EIP Water keeps growing and welcomes 16 new Action Groups

EIP Water keeps growing and welcomes 16 new Action Groups

The EIP Water is pleased to inform you that we have selected 16 new EIP Water Action Groups. The newly-selected Action Groups bring the number of Action Groups to a total of 25 that work at the core of EIP Water. The priority areas of the 16 new Action Groups can be viewed here; details on the Action Groups partners' and lead organisations' countries of origin are available here.

In addition, 11 projects funded by the European 7th Framework Program (FP7) with a total of 50 Million Euro funding are working within the framework of the eight EIP Water priority areas. Together, the Action Groups and FP7 project are at the forefront of delivering on the EIP Water objective: to jointly develop demand-driven, applicable innovative solutions that address and tackle European and global water challenges, seize economic opportunities and support the implementation of European water policy.

Summarized information on the 16 new Action Groups, including their background and potential impact, is provided further below. Detailed profiles of the new Action Groups will be published in the coming weeks here. .

We take this opportunity to congratulate the new Action Groups on their excellent proposals and promising activities and thank all the stakeholders who invested valuable time and effort in responding to our 2nd Call for Expressions of Commitment to establish Action Groups.

Introducing the new EIP Water Action Groups

The 16 new EIP Water Action Groups have been selected out of a total of 38 submissions and on the basis of six criteria of the second call:

  • strength of the proposal’s relationship to the EIP Water Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP);
  • presence of innovative concepts;
  • breadth and experience of team;
  • demand or market relevance and urgency;
  • considerations of governance; and
  • clarity of end goals.

The selection procedure has been carried out in four phases: 1) evaluation of proposals by the EIP Water Secretariat; 2) evaluation by the Joint Research Centre; 3) evaluation by Directorate General   Environment of the European Commission; 4) review by other Directorates General relevant to the focus of the respective proposals and volunteers from the EIP Water Task Force.

The result is a strong group of 16 new, demand-driven Action Groups that share the common objective to deliver concrete results and real impact, by jointly developing water innovations  that will be applied by identified users, seize market opportunities, create jobs, help shape European innovation policy  and support the implementation of European water policy.

The names and respective lead organizations of the 16 selected Action Groups are:

  1. RTWQM - Real Time Water Quality Monitoring (AG100) - Adasa Sistemas S.A.U., Spain
  2. WaterReg - Water services regulation and governance in Europe (AG102) - Sorbonne business school, France
  3. PVAIZEC - Large PV Pumping Systems for zero energy consumption in irrigation (AG103) - Solar Energy Institute / Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain
  4. ARREAU - Accelerating Resource Recovery from Water Cycle (AG108) - KWR Water B.V., The Netherlands
  5. MEET-ME4water - Meeting Microbial Electrochemistry for water (AG110) - Aqualia - Gestión Integral del Agua S.A., Spain
  6. Mitigation of Water Stress in Coastal Zones by Sustainable Water Management (AG111) - Graz University of Technology, Austria
  7. WIRE - Water & Irrigated agriculture Resilient Europe (AG112) - Copa-Cogeca, Belgium
  8. EWW Energy and Water Works - energizing sustainable deltas (AG115) - Tocardo International, The Netherlands
  9. Water Justice (AG117) - Water Resources Management Group / Wageningen University, The Netherlands
  10. MSWTP - Modular low-cost concept for Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTPs) design and build (AG118) - WBL/Verdygo, The Netherlands
  11. AugMent - Water Monitoring for Decision Support (AG124) - Technical University Delft, The Netherlands
  12. EBCF - European Benchmark Cooperation Foundation (AG125) – Vewin, The Netherlands
  13. Ctrl+Swan - Cloud technology and real-time monitoring and smart water network (AG126) - Seconda Università di Napoli, Dpt Civil Engineering and Dpt Industrial and Information Engineering, Italy
  14. MAR Solutions to Mar-ket -Managed Aquifer Recharge Strategies and Actions (AG128) - LNEC / Laboratório Nacional de Engenharia Civil, Portugal
  15. DIS-SMEs - Demand-Driven Innovation Support for SMEs through the Network of National Water Partnerships (AG131) - EWP European Water Partnership, Belgium
  16. RESEWAM-O - Remote sensing for water management optimization (AG132) University of Valencia, Spain

Under the eight EIP Water priorities four main clusters emerge: Several of the new Action Groups will collaborate on developments in water monitoring and sensors often combined with new ICT solutions; others will focus more on governmental support in better management of water as a scarce resource. Two more clusters are solutions in better water use, re-use and wastewater treatment as well as drought risk management and irrigation.

The Secretariat of the EIP Water will support the new and existing Action Groups in realizing their objectives. Increased attention will be given to speeding up the concrete delivery of the Action Groups.

Proposals for Action Groups that have not been selected can also receive support from the EIP Water Secretariat in case they would like to submit a new proposal in the 3rd call of the EIP Water, which is expected at the end of 2014.

Expected impacts

Four new Action Groups will be working on Decision Support Systems (DSS) and monitoring, a growing and very promising global market with expected profit margins of 8 to 11%. The Real Time Water Quality Monitoring Action Group from Spain for example takes the future needs of end-users as core, and builds technological solutions by also incorporating legal barriers and other non-technical barriers. There is not only market potential inside Europe but also in world regions outside of Europe. Standardisation, application development and awareness-raising are key elements of their planned activities.

Four other Action Groups are addressing a need and market for better drought risk management and irrigation in e.g. Southern Europe and export potential for a global market. Especially with a view to expected climate change impacts these activities are economically very relevant, not only in terms of mitigation but also with a view to efficiency gains. For example, the MAR Solutions to Mar-ket Action Group will have 8 demonstration sites to show the suitability of managed aquifer recharge techniques, involving nine different industrial branches.

The new Action Group on Large Photovoltaic Pumping Systems for Zero Energy Consumption in irrigation (PVAIZEC) for instance addresses a market of more efficient irrigation technologies. The potential market for this is estimated in 800 M€/year during the following ten years in the South of Europe. The Action Group has 4 planned demonstrations in 3 different countries.  

Three Action Groups working on water reuse and recycling innovations also address a European and global market in wastewater treatment and resource recovery, an estimated 5 billion Euro market globally. For example, the ARREAU Action Group will develop market plans to exploit and commercialize opportunities for recovered resources such as cellulose and phosphorous.  The Action Group Modular low-cost concept for WWTPs design led by WBL/Verdygo from the Netherlands aims to deliver modular low-cost Wastewater Treatment Plants through a new design and building process. The objective is to build several plants with this new concept, at already-identified locations of several customers in different countries.

Four Action Group are working on different challenges within water governance and aim to develop tangible solutions with strategic, indirect impact on legislation and better alignment of legislation and water management, such as looking at innovative water pricing policies or an innovative concept of water justice in the realm of democratic water governance. Another group will coordinate tools that will be of direct support of SMEs in the field of water innovation to increase their activities and international opportunities.  

Background, facts and data about the new Action Groups

Some key figures on the total response to the 2nd call of the EIP Water are provided here:

  • A total of 38 proposals were received in this second call for Expressions of Interest to establish Action Groups
  • 16 proposals were selected to start working as new EIP Water Action Groups.
  • Most submitted proposals aim at two of eight EIP Water priority areas: (i) water and wastewater treatment, in particular solutions around efficiency, energy and resource recovery, and (ii) decision-support systems and monitoring, in particular smart water management systems with export potential.
  • A total of 557 organisations and companies from 45 countries were involved, with lead organizations concentrating in 7 countries Leading countries in the total of  involved organizations were Spain, The Netherlands and Italy, while the inclusion of Asian countries was significantly higher than in the first call. Overall, the non-European involvement is a notable positive development.
  • All submitted proposals had a good spread across the value chain in the water sector; on average, each proposal had included organisations covering 70% of the value chain.
  • In this call, the group of knowledge providers (universities and technology institutions) dominated (also as lead organisations in the proposals). However, water users (water distribution companies/authorities and large consumers), technology companies and promoters (water sector associations, user lobby groups, NGOs) were also well represented.

Some key figures on the 16 selected Action Groups:

  • The EIP Water priority areas that dominate in the selected Action Groups are water governance, decisions-support systems and monitoring, and water and wastewater treatment. The pie chart below details the spread.
  • Among the 16 selected Action Groups most lead organizations are based in The Netherlands, followed by Spain, Italy and Belgium.
  • Accounting for all partners’ home bases, 36 countries are represented, spanning across Europe and other continents. Please see the pie chart here.
  • Most lead organizations in this call are knowledge providers, though obviously each Action Group has a balanced team of partners with a good spread across the water sector value chain, with on average covering 80% of the value chain.