Action Groups

How do Action Groups manage new members?

Every Action Group has its own policy towards accepting new partners. All Action Groups are proactive in assembling and maintaining a diversified group of partners, therewith having a comprehensive coverage of the innovation value chain. Several Action Groups favour a focused work plan in which they have assigned specific partners to specific tasks. Other Action Groups favour a more open policy because they wish to collect a wide range of voices. All Action Groups are in principle open for solicitations of organizations a/o companies that wish to contribute. However, it is up to the individual Action Group to decide upon acceptance of solicitations (as is often written down in their internal charters of operations). The Secretariat is available to inform and guide such solicitations.

What is the process for establishing an EIP Water Action Group?

Following an open call a completed version of the template of the Expression of Commitment needs to be submitted via the webform at: New Action Group Submission (not active when the call is not open)


During the preparation and group formation, one can participate in the forum "new Action Group submission" at: Forum (not active when the call is not open)


The submission of the commitment can be made by one organization on behalf of all organizations participating in the Action Group. Evaluation of the received Expression of Commitments will be made by the European Commission, within eight weeks from the closing date. The results of the evaluation will be communicated directly to those submitting the Expression of Commitment.


The selected proposals will be made publicly available via this website of the EIP Water.

How will the Action Group proposals (Expression of Commitments) be evaluated?

Each proposal and Commitment for establishing an EIP Water Action Group needs to fulfill the general criteria and EIP principles as described in the Action Group Guideline, available at New Action Group Submission (not active when the call is not open).


The key evaluation criteria are:

  • Excellence and innovation of the initiative;
  • Degree of inclusion of the innovation value chain; and
  • Strength of the demand for the proposed solution or new practice.

For more, please consult the Action Group Application Guideline at New Action Group Submission (not active when the call is not open).

What are the responsibilities of an Action Group?

An Action Group will

  • be responsible for proceeding towards the goals it has set itself and as defined in its proposal;
  • commit to the need for concrete results in the short to long term, specified as clear milestones in the application (dormant/inactive AGs will be excluded from the EIP Water);
  • report once a year on:
    • progress towards the defined objectives and milestones;
    • barriers to innovation that are being encountered by the Action Group, the way in which the Action Group is dealing with those barriers; and,
    • their recommendations on how relevant policies should be amended to remove such barriers.
What are the advantages of participating in/leading an Action Group?

The EIP Water sets out to facilitate a wide number of challenges related to the development of innovations in the water sector. By leading or participating in an Action Group you will get involved in and/or benefit from:


Improved networking and more collaboration: EIP Water helps to establish collaboration among partners from inside and outside Europe that are not encountered in everyday business. The EIP Water has already, and will further develop a wide international network of actors within the field of water and innovation and will support match-making and facilitation of collaboration.


Visibility and exposure: EIP Water will increase your visibility and improve your access to new stakeholders, target groups and demand for the developed innovative solutions. Organizations participating in Action Groups will be able to use the EIP Water branding in their communications on their Action Group.


Finance for water innovations: Although the EIP Water does not have its own budget, it will be linked to existing EU financial mechanisms such as the forthcoming research and innovation program Horizon 2020, LIFE and the Structural and Cohesion funds. This means that projects already running and working on one of the initial actions of the EIP Water might be better placed to apply for funding in the coming years.


EU water and innovation policy development: Participation in an EIP Water Action Group will help you in promoting specific policy changes towards an improved innovation transfer in the water sector. Action Groups will report on the innovation barriers they encounter and on proposals for their removal. The EIP Water Task Force will develop these experiences into policy recommendations, which will be brought forward to the relevant levels by the Steering Group. Actors in the Action Groups will therefore have indirect influence on innovation policy making.

What are the main topics / themes of the EIP-Water Action Groups?

Action Groups can focus on one or more of the 28 Initial Actions identified in the Strategic Implementation Plan, and should always focus on topics that clearly fit within the EIP-Water’s priority areas. The Strategic Implementation Plan is available to download here: Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP)

How many Action Groups can be formed?

There is no predefined limit to the number of Action Groups. Action Groups are always based on the initiative of interested stakeholders to work with other stakeholder within the framework of the EIP Water Strategic Implementation Plan. If two (or more) expressions of commitment to form an Action Group are received that cover the same themes/topics, it will be suggested to join forces and form one Action Group. This will not be an obligation, however. The upcoming call will be limited in focus to complement the existing assembly of Action Groups, more in the Guideline of the call, when it opens. 

What is an EIP Water Action Group?

Voluntary multi-stakeholder Action Groups will be a central element of the implementation of the EIP Water and are envisaged in its Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP).


Action Groups should advance the EIP Water headline target which it aims to achieve by 2020 (“To identify, test, scale up, disseminate and stimulate the uptake of innovative solutions by the market and society for 10 major water related challenges”), be stakeholder driven and collaborate towards the development of a clearly defined end goal.


Interested stakeholders are invited to take the initiative to form an EIP Water Action Group. EIP Water Action Groups should aim to bring together a relevant multi-stakeholder group of diverse partners across various disciplines for innovation in the water sector (e.g. research, industry, finance, NGO, ICT, etc.); they should aim to cover the entire innovation value chain and combine the demand and supply sides of innovation. Where possible, an international composition is encouraged, which can also include partners from outside the EU.


An EIP Water Action Group is formalized via Calls for Expression of Commitment and a short evaluation phase of proposals. Such calls will be made twice a year to create sufficient opportunity to start new Action Groups and to respond to potential adjustments of the Strategic Implementation Plan.


An action group is NEITHER a research consortium NOR an undefined partnership between companies or administrations without a concrete task. An Action Group will not have a legal contract with the European Commission. H2020 projects, or other already funded projects, could be associated to Action Groups to feed into their activities, if they are focussed on the same issue. 

EIP Water

What is the EIP Water?

The European Innovation Partnership on Water (EIP Water) is an initiative within the EU 2020 Innovation Union. The EIP Water facilitates the development of innovative solutions to address major European and global water challenges. At the same time, the EIP Water supports the creation of market opportunities for these innovations, both inside and outside of Europe.


The EIP Water aims to remove barriers by advancing and leveraging existing solutions. In its implementation phase, the EIP Water will promote and initiate collaborative processes for change and innovation in the water sector across the public and private sector, non-governmental organisations and the general public.


For more, please go to the About section of this website: About