NMP-24-2015 - Low-energy solutions for drinking water production
Specific challenge: Low-energy solutions are badly needed for water softening and especially for water desalination. The present technologies for large scale desalination of seawater are stuck at energy consumption rates around 3 kWh/m3 whilst the target has been set at 1 kWh/m3 years ago.
Scope: Approaches that may bring better performance and lower energy use may be based on (but are not limited to) a combination of membrane filtration (reverse osmosis, ultrafiltration incl. micro-nano filtration) and applying electric potential, electrochemical membrane processes, membrane distillation, selective ion conducting materials, or crystallisation of clathrates. Projects should develop integrated solutions or combinations of technologies that come closer to the mentioned target.
Projects should aim at developing pilot plants demonstrating the low energy consumption as well as the overall competitiveness of the technology.
The implementation of this proposal is intended to start at Technology Readiness Levels 4-5, target Technology Readiness Levels 6-7.
In line with the objectives of the Union's strategy for international cooperation in research and innovation (COM(2012)497), international cooperation is encouraged, in particular with developing countries.
For this topic, proposals should include an outline of the initial exploitation and business plans, which will be developed further in the proposed project.
Wherever possible, proposers could actively seek synergies, including possibilities for funding, with relevant national / regional research and innovation programmes and/or cumulative funding with European Structural and Investment Funds in connection with smart specialisation strategies. For this purpose the tools provided by the Smart Specialization Platform, Eye@RIS3 may be useful. The initial exploitation and business plans will address such synergies and/or additional funding. Exploitation plans, outline financial arrangements and any follow-up will be developed further during the project. The results of these activities as well as the envisaged further activities in this respect should be described in the final report of the project.
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 5 and 8 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.
· Contribution to one of the main global societal issues – access to safe and pure water;
· Improved performance, energy efficiency and usability of high-performance water purification systems;
· Benefit the European water purification industry through new product developments in this important growth market.
Type of action: Innovation Actions
 http://s3platform.jrc.ec.europa.eu; the relevant Managing Authorities can be found at http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/indexes/in_your_country_en.cfm</p>