Finding innovative solutions for water scarcity in Southern Europe
Enhance knowledge and overcome current barriers to tackle water scarcity in Southern Europe
Innovative solutions to water scarcity
Boosting innovation in Italy, Greece and Spain
Regarding climate change predictions, water resources reallocation seems to be a key adaptation measure to tackle water scarcity problems. However, there are some potential solutions to water allocation problems, such as changes in infrastructure, land use or limitations of irrigation that may not be well accepted and decision-making processes can lead to conflicts among different stakeholders. Thus, it is essential to incorporate the interests of the different stakeholders affected by the consequences of these processes, including policy makers, farmers and the general public and experimenting solutions tackling different levels of change including policy, finance, technology and skills among others.
Water scarcity has been identified as a common problem for the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) through some of its communities such as EIT Climate-KIC, EIT Food, EIT Manufacturing and EIT Raw Materials. Bioazul as a partner of the EIT Food has joined to them to carry out a Cross-KIC RIS project focused on finding innovative solutions for water scarcity in Southern Europe. This water stress is a fundamental topic for the whole southern Europe development but still being weakly integrated in the current activities, establishing a clear opportunity for collaboration.
The activities proposed in this project will be focused and delivered across 3 countries (Italy, Greece and Spain) and have the following stages:
- Expert Body: a group of 16 experts from different backgrounds will work together to identify the 6 key challenges around water scarcity, exploit synergies amongs regions with modest to modate rates in innovation and create an active network of over 50 stakeholders to discuss about water challenges.
- Challenge Labs: thee challenge lab will be held in Southern Europe -Italy, Greece and Spain-, gathering each at least ten entrepreneurs that will work together to propose solutions to one of the 6 key issues proposed by the experts.
- The Water Academy: three capacity-building trainings will be organised in the south of Europe – Italy, Greece and Spain – with the aim of stimulating a learning enviroment based on the latest findings, solutions and alternatives related to water scarcity. This academy will build a strong network of experts and strengthen the innovation ecosystem.
- Water scarcity outreach: we will engage with people so that they can become agents of change and walk toward a water-saving economy.
– Focus entrepreneurship activities to identify and support the development of innovative and efficient solutions to tackle water scarcity across the South of Europe.
– Strengthen local innovation by tackling water scarcity as a common threat, cross-KIC activities will work through three different parts of the value chain involving startups KICs and non KICs partners to integrate and prove results. Climate-KIC focus on system innovation and land use, EIT Food focus in agri-food and product development whilst EIT Manufacturing enables the integration on production chain, EIT Raw Materials, opens the possibility to other sectors where this challenges is also relevant.
– Fostering the emergence of implementing a water saving culture in Europe through raising awareness for both citizens and businesses, by communication, education, training and engagement of public bodies.
– Sharing learnings and knowledge among the KICs and RIS regions and facilitate the establishment of synergies with other financial resources.
Long-term objective: promoting the transition of ideas into businesses by supporting the development of innovative solutions for water scarcity.
- Strenthening cross-networks to work together in innovation and entrepreneurship.
- Boosting innovation in regions with modest to moderate rates in innovation, notably in Italy, Greece and Spain; creating startups and contributing to job creation.
- Promoting synergies with Smart Specialisation Strategies and successful policy initiatives as a way of fostering financial sustainability.