€40m up for grabs to solve European water challenges

Research funding worth €40m (£32.5m) will be made available in 2013 to support the development and uptake of innovative solutions to water challenges in Europe.

The Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP), adopted by the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on Water, today, set out priority areas where solutions are needed.

The Water EIP was set up to “Identify, test, scale up, disseminate and deploy innovative solutions for 10 major water related challenges” by 2020.

These were today narrowed down to five challenges which include water reuse and recycling, water and wastewater treatment and risk management of water related extreme events.

Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik said: “We need innovation to solve our water challenges, and to help deliver on the objectives of the Blueprint to Safeguard Europe’s Water Resources that we recently adopted.

“The Water Innovation Partnership brings together the private and public actors who can take ideas to the market.

“Implementing the SIP will not only ensure that enough good quality water is available to meet the needs of people, the economy and the environment, it will also strengthen the European water industry on the global market which is expected to double by 2030.”

The world water market is growing rapidly, and estimated to reach $1tn ($600bn) by 2020.

According to the EU, unlocking the innovation potential in the field of water management could significantly contribute to job creation and competitiveness.

The funding was announced following key actions set out by EU Environment Ministers on improving governance of those involved in managing water resources. 

Conor McGlone

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