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Strategic cooperation partnerships

Specific challenge: Sustainable water supply and sanitation is fundamental to the food security, health, survival, societal well-being and economic growth in developing countries, especially in Africa. Developing countries are also particularly vulnerable to water-related problems which are expected to be exacerbated in the future by more frequent and severe floods and droughts due to climate change. A prerequisite for tackling these challenges is a profound analysis of water resources at cross-boundary catchment scales, pressures on water resources and conflicts in water use that require sound approaches to water management, taking into consideration broader socio-economic factors and greater gender balance in decision making. International cooperation can play an important role in mitigating negative effects. 

At the same time, the EU should aim to strengthen international cooperation also with emerging economies, especially China and India, through strategic partnerships in the field of water. This will allow for joint development of technological solutions that, capitalising on the mutual knowledge and experience of the water industry in EU Member States and these countries, have a great potential for further replication and market uptake. Building on its leadership in international water-related negotiations, the EU will promote its experience in water policy and river management in order to share best practices.

Scope: Proposals shall address the following issue:

Strategic cooperation partnerships[1] for water research and innovation between Europe and the rest of the world, promoting the creation of networks of companies (including SMEs), entrepreneurs, not for profit organisations, policy makers, regulators and funding bodies to create business and social opportunities. In line with the EU’s strategy for international cooperation in research and innovation[2] proposals contributing to implementing on-going international activities and partnerships where the EU Member States are jointly committed to providing a more coherent approach to research and innovation (e.g. EU/Member States-India research and innovation partnership on water, China-Europe Water Platform) that aim at establishing a shared strategic research and innovation agenda will be given priority.

Expected impacts

Creation of market opportunities for European water innovations outside Europe, thus supporting the implementation of the EIP 'Water' and its priority areas. Support to the implementation of the objectives set by the Strategic Forum for International Science and Technology Cooperation[3].

Type of action:

Coordination and support actions



[2]     This activity directly aimed at supporting the promotion of coherent and effective cooperation with third countries is excluded from the delegation to EASME and will be implemented by the Commission services.

[3]     COM(2012)497