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13th March 2012, Policy Seminar “Achieving solutions for water scarcity and drought” organised by STREAM project at the World Water Forum, Marseille

Contributed by: Minerva Consulting & Communication

From 2012-03-13 to 2012-03-13, Austria
The 2nd STREAM Policy Seminar “Achieving solutions for water scarcity and drought – using policies to promote concrete implementation of innovative water technologies” took place on March 13 as a side event of the World Water Forum in Marseille.
The seminar aimed to show how research results could be used to face policy needs in terms of water scarcity and drought and how to stimulate better exchange and uptake of information.

The event brought politicians and researchers together to make sure that policies are based on the latest research, research is policy driven, and together they focus on the practical implementation of solutions. The event was opened by the research projects XEROCHORE and INNOWATER and by two policy makers; one from the European Commission and one from the Regional Authority of Portugal.
Alison Cavey, from INNOWATER project, said that the main drivers for innovation have problems in realising policy objectives and most industries do not have time to understand these: in particular, she said “there is a lack of innovation policies”. From the point of view of the policy side, Robert Schroder, confirmed the importance of innovative solutions in developing the political challenges but recognised as well the need for funding for innovators and raised the issue of financial risk that take both parties, the funder and the funded. The European Innovation Platform develops ways to underpin both parties and build up on the inputs of stakeholders.

The second session after the networking lunch was focused on innovative solutions, proposed by the projects MAI-TAI, FLOW-AID, AquaFit4Use and Wataclic. Different perspectives at regional level and different issues to tackle but one relevant point in common: we need policy instruments to put the technologies on place. In most cases, indeed the technologies are there and could be used, but it is easier and cheaper to remain with the old ones, or there is a lack of sensitiveness to the issue. The value of water is different in different sectors and varies depending on the locations. We need integrated ways for adopting the innovative solutions proposed according to the different areas and problematic. One important final remark was to give a value to the innovation and to find ways to regularly fund the process of marketing as well. There was also a general agreement on the need of integrating water policy objectives with innovative solutions and more tailored made policies at EU level.

The programme, CVs of speakers, presentations and pictures will be soon available on STREAM website: http://www.stream-project.eu

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