European Union (EU) research funding has been approved for 11 new water innovation projects. This includes a biotechnology project to treat heavy metal pollution in wastewater, new ‘Aquaponic’ systems combining aquaculture and hydroponics in agricultural production, and smarter management of water distribution networks. Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation, and Science, believes the projects will “help find innovative solutions to some of today’s most pressing problems, such as maintaining water quality and tackling water scarcity”. Read more…
The projects involve 179 partners from research organisations and private companies (including more than 70 SMEs) across 19 European countries. All 11 projects were presented at a one-day information event on water research on 24 January in Brussels.
The total project funding amounts to €50 million, which comes from the 2013 ‘Environment’ call of the EU’s Seventh Framework for Research and Technological Development. This brings the total funding for water-related projects under the framework, which ran from 2007 to 2013, to more than €1 billion.
Under the new EU research and innovation funding programme, Horizon 2020 (launched 1 January 2014), securing safe and plentiful water supplies remains a key objective. Under the first Horizon 2020 calls for projects, published 11 December 2013, approximately €165 million is expected to be provided to water-related projects. Furthermore, water efficiency will be addressed through other actions, including the proposed public private partnership for Sustainable Process Industry (SPIRE).
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