Pan European Networks - Horizon 2020 - page 165

resource efficiency and raw materials’ Societal Challenge, with direct
links to EIP Water. For the first time, the European Commission has
indicated funding priorities over two years, providing researchers and
businesses with more certainty than ever before on the direction of EU
research policy. A number of calls have already been launched, and some
demonstration projects have already become operational.
In the Horizon 2020 calls, the €21m sub-call ‘Water Innovation: Boosting
its value for Europe’ offers a number of open research topics that may
help us to tackle the current and future challenges in relation to water.
Divided between ‘one stage’ and ‘two stage’, they include the
development of water supply and sanitation technology, systems and
tools and/or methodologies, and water management solutions for the
agricultural sector, amongst others.
During 2015, more projects will start from previous calls and further calls
will open. In addition, it is currently under discussion to maintain water
as a focus area for the 2016-2017 programming period.
“Companies are increasingly looking beyond
the immediate boundaries of their plants;
they are looking much more broadly at their
value chain and at the risks that are water-
related for their inputs as well as their outputs.
By taking the systemic view, in terms of water
stewardship … [they] move beyond the plant
to look at ways in which the whole activity is
impacted, to find solutions that are sometimes
not even technical or [related to] physical
infrastructure but have to do with better
planning or better partnering with other entities,
suppliers or others. It could or should be
possible to harness the interest of water-
intensive private businesses in identifying new
financing solutions.”
Based on these reflections, Scatasta has
indicated that water professionals need to
improve their capacity to “speak to the voter
and consumer, to create an understanding for
the value of water, voters’ demand for improved
water resources management, consumers’
demand for goods and services with a lower
water footprint, and therefore ultimately
demand for innovation”.
Prompted by EIP Water’s work identifying
barriers to financing for innovation, the EIB has
commissioned a report on the issue from the
international consultancy Ernst & Young, as
Scatasta highlighted.
“One of the first points that emerged when
discussing the options put on the table by the
Ernst & Young report was that, in fact, financial
instruments for innovation already exist, and that
maybe one of the first barriers that needs to be
torn down is the barrier related to awareness.”
Water in Horizon 2020
Water and innovation is a focus area of Horizon
2020 for 2014 and 2015. It has been included
under the ‘Climate action, environment,
Sören Bauer
2 0 2 0
H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 P R O J E C T S : P O R TA L
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
EU Water Framework Directive
Adopted in 2000, the EU WFD is the operational tool that sets the EU’s
objectives for water protection for the future. It commits EU member
states to achieve a ‘good status’ for all water bodies (surface water
bodies, groundwater and transitional and coastal waters) by 2015.
This ‘good status’ has qualitative and quantitative aspects related to
biological quality, physical-chemical quality, and chemical quality,
including concentrations of specific water pollutants as well as
hydrological regime and morphological conditions.
The WFD also requires EU member states to establish river basin
districts, each with a river basin management plan that is prepared,
implemented and reviewed every six years. The plans include
assessment of the impacts of river basin districts, environmental
monitoring, establishment of environmental objectives, and designing
and implementing programmes needed to achieve those objectives.
With the WFD 2015 deadline looming, the European Water Alliance, a
coalition of European water-related umbrella organisations, has asked
the new European Commission, led by Jean-Claude Juncker, to
prioritise water because of its importance to the economy, environment
and quality of life in the EU.
The second annual
EIP Water conference
took place in
November 2014 in
Barcelona, Spain
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