THE DANUBE REGIONAL STRATEGY PRESENTED IN EIP WATER CONFERENCE 2016
How is water innovation succeeding in Europe?
EIP Water Conference 2016 and Cities & Water Conference in WaterCampus Leeuwarden-with representative of Danube Strategy Water Quality Priority Area
In order to facilitate the development of innovative solutions that address major European and global water challenges and to create market opportunities for them the European Commission launched the EIP Water initiative within the EU 2020 Innovation Union in 2012. The conferences support EIP Water by contributing to the removal of innovation barriers and creating opportunities to further water innovation in the European water sector and around the globe. Participants could learn how the European Commission and EIP Water are working to overcome the established five key barriers and bottlenecks to innovation in water in Europe and the direction the European Commission is taking in order to further innovation in water in Europe.
This year the third European Innovation Partnership (EIP) Water Conference organized by the European Commission had the theme “How is water innovation succeeding in Europe?” The conference on 10 February 2016 in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands, provided a thought-provoking and pragmatic exchange about innovation and how innovation partnerships in general, and specifically in the water sector, are progressing in Europe. It was attended by leading figures in the field of water innovation in Europe, including Directors from the European Commission, the Dutch Minister of Infrastructure and the Environment, EIP Water Action Groups and leading Innovation Economist Ms Mazzucato.
Danube Strategy’s Priority Area Water Quality Coordination Team Member Zsuzsanna Kocsis–Kupper participated in the expert panel ‘’Idea generator: innovation barriers” at the conference.
Speakers in the one-day conference with almost 550 participants from over 50 countries appealed to stakeholders to be mission-driven and ambitious, with governmental agencies not simply taking on the role of facilitating private sector engagement, but being an integral part of the innovation chain by setting the roadmap, helping partners to navigate along it and ultimately being part of the team that celebrates the accomplishments. The presentation by the City of London provided a good example of how such a big mission is absolutely critical to be able to master the stresses of climate change, rapid population growth and ageing infrastructure and avoid once more facing the “perfect storm” disaster that the city was facing after consecutive winter droughts in 2011 and 2012.
Participants were further inspired to be brave and not see failure as something to be ashamed about; rather, failure should be seen as an integral part of any innovation, based on having learnt what does not work as part of the process of discovering what actually does. This became apparent in the EIP Water’s Got Talent competition where the winner – Resolute Marine Ltd. – demonstrated a significantly different approach with a technology that desalinates at the coast by using wave power.
The innovations and the partnerships from within EIP Water that were showcased verified that financing and regulation are the two key barriers to innovation in water in Europe. A panel discussion of how to resolve these key barriers recommended for example extending the EU Life+ Programme’s focus on replicability. Danube Strategy was presented as a platform for cooperation and was cited to be there to help stakeholders and find solutions for water challenges.
Also please see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ptZAhb6VbY
In addition to an inspiring programme, participants enjoyed the networking opportunities before and during the event which contributed to reinforcing the European water community with a specific interest in innovating the sector. Commissioner Vella also participated and provided an opening speech during the official diner event.
The conference concluded with the Leeuwarden declaration: “Why and how to drive water innovation in Europe”, which presents the key findings of the event and sets out a set of actions to addressing the main barriers to innovation in the water sector and how to overcome them.
See more at: http://www.eip-water.eu/programme-eip-water-conference-2016 and for the presentations: http://www.slideshare.net/eip-water
EIPWater2016 main outcome: The Leeuwarden declaration
The Leeuwarden declaration presents key findings and a European innovation action agenda that address the urgent need to accelerate the development and uptake of innovation – i.e. innovative approaches, technology and governance – in the European water sector; it was proclaimed on 10 February 2016 at the 3rd conference of the EIP Water in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands. The declaration contains a series of key findings related to eight main topics of the conference and presents a corresponding set of Recommended Actions – a European Innovation Action Agenda – by the participants. It calls upon European governments, research institutions and universities, the private sector, industry, development and investment banks, donors, river basin organizations, water and energy/gas associations, multi- and bilateral institutions, community-based organizations, local and regional authorities and all other stakeholders to commit to the actions and recommendations of the declaration in order to accelerate innovation development in the water sector and removal of innovation barriers in Europe and beyond.http://www.eip-water.eu/leeuwarden-declaration-why-and-how-drive-water-innovation-europe
Inspiring Cities & Water Conference- 11 February 2016
On February 11 directors from different European countries came together in the Cities & Water Conference. In Leeuwarden at the Cities & Water Conference there was laid the groundwork for the European Urban Water Agenda 2030. In this European Urban Water Agenda come to be objectives for resolving water issues in European cities.European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, was speaking about the challenges and opportunities in the future for Europe in the field of urban water management.Aziza Akmouch, Head of the Water Governance Programme OECD, presented the first edition of the new Water Governance OECD report, while Hans Bruyninckx, Executive Director, European Environment Agency shared his thoughts on Urgency of water challenges for European cities and Henk-Jan Meijer, mayor city of Zwolle presented on Urban agenda, city deals and flood protection.
In the afternoon, participants could choose for several parallel sessions about water issues. During these sessions there was room to discuss important topics in the field of water for the future. Presentations of European directors and water experts were interspersed with interaction and discussion.
In the section Water Quality and Circular Economy, Head of Unit Pavel Misiga from DG Environment, European Commission provided the introductory speech. Beside Dutch and German speakers the special situation of the Danube Region was also presented by Zsuzsanna Kocsis-Kupper from the Water Quality Priority Area, highlighting the need for attention for maintenance and operational costs, the issues Non EU countries face as well.
The day ended with the presentation of the input from the various parallel sessions, a reflection on funding opportunities and a discussion on how to address water issues in Europe. With this useful input the various parties can continue to work on the drafting of the European Urban Water Agenda!
Click here to see the presentations: http://watercampus.nl/conference-programme/