The European Commission has launched the Zero Power Water Monitoring Horizon Prize, inviting European innovators to come up with solutions based on self-powered and wireless smart sensing technologies, designed for real-time monitoring of water resources. The € 2 million prize will be awarded through the EU's Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.

graphic showing water, nature and a city landscape with text "Horizon Prize - Zero Power water monitoring - Can you crack the challenge?

Water is a scarce and extremely valuable resource. Therefore it is crucial to develop more sustainable and efficient water technologies by driving efficiency, reducing emissions and boosting resilience. Moreover, renewable resources could minimize production costs, reduce pollution and ensure their availability for future generations.

In order to tackle these challenges, the European Commission launched the 'Zero Power Water Monitoring' Horizon Prize. This is the fourth ICT-based Horizon Prize and it will be awarded to the best solution that will succeed putting together wireless sensors using harvesting technologies and demonstrate the positive impact of using self-powered energy in acquiring, monitoring, communicating and analysing information about water resources.

The € 2million cash award will go to any entity (innovators, SMEs and non-profit organisations acting alone or together with other entities) that will come up with a breakthrough solution able to boost the use of self-powered energy in Smart Water Management System. All the proposals have to fulfil the three cumulative award criteria: positive impact, reliability and innovative design. The proposed concepts should also increase the efficiency of existing and new monitoring parameters.

By accelerating clean energy innovation in the ICT water sector, it will increase sustainable competitiveness that will contribute to the transition to a low carbon, secure and competitive economy. Wiser use of energy in the efficient management of efficient water resources is both a spur for new jobs and growth and an investment in Europe's future.

Get to work!

The Rules of Contest of this Horizon Prize, the ninth in the Work Programme 2016-2017, are now published. All eligible participants are invited to submit their proposals between 19 December 2017 and 11 September 2018 via the Participant Portal.

To succeed and to be awarded, the innovators must come up with a solution that maximises the energy efficiency innovations in the smart sensing water resources management. This solution should also overcome the limited lifetime of the battery thanks to self-powered technologies. It is requested to stimulate the creation of an effective and scalable autonomous, self-powered wireless smart sensing network platform.

An independent jury will evaluate the feasibility of the approaches and the five best proposals will be assessed. The winning solution must be interoperable and easy to deploy. The prize will be awarded in the first quarter of 2019.

Why do we need these solutions?

Worldwide demand for water is increasing and new strategies are required to monitor and manage the quality and consumption of our water resources. Monitoring can provide a better understanding of the water resources and help us prevent potential threats such as floods and draughts. Monitoring leakages, consumption and contamination can have an impact on improving water system efficiency. Online remote monitoring solutions can give a real-time picture of the requested most important information.

Wireless sensors using harvesting technologies and Decision Support Systems for quality and quantity Water monitoring (including detection of leakages) are already available. But there is a need to put together wireless sensors using harvesting technologies and demonstrate the benefits of self-powered technologies in Integrated Decision Support Systems for sustainable water resources management in natural or man-made environments.

This Horizon Prize is expected to stimulate creative thinking across established water distributors, water management equipment suppliers, ICT sector and industrial and academic research organisations. The results will be breakthrough solutions that can drive the European industry forward by promoting transition of ICT technologies in water sector from pilot scale to wide market uptake.

To know more and get involved follow #HorizonPrize and  #watermonitoring  on Twitter  and visit the prize website.

For any questions, please send us an email.