EU Water Innovation Conference 2019:
Accelerating action to tackle water pollution and enhance EU preparedness to water-related climate change impacts
Zaragoza, Spain. 11 – 13 December 2019
Background: This will be the 5th EIP Water Conference, following the successful events in Brussels (2013), Barcelona (2014), Leeuwarden (2016) and Porto (2017), and will build upon the European Innovation Partnership (EIP Water)’s efforts so far to foster innovation in the water sector and overcome the main existing barriers. At the same time, it is a stepping stone into the future, as the current EIP Water is planned to end in 2020, and it will likely be followed by new actions to address water-related challenges, secure enhanced compliance with the EU water acquis and foster the research-policy interface, whilst strengthening partnerships for joint efforts.
Overall aim: To raise awareness about the need and urgency to improve water management across the European Union towards a water-smart society, take stock of recent European Commission’s policy assessments and of research and innovation results and outcomes, as well as to promote the exchange of best practices and innovative approaches at the technical, governance and policy levels.
Specific regional objective: To support the regional EBRO2030 strategic agenda for sustainable development with the focus on the Agenda 2030, and to increase knowledge about the funding and management of European water policies. In addition, to analyse different approaches for public-private collaborations in water in Europe.
Overall structure: Full-day conference including introduction and keynote, four thematic sessions and wrap-up; possible back-to-back events on 11 and 13 December 2019.
Draft agenda 12 December 2019
09:00-10:00 Registration & networking with coffee being served
Aim: To urge action for clean, safe and secure water in the frame of the 2030 Agenda; to take stock of key findings based on the 2019 Report on the Implementation of the Water Framework and Floods Directives, as well as of the Fitness Check on EU Water law.
- Welcome by the local host & the European Commission
- Keynote “Key messages for the future of the European Union’s water policies and management” (European Commission)
- Keynote “The urgency to manage water sustainably – a key component to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals” by Susan Gardner, UN Environmental Programme
11:00-12:30 Session 1 “Preparedness to water-related climate change impacts”
Aim: To generate awareness and guidance for further adaptation action provide good examples and tools and promote the EU Climate Adaptation Strategy in the water sector.
- Presentation: Nexus challenges, trade-offs and synergies under climate change: What can policy solve? (Maria Witmer, PBL Netherlands and SIM4NEXUS)
- Presentation: Lessons learnt from the implementation of the EU Climate Adaptation Strategy (DG CLIMA)
- Discussion: How to improve policy, research and innovation and financing frameworks to roll out climate adaptation actions in the water sector in the next decade? What solutions are available or merit being scaled up? What role for EU policy in making them happen?
- “Water Innovation Museum” including Alicia Asín, Libelium and other panellists.
13:30-14:30 Session 2 “The private sector taking action for sustainable water management”
Aim: To recognise and showcase positive engagement from the private sector and motivate further action and mainstreaming.
- Moderated session with David Martin, ECOLAB and Coen van Iwaarden, Nature’s Pride, tba
- “People’s choice”
14:30-16:00 Session 3 “Pollution challenges as opportunities for innovation”
Aim: To call for further action on risk assessment methodologies and de-polluting waters and to showcase challenges and innovative solutions.
- Presentation: Technology development and the application of the precautionary, the control at source and polluter pays principles, by Alexander Keucken, Vatten & Miljö i Väst AB (VIVAB)
- Moderated discussion, including brief showcase interventions by:
- Luis Salvatella, Instituto de Síntesis Química y Catálisis Homogénea (ISQCH), CSIC-Universidad de Zaragoza
- Jean-Francois Pekel, Joint Research Centre (JRC) and other experts
- Norbert Kreuzinger, Technical University Vienna & Water JPI Knowledge Hub on Pollutants of Emerging Concern
- A water innovation controversial debate, featuring:
- Thomas van Gilst, European Investment Bank (EIB) and other participants
16:00-16:30 Networking coffee break
16:30-17:30 Session 4 “Lessons learned and future prospects from a research and innovation view-point”
Aim: To showcase innovation policy contributions to tackle key water challenges and secure better climate adaptation and reduced pollution, based on the experiences gained thanks to Horizon 2020, LIFE and other EU co-funding instruments.
- Outlook on EU research and innovation funding for water under Horizon Europe (DG RTD)
- Moderated discussion
- Main messages from today for tomorrow (Marina Arnaldos Orts & Jorge Rodríguez Chueca, Spanish YWP Chapter / Universidad Politécnica de Madrid).
- Final statements by the local host and the European Commission
Possible dinner/cocktail & networking activity (tbd)