On 20 April, the WssTP and SusChem European Technology Platforms jointly hosted a successful and well-attended workshop on ‘Industry water: from single use to integrated management’ in Brussels.
The workshop succeeded in gathering challenges and perspectives on the management of smart industrial water reuse and featured contributions from the European Commission and the sector made by both “problem owners” and “solution providers”, and with a final insight on the holistic and systemic structure (Smart Governance and Digital Water) which addressed the challenges for discovering and exploiting the true Value of Water as highlighted in the WssTP Vision document.
For WssTP the Value of Water highlights the crucial role of water for our economy, industry, society, nature and citizens and foresees a future digitally connected water-smart society that works with waters of different qualities that are appropriate to their use.
SusChem sees fresh water as a scarce resource and a critical element for sustainable development of society. Water is a priority area for SusChem and it is pursuing specific topics with the overall aim of decoupling economic growth from actual water use.
Outputs for action
The workshop produced tangible outputs through a final parallel breakout session that developed and proposed content, gaps, strengths and needs of the four pillars of the Value of Water vision:
- Modelling and Analysis
- Big Data
- Smart Governance, and
- Sensor Networks.
This final session built the basis for an action plan to bring the outcomes of the workshop to the European Innovation Partnership for Water (EIP Water) Conference, which will be held in the city of Porto in the week of 25 September 2017. A group of participants from the workshop will support the further development of the outputs for final presentation at the EIP Water Conference. A list of action derived from the joint workshop will drive the content of a follow-up workshop that will take place during the EIP Water Conference.
The outputs and challenges identified for each pillar of the Value of Water are briefly described below:
Sensor development provides a unique opportunity for enhancing the Value of Water. Advanced sensor development is required to ensure continuous understanding and control of water quality. Handling of dynamic water systems requires advanced sensors. Full implementation, reliable operation costs and maintenance are important.
Identifying the value of the water system in generating and creating data is central to its economic value. The creation of a resilient basis for cyber security and privacy legislation is necessary, as no holistic overview currently exists. Links between data silos and pockets of data should be established and prioritized.
Modelling and Analysis
Many models for enhancing water management exist in academia or within RTOs. But these methodologies need to be brought into context before moving to the next pilot phase. It is necessary to identify models and tailor them to the requirements of users in order to develop more efficient water systems, while observing the interactions and implications.
Smart governance models vary from region to region. The selection process for an appropriate governance design requires extensive consideration. Education and communication is crucial for its successful understanding and implementation.
For more information, please do not hesitate to contact us.
To have access to the workshop presentations please click here.
Water Market Europe kicked off its first edition on the 28th of March at the BluePoint Centre in Brussels, creating a promising innovative and business environment that got a warm welcome by the whole water community.
The event succeeded in unveiling the magnitude of the largely unexploited water market, by bringing together voices from the investors’ side and perspectives from the ‘problem owners’ and ‘solution providers’, who were there to represent a broad range of companies, utilities and regions.
Participants had dynamic interactions through B2B meetings, where they had the chance to explore more on the innovative solutions presented at the sessions and lay the foundations for future business cooperation.
The Water Market Europe event concluded with a dinner meeting, where WssTP WG leaders convened to discuss the new Working Group structure, which is being developed in line with the new WssTP Water Vision 2030 and SIRA. On the 29th of March, WssTP Working Groups hosted their meetings back to back to the Water Market Europe event to present their workplans and latest advances. To learn more about WssTP Working Groups and how you can join their activities, please contact Anna Mazzetto.A big thanks to all the participating companies & regions!
All event’s material is available on the website www.watermarketeurope.eu
The European Parliament gave its consent to additional €200 million for Horizon 2020, the current EU research and innovation funding programme, by adopting a compromise on the mid-term review of the EU budget, reached with the EU Member States on 7 March. The final and formal approval of the Council of the EU is expected in the coming weeks. The €200 million top-up for Horizon 2020 is part of additional means amounting to €6 billion that will help the EU tackle urgent challenges such as the migration crisis, strengthening security, boosting growth and creating jobs.
Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said: “This is a very valuable deal that will allow the Commission to direct additional funding into key areas, such as boosting market-creating innovation as well as supporting excellent research, the sharing of big data and bridging the innovation divide between the countries in Europe.”
A part of the €200 million Horizon 2020 top-up, €50 million, was already adopted through the 2017 voted budget. The breakdown of the additional funding follows proportionally the Commission’s proposal of October 2016:
- €50 million for the European Research Council (of which €16.7 million were already included in the 2017 budget)
- €55 million for Spreading Excellence and Widening Participation part of Horizon 2020 (of which €16.7 million were already included in the 2017 budget)
- €50 million for the European Innovation Council (on the RTD budget line Innovation in SMEs)
- €45 million for High Performance Computers, under Leadership in Enabling and Industrial Technologies part of Horizon 2020 (of which €16.7 million were already included in the 2017 budget)
Commission to invest almost €104 million in 71 innovative companies under Horizon 2020 SME Instrument
71 small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) from 22 countries have been selected for funding in the latest round of the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument Phase 2. The total amount to be distributed between the SMEs working on 66 projects is €103.82 million. In this phase of the instrument, each project will receive up to €2.5 million (€5 million for health projects) to finance innovation activities.
Spanish SMEs were the most successful with 19 companies selected for funding. They were followed by five companies from both Germany and Ireland. Most projects are in the field of ICT and transport (10 projects each) followed by nine projects in the field of low-carbon and energy efficient systems.
The European Commission received 1534 project proposals by 18 January 2017, the first cut-off date for Phase 2 in 2017. Since the launch of the programme on 1st January 2014, 641 SMEs have been selected for funding under Phase 2.
Funding under Phase 2 of the instrument allows companies to invest in innovation activities such as demonstration, testing, piloting, scaling up and miniaturisation, in addition to developing a mature business plan for their product. The companies will also benefit from 12 days of business coaching. Most projects are proposed by a single SME but some companies team-up to elaborate a project. The next cut-off for SME Instrument Phase 2 is on 6 April 2017.
In collaboration with the EU Maltese presidency, the MEP Water Group convened a successful public session on ‘Water Reuse – an effective tool to address water scarcity‘ on the 7th of March at the European Parliament. The session was chaired by Esther de Lange, President of the MEP Water Group and hosted five high-level panellists, who presented their own perspectives on why water-reuse is a valuable solution to address water scarcity, adaptation to climate change and implement circular economy.
With Malta being the EU member state with the lowest rate of water availability and highest population density rate, Mr Azzopardi, from the office of the Malta Prime Minister and CEO of the Energy and Water Agency stressed out that water reuse, is nowadays a necessary and a key element in Malta’s 2nd River Basin Management Plan (RBMP). He, also, pointed out that advances in technologies are required to effectively develop comprehensive and cost-effective solutions, as well as that support to R&D activities for the development of marketable solutions, together with EU initiatives regulating water reuse, are key elements to ensure investments in the water reuse sector.
Ms Doeser, Head of Unit from DG ENVI indicated that the new water reuse directive will aim at preventing uneven regulations from Members States that can create barriers to the market and will introduce a minimum standard at EU level which will ensure that safety and health requirements are met.
In fact, “Water reuse is not anymore an alternative supply but the water supply”, continued Mr Gawlik from the EC Joint Research Centre JRC, showing worrying EU maps on water shortage. The water industry “is well aware of the situation and is willing to work closely together with agriculture” ensured Arjan Boogaards from Nalco Water. Mr Van Houtte from IWVA noted that water-reuse is both economically and technically feasible and a solution for water scarcity, as it grants results in sustainable groundwater management and enhances ecosystems. As the last speaker of the session, MEP Dr. Paul Rübig from the EPP Group reminded the audience the importance of fostering investments at the water reuse sector and delivering results at a European level.
Before the closure of the panel session, Esther de Lange and Arjan Boogaards emphasised that water reuse would lead to a major community impact, as minimisation of water allows minimisation of energy and waste and therefore reduction of costs. So, it is actually a win-win-win situation. The panel discussion was followed by Q&A from the audience.
The European Union Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) will be held in Brussels from 19 to 25 June. During the Awards Ceremony, 12 final project nominees will be given the opportunity to present their well implemented and impactful ideas to more than 3000 participants. This year you can apply for the EU Sustainable Energy Awards in one of the four categories: Consumers, Public Sector, Businesses and Energy Islands. In order to qualify, the project must meet the following criteria:
- Location The project coordinator must be based in the EU28 or in one of the following countries: Iceland, Norway, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey, Israel, Moldova, Switzerland, Faroe Islands, Ukraine, Tunisia, Georgia, Armenia.
- Practical applicability The project must have high impact and replication potential; academic studies and theoretical research projects with no real-scale application will not be considered.
- Timing The project must be ongoing or concluded after 30 June 2016; projects which are still at the planning stage or not yet fully operational are not eligible.
For more information about the EU Sustainable Energy Awards, visit the EUSEW website.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) will provide €100m to Belgian wastewater treatment company Aquafin, as part of a new 200 million euro loan agreement, in support of Aquafin’s projects in the Flemish Region.
Pim van Ballekom, Vice-President of the EIB who is responsible for Belgium, comments on the operation: “Our collaboration with Aquafin goes back a very long way and represents a clear example of a situation where European loans can have a big impact at the local level, often without many people being aware of it”. The EIB has set itself the goal of awarding at least 25% of its loans to climate-related projects, so we are pleased with the high standards that Aquafin is maintaining in that area too.”
The Flemish wastewater purification company will utilize the loan proceeds to further expand and optimize its water purification infrastructure in the Flanders region. In particular, the funds will be used for the construction of collectors, solving bottlenecks in the existing sewage infrastructure, separating stray water and rain water from the sewage network, as well as the construction of new and upgrading of existing treatment facilities.
Jan Goossens, General Manager of Aquafin “We had to demonstrate that at least a quarter of the investment value of the projects for which we are requesting financing will have a clear positive impact on climate change. This condition is fully met by projects for separating rainwater from the waste water infrastructure and by optimisation projects that allow us to arm ourselves to deal with climate change. Projects that only involve linking pollutant loads to water purification do not meet the requirement, even though they do contribute towards a better living environment. The analysis carried out in the context of this tenth loan was an informative exercise for us. It has encouraged us to look at our projects from a different perspective.”
For more information about Aquafin’s activities, please click here.