European Innovation Partnerships (EIP) aim to speed up innovations that contribute to solving societal challenges, enhance Europe's competitiveness and contribute to job creation and economic growth. EIPs help to pool expertise and resources by bringing together public and private actors at EU, national and regional level, combining supply- and demand-side measures.
The European Innovation Partnership on Water - EIP Water in short – was active between 2012 and 2020 as an initiative within the EU 2020 Innovation Union. The EIP Water facilitated the development of innovative solutions to address major European and global water challenges. At the same time, the EIP Water supported the creation of market opportunities for these innovations, both inside and outside of Europe. Its Strategic Implementation Plan was a milestone for defining EU priorities across a broad group of stakeholders included in the Steering Group.
The EIP Water aimed to remove barriers by advancing and leveraging existing solutions. Its implementation promoted collaborative processes for change and innovation in the water sector across the public and private sector, non-governmental organisations and the general public. In consequence 29 voluntary, multi-stakeholder Action Groups were established, e.g. developing an anaerobic membrane reactor for water treatment, improving the water management implementation capacities of cities and regions, building solutions for coastal aquifer monitoring and management, rolling-out a benchmarking process for the entire water cycle, consolidating the sector of nature-based technologies, promoting multi-stakeholder river contracts.
The EIP Water conferences brought together the various actors in Brussels (2013), Barcelona (2014), Leeuwarden (2016), Porto (2017) and Zaragoza (2019) to showcase successful technologies and innovation, visualize the progress of Action Groups, explore market opportunities, discuss the barriers which hamper innovation uptake in practice, and present policy approaches to improve and strengthen innovation in the EU water sector.
The main achievements of the EIP Water have been:
Innovation in the water sector is needed further in the future, and should be aligned with the objectives of water legislation, as well as with the European Green Deal presented in 2019, for example in the field of the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, the ‘Farm to fork strategy’ the Circular Economy Action Plan and the Zero pollution action plan.
Contact the Directorate General for Environment for more information at Env-Water@ec.europa.eu.