Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

H2020

WIDEST Report Summary

Project reference: 642423
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.5.4.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - WIDEST (Water Innovation through Dissemination Exploitation of Smart Technologies)

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

WIDEST project (Water Innovation through Dissemination Exploitation of Smart Technologies) is a Coordination and Support Action (CSA) funded by the EU research and innovation programme Horizon 2020. WIDEST envisions a thriving and interconnected Information and Communication Technology (ICT) network for the whole Water Community. WIDEST’s main objective is to promote the dissemination and exploitation of the results of European Union funded activities in this area, along with all the relevant advances achieved in the sector.

From inception ICTs have played a pivotal role in the lives of industrial, rural and urban water systems. Water is a critical resource for life, and for our economy. However, the aquatic environment faces many critical challenges; climate change, water scarcity, pollution and ecosystem degradation, population growth, increasing energy costs, water quality and the design and management of water infrastructure are some of the complex issues which are changing the sector. In addition, the drive to provide better services at an affordable cost is challenging marketability also. If matched with appropriate and effective ICTs, water issues can be properly addressed and managed.

Due to the presently ineffective nature of water management systems worldwide, many experts believe that technology and smart water technologies are the only real way to enable the huge reductions to the present capital and operational running costs currently incurred by the utilities. Water Authorities, Water Utilities and vested stakeholders will need to use technological innovation to bring improvement to the water sector. A smart water system is one in which technology manages the allocation, distribution and management of water resources, where advanced water treatment is present, where demand-side efficiency is enabled and where products improve water efficiency, energy efficiency and food production.

Despite this promising scenario, several barriers appear for the implementation of smart technologies such as: the fragmentation of the sector, slow adoption of new technologies, absence of SME development and no holistic vision being set out for the sector.

To overcome this situation, WIDEST defines 5 general objectives, which are very close related with the main outcomes of the project:

- Objective 1 (O1) - Run an ICT for Water Observatory (IWO): Consisting of literature search and reviews of relevant academic references, projects initiatives, industrial publications and any other dissemination channel where latest scientific & innovation advances could be reported. All the information collected will be analysed and adapted to the different target profiles of stakeholders to reach. Analysis of commercial developments to follow existing and emerging stakeholders and technology trends will be also conducted.
- Objective 2 (O2) - Establish Common Dissemination Frameworks: These are intended to support stakeholders identify and orient them to opportunities for applying new technologies within their system operations, together with the promotion of collaboration and sharing, articulate values and best practices, and assimilate sharing knowledge as an everyday experience. Common media such as guidelines, and other relevant topics supported with a website, social media platforms, and an online video channel to share knowledge of ICTs applied to Water.
- Objective 3 (O3) - Organise events. Including conferences, workshops, and special sessions to encourage interaction between stakeholders and the public, host panel discussions on central issues for the roadmap, provide opportunities for interviews, and finally, sharing all the media and conclusions obtained with the community. Combined with O2, this objective will contribute to increase information/knowledge sharing among stakeholders. If information were shared among the various decision-makers and stakeholders, strategies could be coordinated, better decisions could be made, water s

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

WIDEST activities performed during this first reporting period (from February 2015 to January 2016) have been aligned with the project objectives, and towards the consecution of the project outcomes. Efforts have been devoted to run the ICT for Water Observatory, to collect and start analysing information to publish the 4 Roadmaps during the 2nd year of the project, to start collecting, analysing and populating the Portfolio, and finally, to organise and attend events, along with stablishing dissemination frameworks and execute several dissemination activities.

In order to run the ICT for Water Observatory (IWO), a first definition of the scope, relevant sources of information, and initial IWO operation was done. After that, a specific methodology for gathering and reporting activities was defined and put in execution. Currently, iterations collecting literature and technology trends relevant to the field of ICT for Water are being run. These iterations include the gathering, classification and analysis of those sources which are currently available in internal databases. These databases are expected to be published in May 2016, coinciding with the public website version of the IWO.

In parallel to the literature and technology trends analysis, a Portfolio of effective ICT for Water management technologies is being built. With this aim, an initial design and a definition of a methodology to build, update and execute the Portfolio has been defined. Moreover, to better understand stakeholders’ necessities and interests, a survey was sent. The stakeholders list came from the contact databases of WIDEST project partners, and the International Water Association, and the WssTP user databases. The stakeholders feedback, allowed for a definition of an exploitation plan strategy, in order to maximise the accessibility to the information generated and collected within WIDEST project. Finally, after the Portfolio structure definition, initial actions to populate it have been executed. At the moment, the Portfolio information is being stored in local databases, pending of being published to the public IWO during the second year of the project.

The Topical Roadmaps are focused on three concrete issues: “Semantic Interoperability and Ontologies”, “Smart City Connection” and “Smart Water Grids”. During the first year of WIDEST project, making use of outputs coming from the IWO and Portfolio contents collection and analysis, and making use of other Topical Roadmap oriented literature research, first analysis have been performed. As a result of these analyses, the state of the art of each Topical Roadmap has been defined. Moreover, in the case of the Semantic Interoperability and Ontologies Topical Roadmap, major challenges and issues have been identified and analysed. To make the Roadmaps the most valuable content, several interactions with stakeholders to discuss relevant issues have been done, hence assuring the inclusion of those issues in the results.

Above the three Topical Roadmaps, an Overall Roadmap will be published. In this regards, literature analysis for detecting gaps, restrictions and bottlenecks on regulations and Smart Technologies according to water business processes has been done. Efforts in analysing literature for giving recommendations and guidelines for policy makers and readers have also been devoted.

With the main aim of maximising the dissemination of the project advances and outcomes, the dissemination of all information and material collected and analysed, several communication channels have been setup. The most important ones are the project website (http://www.widest.eu), the Twitter account (https://twitter.com/widest_eu), the LinkedIn group (https://www.linkedin.com/groups/8350127) and the newsletters. Moreover, WIDEST has participated in 25 international events, including special sessions in International Conferences, open events, and demo workshops. In addition, strong links with the ICT4Wat

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

WIDEST will contribute to progress beyond the state of the art during the second year of the project, when the three Topical Roadmaps and the Overall Roadmap will feed the community with a new vision of ICTs applied to the Water sector. Moreover, a specialised Observatory (IWO) including literature, technology trends and a product Portfolio will be available to public at large, thus fostering a better use of ICTs applied to Water, from citizen to water managers, including policy makers, academic, and the wide spectrum of the Water sector stakeholders.

However, during the first year of WIDEST project, first impacts have been achieved in terms of dissemination. In order to enhance science and evidence based decision making, to foster the application of best management practices and new developments to address needs and opportunities in the water field, and to enhance water and innovation policies, several dissemination actions and publications have been done. These dissemination actions include (i) the uploading of two MOOCs that can be accessed through WIDEST webpage (http://www.widest.eu/index.php/project/moocs) with about 125 participants; (ii) 3 Workshops including: ICT for water – Working Workshop meeting, Hydro Domain Working Group Workshop and Special session on standards and standardisation (closed event with invited stakeholders); 3 publications; and more than 15 other dissemination activities.

Fostering a more integrated community of researchers and users extending across disciplines, countries, organizations and sectors is a goal of WIDEST project. With this aim, WIDEST was linked with the existing EIP Water Action Group CTRL+SWAN - Cloud Technologies & ReaL time monitoring + Smart Water Network (AG126) (http://www.eip-water.eu/CTRL_SWAN and http://www.swan.technology/), thus spreading WIDEST messages among this community, but also feeding from the Action Group to disseminate its messages to other communities. In a similar way, WIDEST has been deeply involved in all activities run under the ICT4Water cluster (http://www.ict4water.eu/). In the case of ICT4Water cluster, two WIDEST project members are part of the steering committee.

Thanks to WIDEST activities during this first year, the public engagement in research and the public understanding of the dynamic nature of water systems and the role of innovation in water sector has been improved. Demonstration Workshops and Special Sessions where WIDEST has been involved during this first year, have obtained outstanding assistance logs. The most relevant ones are: (i) Annual SWAN Conference and Extended Standards session (ICT4WATER cluster meeting): Over 400 participants; (ii) WssTP- Water Innovation Conference 2015: Around 400 people, from all fields related to the water industry and the EC. It has a great visibility among the industry; (iii) Special session at a Conference and 2nd session on Standards and Standardisation Session, CCWI: Over 250 participants at the Conference. The special session was attended by over 80 people; (iv) Exhibition booth (ICT4WATER), demonstration and special networking session during the ICT 2015 Conference in Lisbon: Over 6000 people visited the exhibition at the Conference venue. Around 100 people attended the networking session, and this number was limited by the fact that the room allocated for the event by the Conference had a limited capacity; (v) Final Stakeholder consultation event on the new Drinking Water Directive: The event was attended by around 80 selected and invited stakeholders representing different organisations; and (vi) ICT4Water Open Day in Barcelona: Over 100 registered people attended the event.

Apart from the previous social impacts, WIDEST project website and other online resources represent a communication frontend with the world. WIDEST website analytics regarding to this reporting period revealed 4700 visits from 52 different countries, and downloads of the current available documents accounted for 150 (obt

Related information

Record Number: 187330 / Last updated on: 2016-07-18