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Centre of Excellence (CoE) Lisbon International Centre for Water

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - LIS-Water (Centre of Excellence (CoE) Lisbon International Centre for Water)

Reporting period: 2017-09-01 to 2018-08-31

The National Laboratory of Civil Engineering (LNEC), from Portugal, has partnered with two
world-leading organizations - Cranfield University (UCRAN), from the United Kingdom, and Sorbonne Business School (IAE de Paris), from France - to design, develop and implement the Lisbon International Centre for Water (LIS-Water).
Located in Lisbon, LIS-Water intends to be a not-for-profit Centre of Excellence focused on public policies, regulation and management on water services and related water resources. It will respond to the challenges deriving from water being one of the top world priorities, recognised by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) recently approved by the United Nations.
LIS-Water aims at boosting leading edge research and innovation (R&I), with a multidisciplinary and integrated approach, with high impact not only in Portugal, Europe and in the Portuguese speaking countries, but also worldwide. LIS-Water intends to innovate in new approaches, processes, business models, governance models, services, products and technologies in the water sector. To this end, it will employ and engage researchers, academics and all stakeholders in co-producing research and in transferring the results into policy decisions, the creation of better professional skills and organizational best practices, the dynamization of industry and the informed engagement of society.
It is well-known that water is one of the main priorities of Humankind, and public policies, regulation and management of water services and associated water resources still reveal serious shortcomings and challenges that need to be overcome. Water is an exceptional case of a coming together of technology and governance aspects – and as such need a Centre of Excellence that can bring researchers focused on each of these two broad aspects together in a coherent and well-structured manner. There is an increasing pressure to implement sustainable water governance practices on a global scale to ensure water security and access to safe drinking water. All countries are expected to meet the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, adopted under the United Nations umbrella, including SDG6 - Clean water and sanitation for all. Water is also a cross-cutting issue, essential to achieve all the other SDGs. A number of international and national policy documents place similar obligations and commitments, implying high investments in appropriate water services and water resources. LIS-Water can provide an important contribution to fill the gaps internally and abroad, by boosting the R&I performance of Portugal and the EU in general, and by providing a new and more integrated approach to water services and related water resources.
LIS-Water’s main promoter (LNEC) and the two other founding members (UCRAN and IAE de Paris) are internationally well recognised scientific organisations, with many decades of experience, that bring complementary competences to LIS-Water. Additionally, an impressive number of about 60 very diverse supporting organisations that represent the water sector have already joined LIS-Water, paving the way for the establishment of the LIS-Water ecosystem.
The main objective of the first phase (one-year) of the LIS-Water project was to develop an extensive, detailed and robust Business Plan for the setting-up and operation of the Centre of Excellence in the second phase.
During the first phase (one-year) of the LIS-Water project, 19 project deliverables were developed, including the Business Plan and the Financial Plan for the first 10 years of the Centre’s operation:
- Stakeholder mobilisation and dissemination plan
- Stakeholder engagement report
- Strategic plan
- Scientific portfolio
- LIS-Water R&I programme
- Education and training programme
- Entrepreneurship and business support tools
- Social engagement and outreach strategy
- Policy support and regulation initiative
- Marketing and communication plan
- Stakeholder and partnership management strategy
- Intellectual property/knowledge transfer strategy
- Operational plan
- Financial plan
- Risk analysis and mitigation plan
- Evaluation and monitoring strategy
- Implementation plan
- Final business plan
- Project management and coordination plan
Several meetings and dissemination and mobilization actions were carried out all over the world, including pilot activities (e.g. training actions, think tanks and strategic advice), essential to test and validate the designed approaches, with the establishment of partnerships, among many other actions. The project and the LIS-Water ecosystem already counts with the involvement of about 60 national, foreign and international entities.
The referred project results will support the setting-up and future operation of the LIS-Water Centre of Excellence and will help to achieve an increased impact in the country and worldwide.
The expected impact in Portugal of the creation of LIS-Water CoE through the Teaming partnership is to: (i) increase Portuguese scientific capabilities and enable a strategic growth path to long-term opportunities for economic development, with links to innovative clusters on water (for example, circular economy, wise cities, climate change); (ii) achieve over the medium to long term a measurable and significant improvement in R&I culture in Portugal (through indicators such as research intensity, innovation performance, values and attitudes towards R&I); (iii) provide benefits to intensive R&I performers, in terms of access to new research paths, increased creativity and development of new approaches, as well as a basis for increased mobility (inwards and outwards) of qualified scientists; (iv) convert Portugal into a recognized international hub on water research and contribute to the world water innovation agenda; (v) consolidate outstanding skills on research in water public policy, management and regulation in Portugal; (vi) create a thematic water technological platform, with partnership between stakeholders and exchange of research and other staff; (vii) improve scientific capabilities to increase the capacity to seek competitive funding in international fora (including the EU Framework Programmes), and the potential to attract international research and services contracts; (viii) internationalize Portuguese science (leveraging scientific employment and rejuvenating scientific staff); (ix) provide accessible and integrated solutions for many national and foreign organisations and end-users (water regulators; public administration; water utilities; investment banks; consulting companies; water industry); (x) benefit a large number of professionals (academics; water policy makers; water executives and directors; water professionals; young water professionals).
LIS-Water project has had an impressive accession and impact both nationally and internationally, which opens up excellent prospects for its long-term impact.
LIS-Water global approach
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