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A workshop specifically dedicated to the European Fast Track to Innovation – FTI funding programme took place on 21 October 2015. This workshop was organised by the Spanish Office for Science and Technology (SOST), the representative of the Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI) in Brussels, to inform representatives of the Regional Authorities having an office in the European capital as well as delegates from other associations and companies about said funding programme.

The workshop featured Pillar Cervero Bárcena, a Project Officer of the Executive Agency for SMEs (EASME) and an FTI call assessment coordinator, who detailed the preliminary results of this first FTI programme call and set out the lessons which had been learnt. In addition, she also shared the SME Instrument’s latest updates.

Pilar Zapata Aranda, a Project Manager at BIOAZUL S.L., subsequently presented the successful experience of a participant in the first FTI programme call, since BIOAZUL had the honour of being the only Spanish participant that submitted a winning proposal as coordinator and, at the same time, being one of the four Spanish partners which will benefit from this programme.

She presented the RICHWATER project aimed at taking advantage of the TREAT&USE system, a highly promising outcome of another successful FP7 project which was geared at safely reusing regenerated water and the nutrients it contains in agricultural applications. A prototype capable of treating around 40 m3 of water a day was designed and then implemented on a small scale in a tomato plantation in southern Spain. Wastewater is treated through this system and becomes totally pathogen-free regenerated water. It, however, conserves essential nutrients for agriculture, which can be used. The use of fertilisers is thus avoided by irrigating with this water, significantly reducing production costs.

The RICHWATER system will consist of sizing the TREAT&USE prototype to real scale in order to treat at least 100 m3 of water a day, thus making it applicable to an intensive agricultural production scheme. The project’s outcome will therefore be a treatment system that is ready for marketing.

El resultado del proyecto RICHWATER será por lo tanto un sistema de tratamiento de aguas residuales en producciones agrícolas listo para ser comercializado

BIOAZUL’s experience as a proposals catalyst was one of the main attractions for the audience, since Pilar Zapata explained the different phases of preparing a proposal under the FTI scheme from a company’s standpoint, highlighting the most critical sections according to the experience gained by her company. There was also time to share some experiences about the SME Instrument, in which BIOAZUL also turned out to be the winner of another proposal.

The session was highly participative with a great deal of interaction with the audience throughout the workshop.

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