European Innovation Partnerships, proposed by the Europe 2020 Innovation Union flagship initiative, aimed to speed up innovations that contribute to solving societal challenges, enhance Europe’s competitiveness and contribute to job creation and economic growth. EIPs help to pool expertise and resources by bringing together public and private actors at EU, national and regional level, combining supply- and demand-side measures.
The overall objective of the EIP on Water was to support and facilitate the development of innovative solutions to deal with the many water-related challenges Europe and the world are facing, as well as to support economic growth by bringing such solutions to the market. At the same time, innovations are considered to be an important tool to develop adequate and state of the art European water policy.
The EIP on Water centred on removing barriers to innovation and connecting the supply and demand sides of water-related innovations. The activities of the EIP on Water structured around challenges in the areas of urban water management, rural water management and industrial water management, as well as addressing cross-cutting themes. The EIP on Water based on a multidisciplinary approach, identifying in which areas innovations are needed to develop solutions – research, technology, governance, ICT, financial or others. This approach ensured a maximum coordination with and use of the activities and outputs of existing European or national initiatives, such as the Joint Programming Initiative on Water, European Technology Platforms, Eco-Innovation Action Plan etc.
The EIP on Water was driven by a bottom-up approach to identify the priorities for action and to identify the bottlenecks and needs to facilitate innovation.
Anticipated outputs of the EIP on water included:
- innovation sites to identify barriers to innovation; develop, test and demonstrate concrete activities, actions, prototypes and solutions in relation to particular water challenges
- dissemination of breakthroughs and innovative solutions
- removal of water innovation barriers – regulatory, financial, standardization, technical, social, etc. – which hamper the successful delivery of innovations to the market; and
- a water innovation ‘market place’ to promote interaction between those facing water problems and those who can provide potential solutions, regardless of their geographical location.
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