Pan European Networks - Horizon 2020 - page 162

cutting priorities: water governance, decision
support systems and monitoring, and financing
for innovation.
Through its Online Marketplace, EIP Water also
matches up stakeholders across the entire
innovation chain, with a particular focus on
linking innovators with potential users. It
promotes collaboration among the public and
private sectors, non-governmental organisations
and the general public to promote change and
innovation in the water sector. It accomplishes
this primarily through its 25 action groups (AG)
and other working groups.
Action groups
At the core of EIP Water are its 25 voluntary
multistakeholder AGs, which are the central
element of EIP Water’s implementation phase.
The current AG partners develop, test, scale
up, disseminate and stimulate the uptake of
innovations by the market and society for
major water-related challenges. An EIP Water
action group is formalised via calls for
expression of commitment and a short
evaluation phase of proposals considering EIP
Water’s eight priority areas. EIP Water’s third
call for action groups closed earlier this year,
and 13 proposals are currently being
evaluated. The existing AGs are composed of
a large variety of research institutions, SMEs,
public institutions and other stakeholders.
The City Blueprint AG, for instance, facilitates
sharing of best practices in urban water
management and governance between cities
in Europe and beyond, organising a bottom-up
response to overcome barriers in the water-
related governance systems. City Blueprints
engages citizens in water-related questions and
provides them with insights into how their city
compares with other leading cities from around
the globe; it also applies a transparent
assessment of the sustainability of water
management in a city.
I
nnovation is central to economic growth and business
competitiveness, as well as being at the heart of the EU’s Europe 2020
strategy. Since its launch in 2012, the European Innovation
Partnership on Water (EIP Water) has worked to address European and
global water challenges and to support implementation of the EU Water
Framework Directive (WFD). An initiative within the European Union’s
2020 Innovation Union, EIP Water’s three key objectives are to facilitate
development of innovative solutions to deal with European water
challenges; to create demand and market opportunities for these
innovations; and to support implementation of European water policy
through innovative approaches.
“Innovation and water cannot be separated,” says Marianne Wenning,
director for 'Quality of Life, Water & Air' in DG Environment of the
European Commission. “Improving water efficiency in light of increasing
scarcity will require innovative solutions, as will emerging pollutants,
reducing leakage and water reuse. Water governance will also be
positively influenced by innovative methods and approaches. Water
innovation contributes to tackling the societal challenges of the future
while at the same time creating sustainable growth and employment.”
EIP Water has eight priority areas selected to address challenges and
opportunities in the water sector and promote innovation-driven actions
that will deliver the highest impact. They include five thematic priorities,
namely water reuse and recycling, water and wastewater treatment and
recovery of resources, the water-energy nexus, flood and drought risk
management, and ecosystem services. There are also three cross-
I S S U E S I X
H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 P R O J E C T S : P O R TA L
162
S O C I E TA L C H A L L E N G E S : E N V I R O N M E N T
Innovating water
Sören Bauer
of EIP Water details the activities of the European innovation
partnership and explores obstacles to further RDI and the action taken to
overcome such barriers
EIP Water supports the
implementation of the
EU Water Framework
Directive, which aims
to ensure the ‘good
status’ of all water
bodies by 2015
© Oliver Clarke
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