Framework”, participants discussed who should be

coordinated It was agreed that the number of European

initiatives on water is confusing e.g. JPI, EIP, LIFE, WssTP... If

coordination is the aim to avoid fragmentation and

duplication, the question is then: who could be such a

coordinator In this sense, participants agreed that the

programme should be overarching and ambitious with public

private partnership and a target of €1 Bn investments. If the

EIP appears to be the new funding scheme and programme at

the European level, its approach and organisation currently

lacks of clarity and one important message from stakeholders

is that the EIP should build on what is existing, and try to fill the

gaps in a coordinated fashion instead of creating a new

programme not related to any existing initiatives. Participants

acknowledged that technology platforms and research

agendas have been very successful. They are the upper layer

on top taking the innovation to market.

An important point is if the EU wants to promote coordination

to boost research, then politicians have to play an important

role. Companies want to drive forward with innovations and

researchers have a clear view of where their research is

targeted but an overarching strategy and objectives are

needed. Each group has its role to play and coordination

should come from a strong EU will at the highest level.

Map and role of existing initiatives

JPI Water and ACQUEAU are about bringing together funders.

WssTP brings together stakeholders for providing advice to EU.

The work and results from ERANET should also be further

integrated. To establish a “Common Strategic Framework”, the

EU should strengthen coordination by defining the role and

priorities of each group, and scope of funding mechanisms.

Participants also suggested that DGs within the EU should

work together towards common objectives for the water


How to better coordinate water stakeholders

Participants recognised that coordination among water

stakeholders could be enhanced by establishing a great

challenge for water, such as water efficiency.

What are the barriers to implement cross-cutting research

Stakeholders have different needs, including the wider

political, economic and social needs.

How to identify the demands of the end users such as specific

industries or hospitals How to set up a relevant foresight

perspective What is the vision for 2050

• Lack of a foresight vision for future is a barrier

• Lack of common language is a barrier

• Venture capital is limited in Europe compared to US

and Asia. A climate of innovation needs to be developed to

bring new ideas quicker to the market.

How to boost the value chain of European research

How could research and innovation be boosted from local to

European scale to avoid replication How to find synergies and

foster a long term view and instrument

To boost coordination and innovation, an emphasis should be

put on competence and capacity building. Public authorities

should to put more effort into innovation. It is difficult at the

local level to avoid duplication and the major challenge is

programming and integration of existing on-going research

and coordination alone is not sufficient to avoid duplication of

research and to enable innovation. The major challenge is to

find the right mechanism to enable stakeholders to boost

original innovation and ideas and to get them to market. In this

frame, DG enterprise could be the right coordinating entity. A

key barrier to boost the value chain of research and innovation

is the lack of synergies at the national policies level and coordination


etween member states (the source of building the EU). There

are enough funding opportunities but to boost innovation

takes time, to deliver through the value chain from

development to implementation and market diffusion.

2. How to better innovate towards water efficiency

Europe is facing the question of sustainable growth at a time of

global challenges such as increasing energy prices, carbon

constraints due to global warming, lost of biodiversity and

greater competition for resources and markets. In this context,

improving resource efficiency within and across all sectors of

our society is not only recognised as necessary to reduce the

environmental footprint of our societies, and to preserve our

fragile environment and its ecosystems services, but also as an

opportunity to create a new European economy with strong

global competitive advantage by 2020. In the coming months

the EU will launch a “Blueprint for Safeguarding Europe’s

Water” and a Resource Efficiency initiative some parts of which

will be tremendously challenging to the water sector.

The scope of water efficiency

The task of the workshop participants was to define the

expression “resource efficiency for the water sector”. The

participants established that water is a crucial resource for the

human societies and ecosystems, and that water efficiency is

about balancing the quantity of the water for all users and

usages (health, industry, agriculture, nature). Ensuring water

efficiency could therefore relate to all activities related to a

sustainable use of water i.e. saving, reuse, leakage reduction,

water allocation, good agricultural practices etc. In this regard,

it was discussed as well as quantity (balancing demand versus

supply, tackling flood issue), the challenge is also to manage

quality: safeguarding the quality of the water bodies to protect

the ecosystems, but also defining the most appropriate water

quality for each type of usage. On the later aspect, adequate

and harmonized regulations at the European level are required

to ensure and facilitate best practices.

The participants agreed also that the concept of water

efficiency should not only target the sustainability of water

resources but should also look at the overall sustainability of

the water sector, minimizing the resource usage of water

systems, particularly, reduction of the energy and carbon

footprint of the water industry. Beyond technical challenges,

commercial opportunities were also discussed such as energy

recovery in municipal water systems (static head, heat pumps,

chemical energy of wastewater etc), as well as the option to

recover other resources from wastewater such as

phosphorous, nitrogen and biopolymers.

These issues need to be considered within the broad Water /

Food / Energy Nexus to resolve existing conflicts (such as water

and land allocation) and to foster potential synergies and

opportunities. The participants stated that water efficiency

should also relate to other resources such as ecosystems

(preserving the biodiversity and ecosystem services), and the

local urban climate (contributing to the reduction of the “heat

urban island” phenomenon that affects the life quality in

cities). Finally, it was agreed that the efficiency of the water

sector should also encompass the social, behavioral and

economical implications, of water consumption, and aim at

minimizing the environmental footprint while maximizing the

societal and economical benefits.

Building upon the 5 Eco-innovation programmes

Participants then discussed the 5 key programmes identified

by WssTP for Eco-innovation (see below) and confirmed their

overall relevance.

The 5 WssTP programmes for eco-innovation

1. Protect water bodies: Adapt water systems to the


2. Build a sustainable city for water and for tomorrow

3. Design innovation processes to resources efficiency

4. Develop renewable energy from water

5. ICT for better services to citizens

The discussions led to the conclusions that the programmes

should be slightly reworded in order cover all possible aspects

and an additional emphasis should be put on agricultural

challenges. They suggested the six following programmes.

1. Build and maintain natural sustainable ecosystem

2. Build a sustainable city for water

3. Cross-sector eco-innovation (urban, industry, agricultural,


4. Develop renewable energy from water

5. ICT for better services to citizens

6. Build a sustainable agriculture for water and other


The targets for EIP

The participants discussed potential targets for a European

Innovation Program “Water Efficient Europe” and agreed that

the EU should set the following targets:

• Reduce water scarcity

• Increase efficient use of available water

• Reduce treatment requirement

• "Close the loop"

• Enable innovation in water sector

• Europe as global market leader in water technology

• Solve Water / Energy / Food nexus

Recommendations for implementation

The participants agreed on recommendations to facilitate the

EIP “Water Efficient Europe” and to foster Eco-innovation

within the water sector. (Cf. Recommendations p. 2)

Finally, participants concluded that resource efficiency for the

water sector covers water as crucial resource, but also the

overall sustainability and resource usage of water systems,

highlighting potential conflicts but also synergies and

opportunities within the water, food, and energy nexus. The

water sector could and can contribute to the green economy

and the ‘decarbonisation of societies’, while increasing

ecosystem services, biodiversity and urban comfort. The water

sector represents huge potential and opportunities of

innovation and market growth. Innovation efforts should be

supported by appropriate legislation, standards and

incentives. To reinforce the need for coordination of the

European policies on water related issues, participants

proposed the creation of a dedicated DG “Water”, following

the example of the newly created DG “Climate”.

2 6

3. How to better integrate research results

Streamlining education and the training process is essential in

order to break the public and political acceptance barrier

(update water managers and stakeholders in general about

best-practices and latest progresses).

In this regards, WssTP believes there are needs for a better

communication between all stakeholders particularly “Politics”

and “Science” to boost innovation, integration of results and

stronger competitiveness. The participants discussed the major

challenges by addressing specific questions. For each question,

they identified gaps and possible solutions.

1. How to shorten the development cycle in the water field

Participants identified the barriers that slow down the process

of bringing research to applied research, new products and new

services, including:

• The length of research project should be adapted to

each type of organisation. The tradition of a 3 years project is

usually too short for implementation and dissemination but is

too long for industry-driven projects

• The lack of sharing knowledge between industries and

with other stakeholders which bring duplication and slow down

the innovation process at the EU level

• EU funding is still carrying out too many pure research

oriented projects and should support more applied research


• The water sector is dominated by utility driven

research, and more emphasis should be placed on innovations

brought by the supply chain. More efforts should be put on

services oriented research

• There is a lack of integration of social sciences research

in water research which should further undertake research

aiming at improving citizens’ quality of life.

All these elements contributed to a slower development cycle

and participants identified several solutions to shorten the

development cycle:

• Reconsider funding ‘format’ (length, type = more applied)

• More focus on integration of results

• Develop tools from social sciences and measure

impacts of research towards citizens

Water vital good that needs public and policy driven


Participants underlined that the EIP could further address those

gaps to support the creation of common ground, a ‘partnership’

that will avoid the duplication of research. This partnership

should also develop more applied research to bring more

funding for implementation of research including testing

opportunities and the dissemination of results.

2. How to cope with the known conservatism in the water

sector What about future designs of water infrastructures

Participants discussed what kind of services and research could

break the conservatism of the water sector to bring more


They identified the following gaps:

• Lack of links between research and implementation to

show that public money can be invested into implementation

• Risk management of investments (SMEs in particular)

• Non uniformity of the EU market with different

standards for water technologies and applications

• Local good = Member states agenda

They suggested that the EU should create a dedicated funding

to address the gap between research and implementation at

the local scale that should develop more focused projects,

involve end-users to boost innovation at local scale, to offer

financial incentives to local authorities to boost innovation and

separate funding for dissemination of results. These combined

criteria would encourage creative ideas from different types of

stakeholders. It was also suggested that the monitoring of

projects should be improved with funding based on continuity

and excellence and continued funding based on delivery of

competitive innovations and practical results.

3. What about the concept of large-scale sites for improved

demonstration and faster innovation

Participants agreed that today, there is no fund to support

bringing existing solutions to the market in order to enhance

European competiveness. The demonstration sites programme

should particularly address the gap of coordination and funding

along the research cycle through the process of development,

demonstration and implementation. For each stage, integration

of knowledge and technology transfer is not yet appropriately

addressed; the EU should focus on this gap. They suggested that

the EU separates the different funding steps to allow funded

projects to bring their research through the different stages of

research from lab research, prototype, pilot, larger scale. For

each stage, the EU should clearly define requirements with

specific attention to dissemination adapted to the maturity of

the research with a clear guideline to reach market

implementation and hence direct contribution to the wealth of


When defining and selecting the demonstration sites, the EU

should involve different types of stakeholders: SMEs, industries,

academics, local municipalities etc which will need risk

management techniques for success. One last criterion should

be the focus of demonstration sites to provide market driven

solutions but also, to consider social inputs that is not restricted

to economic criteria such as growth, profitability.

4. How to facilitate the participation of water end-users in

research projects

Participants considered that there is not enough awareness and

involvement of citizens in research programmes which may

partly explain the difficulty to integrate the end-users of the

water sector. Participants recalled that in the Netherlands,

there is a great involvement of citizens which encourages a

greater involvement from end-users... In this regards,

participants considered that several types of criteria could be

developed to further involve end-users including development

of awareness campaigns towards utilities and water users.


5. What would be your suggestions to improve the integration

of RTD results and transfer of knowledge to be taken into

account when designing the next Common Strategic


Participants considered that the major barriers of the

Framework Programme were the duplication of projects, the

discontinuity of funding, and the numerous funding tools that

were adding layers of complexity and the fragmentation in

disseminating research results. As mentioned in their previous

discussions, the EU should separate funding for dissemination

but should go further by setting up a standard in disseminating

research results as well as centralising RTD results to better

transfer of knowledge.


& Concluding remarks

Each workshop asked to one participant to report on their

discussions. The main conclusions were presented to Luisa

Prista from DG RTD and Peter Gammeltoft from DG


- To improve the coordination within the European

water sector, the EU should clearly understand, identify, and

break the major barriers when selecting grand challenges

related to water solutions. Cross- cutting issues impeding the

deployment of integrated water solutions called for the

integration of the local, regional, national or transnational

level. It suggests an efficient and transparent governance


Strong political will is needed to improve coordination through

the establishment a “Common Strategic Framework” focusing

on water (EIP for instance). The EU should build on existing

solutions, set coordination by defining the priorities of each

existing group, the role and scope of funding mechanisms,

address the lack of synergies at the national policies level and

coordination between member states. Participants also

suggested that DGs within the EU should strengthen their

collaboration and work together. The major challenge would be

to find the right mechanism to enable coordinators to support

new funds for entrepreneurs with original innovation and ideas

- To boost innovation within the European water

sector, the EU should set ambitious and specific targets in

addressing “Water Efficient Europe” and focus on more applied

research and market implementation. The water sector can

contribute to green economy and ‘decarbonisation of

societies’, while increasing ecosystem services, biodiversity and

urban comfort. The water sector represents huge potential and

opportunities of innovation for market growth. Innovation

efforts should be supported by appropriate legislation,

standards and incentives. To strengthen coordination in the

sector, a DG “Water” may be necessary or as a minimum the

launch of a well resourced EIP for “Water Efficient Europe”.

- To strengthen integration of technology transfer and

best practices, the EU should further support activities

dedicated to dissemination. They should develop a fund for

these activities recognizing the specific need and approach of

knowledge transfer. A stronger emphasis on integration of

research results through setting specific standards and skills

could contribute to accelerating the process of innovation and

avoid duplication. This will contribute to build a better

collaboration and partnership between EU water stakeholders

as well as bringing more awareness to the EU citizens on the

added-value of the research in their everyday life.

After receiving the inputs from participants, Luisa Prista

underlined that the WssTP stakeholders’ event was very timely

and that the inputs will feed the on-going process of defining

the future CSF and research programmes. She took the

opportunity to present the approach of the next calls and the

work that was still to be done under the FP7. Peter Gammeltoft

underlined the importance of the collaboration with DG

Environnement in addressing the need of funding for water

stakeholders. He pointed out that the future water funds will

need more efforts and negotiations will be intense in the

coming months. He underlined that the on-going discussions

for the EIP could support the EU policy of the Blueprint for

Safeguarding Europe’s Water. The endorsement of member

states and stakeholders of the water sector will be decisive to

bring the partnership forward.

Both Louisa and Peter acknowledged the role of WssTP and

the importance of such event to get inputs from

stakeholders, to discuss key challenges and to design of the

next EU funding in particular for water research and


The participants of the WssTP called the EU to pursue

and accelerating its efforts towards a strong

policy-EU initiative to tackle water efficiency.















ACQUEAU is the first EUREKA cluster on


Common Strategic Framework

Directorate General

European Commission

European Innovation Partnership

ERANET scheme is to step up the cooperation

and coordination of research activities

carried out at national or regional level

in the Member States and Associated States

European Technology Platform

European Union

Framework Programme

Information & Communication Technologies

Joint Programming Initiative

Small and Medium Enterprises

Water supply and sanitation Technology


2 6



The European Water Platform


Download the list of participants, agenda and presentation



Edition and creation: Céline Hervé-Bazin, BIGLO / July 2011.

Photos: Céline Hervé-Bazin, Dan, Carlos Porto.

Printed by Enschede on paper respecting the environment, certification FSC.


The European Water Platform


Innovation comes from

a common vision

built upon collaboration

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines