Smart technologies

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Smart Technologies are highly efficient, interdisciplinary technologies that enable a step change in the water domain. Intelligent Sensors and steering devices enable to operate the infrastructure in a more flexible manner in changing urban settings. They can include e.g. process or information technologies at varied levels of technology readiness. Smart technologies have their impact on all the selected EIP Water priorities.


Important barriers for innovation in this area are the lack of knowledge of new technologies and its capabilities, risk-aversion, a lack of launching customers, as well as a fragmented sector.

Market opportunities

Based on the very high life expectancy of water and wastewater treatment facilities as well as drinking and wastewater networks in the range of typically 30 to 100 years, substitution market opportunities are available but market uptake velocity will be moderate. Smart technologies can be introduced while retrofitting existing installations in Europe, or building new infrastructures in emerging countries. The adequate technologies, market drivers and accompanying measures may differ.


Overall objectives are to increase efficiency, (in terms of cost, energy and resources) of process and information technologies applied in the EIP Water priority areas. This requires adequate research and investment, which will be guided by a living, yearly updated portfolio of effective technologies of varying readiness. The methodology to build, update and execute this portfolio will have to be developed. This should lead to an increase of EU and export markets in smart water technologies by 25% in 2020. This will also lead to increased cost-efficiency (30% improvement by 2020). As an enabler, it is linked to meeting technology-dependent objectives within the priority areas.

No separate actions are defined for Smart Technologies, as they are identified as a key enabler for the EIP Water priorities. Smart Technologies have been integrated in the actions of the priorities, where applicable.