Call for hosting the EIP Water Conference in February 2016

Building up on the success of two annual Conferences in 2013 and 2014, the EIP Water has recently started planning its third Conference and is now looking for a host city and Conference partners. The one-day Conference is envisaged to take place during either the second, third or fourth week of February 2016 (proposed dates are 10 Feb 2016, 17 Feb 2016 or 24 Feb 2016), preceded or followed by additional side events and site visits.

The EIP Water has taken a central role on the European water innovation landscape, providing a platform for collaboration of all actors in the field of water and innovation. After the success of the first EIP Water conference in November 2013 in Brussels, the second EIP Water annual Conference took place on 5 November in Barcelona, the European Innovation Capital 2014. At the 2014 event, over 400 attendees participated in enlightening discussions on connecting water innovation demand and supply, learned about the activities of 25 EIP Water Action Groups, identified opportunities for collaboration and helped shape European water innovation policy.

The host city and conference partners of the EIP Water’s third Conference will benefit from the great visibility of the event within the European water sector as well as a number of high-level speakers and international participants. The host city and conference partners will be able to showcase their water & innovation experience and – if so agreed with EIP Water – suggest specific topics and challenges of their concern. The two previous events have demonstrated that the EIP Water Conference is a brilliant opportunity for strengthening pan-European and global networking, and we are confident this will once again be the case at the 3rd Conference.

Criteria for host city & conference partner selection
We are looking forward to receiving candidatures by the deadline of 30 April 2015; the evaluation of your proposals will specifically consider the following mandatory and/or appreciated criteria:

Regarding Host City & Conference Partners

  1. These should be organisations and businesses involved in Water & Innovation as well as local authorities: We expect as conference partners the involvement from both, the host city authority and one or several organisations which work on water & innovation, the key concepts of the EIP Water and the Conference. We welcome if additional partners, such as national and regional governments and water management authorities, or other stakeholders including companies, are willing to play an active part.
  2. The proposal needs to show clear political buy-in and willingness to host and promote an international Conference on Innovation in the water sector. Both, financial and in-kind contributions and support are appreciated and will be needed. 
  3. Synergies with ongoing EU research and innovation projects in the water area are also valued.

Conference Venue

  1. Transport: The European host city needs to be easily reachable by plane (i.e. near a major international airport) and train (with international train connections). In addition, the conference venue should be reachable by public transport, within less than 60 min. A city promoting a "smart city" approach is appreciated.
  2. Accommodation: At least one 4-stars hotel needs to be in walking distance from the Conference Venue. There should preferably be a mixture of hotels in the host city and not too far from the venue, allowing for accommodation of a mix of people, from VIPs to students. 
  3. Site visits: There should be on-site water innovation experiences close to the venue (maximum 1 hr distance) and site visits offered for free (organised by the hosting institutions and other local partners). As an example please take a look at the site visits of the 2014 Conference
  4. Outreach and media engagement: Collaboration with the Communication department of the host city and partner organisations for event promotion and leadership for joint media engagement activities will be appreciated.

Logistics

  1. Venue: We are looking for a modern venue (incl. technical equipment) with a plenary room for 400-500 participants, organised in either auditorium- or cinema-style. The venue should include an appropriate reception area and preferably have daylight. We expect that the venue will be provided for free by the hosting institutions; and we appreciate if it has a strategy for energy efficiency implementation in place or is using renewable energy sources. We also appreciate other “green event” elements such as: Minimum water use strategy, saving waste (materials) strategy, Recycling opportunities, Products from local market. 
  2. Exhibition area: An Exhibition/Lunch area needs to be nearby (less than 5 minutes walking distance from the plenary room) for around 30 exhibitors (with the opportunity to display material on exhibition booths and presenting posters/roll ups) and allowing 400-500 participants to  have a standing networking lunch/cocktail at the same time. Sponsorship of lunch and coffee breaks by the host city and/or Conference partners will be appreciated.
  3. Technical equipment: Modern technical equipment needs to be available e.g. projector, screen(s), lighting, microphones, sound, wifi (also available for the participants and strong enough to support live-streaming as well), stage, lectern, etc. (voting systems, etc. are also appreciated). Audio/Video technician support should be provided. A printing possibility for the EIP Water Secretariat is required. Sponsorship by host institutions is appreciated.
  4. Security: Security of the event needs to be ensured; the security procedure to enter the Conference Venue should be as simple/limited as possible. 
  5. Side meetings: Additional meeting facilities shall be available for free to hold approximately 10 parallel side meetings (estimated 10-40 participants) the day before and after the conference, either in or close to the conference venue. 
  6. Catering: Logistical support from the host institutions (e.g. for suggestions of suppliers for welcome coffee, coffee breaks, lunch and cocktail) is required. Sponsorship of welcome cocktail and/or closure by local institutions is appreciated. We appreciate also catering options that include local/organic food at high standards, vegetarian portions and religious considerations. Caterers shall have an environmental policy, and reduce or ban the use of plastic products.

Financial and other in-kind contributions
The EIP Water has a limited budget for realizing its annual Conference. In addition the particpation in the conference is free of charge. However, we are also looking for financial and all sorts of in-kind contributions from the host city and partner organizations. In order to make an informed decision, bids should provide rough estimates of the costs of the venue in accordance with the specifications in this document, as well as details of all in-kind support and sponsored contributions. The bid should in addition provide information about the city and nearby attractions.

Finally, it should be noted that the EIP Water Secretariat will work closely with the host city and partner organisations during the planning phase and conduction of the event. The EIP Water retains the right to make final decisions based on its overall direction, delegate expectations and the management function of the event.  The EU Commission is in charge of the conference programme, but will liaise with the host city and conference partner to develop and agree on a programme suitable for all parties. 

Your candidature and bids
If you are interested in hosting the EIP Water Conference 2016, please submit your candidature by 30 April 2015 referring to each of the above-listed criteria. Host cities’ and Conference partner organisations’ contacts shall be clearly specified, as well as the possible constraints/limitations. For any questions, please do not hesitate contacting Ms. Michaela Matauschek

We look forward to receiving your interesting and attractive proposals!