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Demonstration/pilot activities


Specific challenge: One of the main factors hampering the market uptake of innovative solutions in the field of water is the lack of real scale demonstration of their long term viability. In addition, highly promising and sustainable eco-innovative water solutions (technologies, processes, products, services etc.) often do not reach the market due to pre-commercialisation challenges and the residual risk linked to scaling-up.

There is therefore a need to take action to accelerate the commercialisation of eco-innovative water solutions with a view to stimulating sustainable economic growth, business and job creation in the water sector.

The EIP on Water[1] has identified 8 priority areas: 5 thematic priorities (water reuse and recycling; water and waste water treatment, including recovery of resources; water and energy integration; flood and drought risk management; and the role of ecosystem services in the provision of water related services) and 3 cross-cutting priorities (water governance; decision support systems and monitoring; and financing for innovation). According to the EIP on Water, these are areas which show high potential for innovation and market uptake.

Scope: Proposals shall address the following:Demonstration/pilot activities of new or improved innovative water solutions in a real environment, with a focus on the cross cutting priorities identified in the EIP on water, while addressing the thematic priorities.The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 6 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.

Proposals may also aim to help process industries become less water dependant while ensuring efficient management of other resources (e.g. raw materials and energy), and/or exploiting untapped potential of ICT by developing and deploying advanced ICT solutions for water resources management in agriculture and urban areas.

Complex issues should be addressed with innovative, creative solutions with a globally positive environmental impact demonstrated by life cycle analysis. Social, institutional, economic and governance aspects ensuring a more rapid uptake of solutions as well as aspects affecting market deployment and uptake, such as, standardisation and regulatory issues, market assessment and business plan, should be considered where appropriate. Proposals should include the participation of SMEs, as far as possible.

Expected impact: Wide and fast deployment of sustainable innovative solutions in the water management sector. Contribution to the implementation of the EIP 'Water'. Support to the objectives of the Sustainable Process Industries Public-private Partnership (SPIRE PPP), in particular helping process industries and consumers to socially accept water as a highly valuable resource rather than a cheap consumable. Market penetration and demonstration, long-term application and sustained use of successful and sustainable innovative solutions by various end-users. Creation of new market opportunities both inside and outside Europe. Increased resource efficiency and environmental performance of the water sector, inter alia through synergies between public water authorities, water utilities, various economic actors and sectors, major companies and industries, SMEs and research organisations. Significant reduction in water use. More than 50% reduction of energy demand in water supply, treatment and transportation. Development and uptake of water efficiency standards in urban, agricultural and industrial areas, including the promotion of interoperability between water information systems at EU and national levels and their harmonisation with the INSPIRE Directive. Support to the implementation and evaluation of technology verification schemes, including the EU Environmental Technology Verification Pilot (ETV) programme[2].

Type of action:Innovation actions