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DAnube river region Resillience Exchange network

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - DAREnet (DAnube river region Resillience Exchange network)

Reporting period: 2020-03-01 to 2021-08-31

Many areas along the Danube flow are exposed to high flood risks, as illustrated by the seven major damaging floods, which occurred in the Danube River Basin between 2002 and 2014, which caused enormous damages and losses of life. For the future, it is expected that the general flood risk for the Danube region will continue to increase as a result of climate change. Moreover, the number of people and economic assets affected will rise. Practitioners will have to adapt fast to this increasing risk as well as keeping pace with an ever faster changing society. In this context, research, development and innovation (RDI) become key drivers for improving performance and effectiveness of flood response across borders and disciplines, and thereby creating new possibilities to deepen and enhance flood response cooperation throughout the entire region.
Against this background, the mission of the DAREnet project is to support flood practitioners, dealing with Danube flood prevention, response and recovery, across different disciplines and borders, to deepen and broaden their Research, Development and Innovation related collaboration. In particular, DAREnet will enable practitioners to develop joint and coordinated RDI Initiatives, addressing both, common and specific gaps or needs in the practice of flood prevention and response. These initiatives will be conceived, developed and steered by practitioners and will thereby strengthen sustainably flood resilience and practitioner collaboration in the Danube River region.
To achieve this mission, DAREnet is targeting at five distinct objectives:
• To fully deploy the DAREnet Network concept involving a broad range of civil protection professions and organisations from all countries of the Danube catchment;
• To identify, assess and prioritise research and innovation results that have the potential of being useful, usable and used by practitioners;
• To develop and update on a yearly basis an RDI Roadmap for the entire region enabling practitioners to drive the uptake of new solutions through own initiatives;
• To fully involve all strategic stakeholders in the process, in particular the EUCPM, EUSDR, and to build a long-term partnership for the implementation of the DAREnet RDI Roadmap and Initiatives;
• To establish collaborative innovation as a sustainable region-wide, collective practice
With regards to network and community building, DAREnet continues to progress well within the national communities of practitioners in Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, Hungary, Slovakia, Austria and Germany. Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic were the DAREnet National Contacts (DNC), which are responsible for coordinating the national networks within DAREnet, able to continuously expand and consolidate the networks. These networks include a large spectrum of flood management practitioners as well as external experts from policy making, academia and industry.
It needs to be highlighted, that DAREnet established a strategic collaboration with the EU Strategy for the Danube Region’s Priority Area A5 (Environmental risks). Through the close interaction and joint planning with the EUSDR PA 5 Disaster Management Working Group (DMWG) will the project be able to align its activities with the macro-regional priorities. This mutually reinforcing approach will enable a more effective implementation and enhanced results which will ultimately improve the pathways to sustainability.
DAREnet could establish contacts to relevant European projects and initiatives to not only exchange information and best practices but to plan and implement joint activities.
The value of the scenario-based approach for collaboratively formulating DAREnet Challenges and Research and Innovation topics could be confirmed, leading to the 2nd and 3rd edition of the DAREnet RDI roadmap.
To foster the end-user driven development of new solutions has the 2nd and 3rd call for Practitioner Initiatives been launched. The submitted innovation opportunities demonstrate the practitioner’s needs and will to improve flood management. The results were presented during the 2nd Annual Practitioner Forum, the 3rd edition of the Forum is currently in preparation.
Further, DAREnet has successfully set up a common exchange platform and process for innovators (academia, industry and innovating practitioners) to communicate about concepts, prototypes and solutions.
Finally, DAREnet’s comprehensive set of communication materials and tools, including its web site, a multi-lingual project video, flyers, posters and roll-ups contribute to increasing the project’s visibility and outreach within the Danube region and beyond.
Practitioners, who are concerned by Danube flood resilience, are confronted with the challenges of global climate change on Danube floods and more generally the protection of lives and economic assets in the Danube region. Innovation is critical for being able to cope with these challenges and this will be one of the key factors determining the future security of the populations in the main flood risk zones. Much practitioner innovation potential is wasted today by insufficient collaboration at the innovation stage, by innovation which is market-pushed rather than pulled by challenges, by innovation which is not effectively taken up by the potential beneficiaries.
The DAREnet Community addresses this gap by working towards more articulated and coordinated uptake of flood management innovations that will positively impact society and will be sustainable in the long-term. DAREnet aims at triggering a shift form the usual market-push to a “practitioner-pull” in the innovation of flood response and prevention. With its RDI Roadmap, DAREnet conveys a clear message about practitioner needs to the security industry and also strengthen the coherence of the demand from the different countries in region.
DAREnet actively seeks the contact to the owners of the practitioner initiatives and support them in the realization process. This way new collaborations between practitioners, research and industry is being created and leads to creating innovative products opening new market perspectives even beyond the Danube region. This will also greatly benefit European industry, and especially innovative SME in the region, to which DAREnet is offering a unique opportunity to knit strategic innovation alliances with later end-users.
By the end of project – and potentially even before - DAREnet will increase the innovation capacity in the area of civil protection, with a special focus on global flood resilience of the Danube region countries by providing a collaborative environment for different flood management stakeholders, by enabling them to prioritise their challenges, identify the associated innovation needs and opportunities and thus direct them towards innovations they really need. Finally, DAREnet will facilitate the uptake of innovative practices and solutions. Furthermore, DAREnet will enable an EU joint network concept for disaster resilience that will create new connections between civil protection organisations in the region and the EUCPM, complementing established cooperation through response assistance modules.
DAREnet consortium 2018