The European Innovation Partnership on Water (EIP Water) is an initiative within the EU 2020 Innovation Union. The EIP Water facilitates the development of innovative solutions to address major European and global water challenges. At the same time, the EIP Water supports the creation of market opportunities for these innovations, both inside and outside of Europe.
The EIP Water aims to remove barriers by advancing and leveraging existing solutions. In its implementation phase, the EIP Water will promote and initiate collaborative processes for change and innovation in the water sector across the public and private sector, non-governmental organisations and the general public.
Eight priority areas have been chosen for the EIP Water. They centre on challenges and opportunities in the water sector, and on innovation driven actions that will deliver the highest impact. Five thematic priorities have been selected:
In addition, selected cross cutting priorities are:
Smart technology has been defined as an enabling factor for all priorities.
The EIP Water is led by a Steering Group consisting of 27 high-level representatives of relevant stakeholder groups and spanning both the demand and supply sides of the water sector. The Steering Group is supported by a Task Force, composed of 45 stakeholder representatives. The Task Force has worked from September until December 2012 to prepare the EIP Water’s Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP), which was adopted on 18 December 2012. The Steering Group and Task Force will remain in place during the operational phase of the EIP Water. Their tasks and responsibilities are described in the Strategic Implementation Plan.
The role of the European Commission is to act as a facilitator for the EIP Water, keeping oversight and driving the overall process. In addition, the EC will provide a link with EU funding mechanisms and relevant policies in order to support the activities of the EIP Water and to take recommendations into consideration.
Multi-stakeholder Action Groups, will be central to the implementation of the EIP Water. Action Groups are invited to commit to work on one or more actions defined under each priority area, laid out in the SIP and according to the “Call for Expression of Commitment for Action Groups”, made on 18 December 2012. The European Commission, with support of the Task Force, will select the Action Groups that can work under the framework of the EIP Water, ensuring quality control of the content and of the process.
The EIP Water will develop tools to support water related innovation. These tools will not necessarily be linked to the priorities of the EIP Water, but will be open to any actor dealing with water and innovation.