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Policies, Innovation And Networks for enhancing Opportunities for China Europe Water Cooperation

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - PIANO (Policies, Innovation And Networks for enhancing Opportunities for China Europe Water Cooperation)

Reporting period: 2015-03-01 to 2016-08-31

The overall objective of PIANO is to create a strategic cooperation partnership for water research and innovation between Europe and China, 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 for China Europe Water Cooperation. PIANO will contribute to and is endorsed by the China Europe Water Platform (CEWP), and its 10 active EU Member States.

First, PIANO will strengthen the existing CEWP network to create a comprehensive China Europe water research and innovation network. Second, based on a comparative analysis of the water innovation landscape in Europe and China, PIANO will identify European technological water innovations with potential for implementation and replication in China. In addition, PIANO will identify opportunities for joint development to address water challenges, where both Europe and China lack market ready technological water innovations. Third, PIANO will identify drivers and barriers for implementation and replication of technical innovations. PIANO will also identify strategies to overcome obstacles and take advantage of drivers, to facilitate creation of business opportunities. Fourth, PIANO will promote knowledge exchange and a policy dialogue to create an enabling environment for the uptake of technological water innovations. Fifth, PIANO will develop a shared strategic research and innovation agenda between Europe and China in the water sector.

PIANO will align with current and future strategic initiatives to optimise opportunities for the EU and China across the water sector. To ensure success and achieve high impact, PIANO will be executed by a consortium of 9 leading European partners from both public and private sectors. Also, 13 leading Chinese partners are active PIANO participants, including the Ministries of Water Resources and of Environmental Protection.
In the first project period the following work was performed:
All tasks of WP1 were completed as per the Annex 1.
All tasks of WP2 were completed as per the Annex 1.
Initial work for WP 3has started.
Initial work for WP4 has started.
Several dissemination activities were carried out (WP5).
Creating market opportunities for European water innovations outside Europe, especially in China, is a key priority of PIANO. As highlighted by a recent report on the Chinese Water Sector by the EU SME Centre in Beijing , China’s water sector is estimated to be worth 60-100 billion EUR each year in the next 10 years. Indeed, due to three important water pricing policies, strategies and decisions introduced during the past three years, the water market is expected to rise significantly over the coming years, hence increasing demand for European technologies. The first is the China 2011 No. 1 Document on “Accelerating Water Conservancy Reform and Development” (No. 1 Document), which lays out an ambitious programme for reform of water management and upgrading of water infrastructure with an estimated investment of 500 billion Euro over a 10-year period and has been compared with the EU WFD in significance . The second is the State Council – MWR decree on the “Three Red Lines Strategy” for stricter water management , which implements the No. 1 Document in the fields of water allocation, water use efficiency in industry and water quality improvements. The third is a set of decisions by State Council and National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) on water pricing demanding ministries, provinces and municipalities 1) to achieve full cost recovery of water services by user charges, 2) to introduce progressive water prices in urban areas and 3) to introduce bulk water pricing based on a water scarcity principle - all to be implemented by the end of 2015.

As outlined in section replication of innovations is hampered by various barriers. PIANO pursues a structured approach that will first identify European technological water innovations with a potential for implementation in China, second identify barriers for implementation and replication of those technologies, third elaborate strategies to overcome those barriers and take advantage of drivers, and finally build up an enabling environment for the uptake of innovative technologies in China. This structured approach will allow PIANO to achieve the expected impact of creating market opportunities.