A cluster for water

Acqueau is the first eureka cluster dedicated to environmental and water related technologies. It aims at promoting innovation and market driven solutions to develop new technologies in the water sector.

RATIONAL AND VISION Rational Europe has a long history in water and wastewater treatment. This has led to Europe having a wide spectrum of leading expertise in the various aspects of water resource management. Hundreds of institutions, SMEs (Small and Medium sized Enterprises), engineering and consulting companies and the largest water utilities in the world have developed and continue to develop highly technical concepts to address water problems around the globe. Many new technologies are proposed, researched and tested, resulting in many innovations, publications and patents. However, the wide diversity and the small size of most technology providers and the many different practices, policies and regulations in Member States and regions across Europe impede the transition of many of the new technologies to the demonstration phase. The diversity of European climatic, social and economic conditions provides the European industry with a competitive test bed to develop and demonstrate full scale solutions to solve European water issues and contribute to build an international competitive advantage. DESCRIPTION * Background The European water sector is highly fragmented: water resources, water supply and sanitation/ wastewater and agricultural needs have often been managed locally. It is acknowledged that this fragmentation has been an obstacle for developing a research strategy for a competitive water sector. Overcoming this obstacle has been a major challenge, but in 2004 the EU established the European Environmental Technology Action Plan (ETAP) whose goal was to remove obstacles and to release the full potential of environmental technologies for environmental protection, whilst contributing to competitiveness and economic growth. For water, ETAP established the WssTP (Water Supply and Sanitation Technology Platform) whose mission and related objectives are to strengthen the potential for technological competitiveness innovation of the European Water Industry. The WssTP established a 'Vision', a 'Strategic Research Agenda' and an 'Implementation Plan' conceived and drafted by working groups, consisting of water sector experts and representatives of water sector stakeholders. The Vision reveals a scenario of what could be achieved by 2030 if resources for research and development were to be made available and targeted to respond to the issues and challenges that the European water sector is facing. The Vision identifies research needs on a high level, which are developed further in more detail in the Strategic Research Agenda. The final document, the Implementation Plan uses a system approach, which encompasses the Water Cycle to develop solutions for the water market. These three documents form the basis of the 'White Paper' and are available at * Vision The proposed Water Cluster AQUEAU continues the long-term vision of the Water Supply and Sanitation Technology Platform (WssTP) described in the Vision document. The core of the vision is that by 2030 the European water sector will be the leading international centre of expertise for providing safe, clean and affordable water services while protecting the environment. [Details of the Vision are given in the WssTP document 'Water - European vision for water supply and sanitation'. Available at] * Drivers There are significant drivers affecting water issues: 1. Climate Change Global warming is a challenge, but Global Wetting gives us acute problems influenced by changing weather patterns. 2. Globalisation This is forcing rapid changes (migration, urbanisation, industrial activities and food production processes, etc.). 3. Infrastructure Management There are technological and financial challenges to maintain and upgrade infrastructure. 4. Millennium Development Goals Meeting the Millennium Goals is a challenge. In particular public health issues and access to safe and affordable drinking water. 5. Sustainability Sustainable solutions are required to ensure our descendents have secure water supplies and a healthy environment. 6. Pollution Remediation and Prevention technologies are required to protect Water Resources. 7. EU Directives Compliance with EU Directives across Europe. * ACQUEAU Aims The overall aim of the project is to meet global challenges and regional demands to ensure that there are affordable, safe, secure and sustainable water and sanitation services, for the benefit of society, agriculture, industry and the Environment, within the framework of integrated water resources management. The aim will be met by a stakeholder driven cluster facilitating R&TD (Research and Technological Development) projects. In order to achieve this goal the ACQUEAU Cluster needs to be a strong network of industrial players across Europe (including Large Companies, SMEs, Research Institutions and Universities). National Roadmaps will be incorporated into an overall European picture. This overall ‘Stakeholder Roadmap‘, will enable the ACQUEAU Cluster to provide strategic direction to facilitate Research, Technological Development, Innovation and implementation to build a strong European competitive Water Industry for the future. Keywords: Water, Water Resources, Water Supply, Water Distribution, Wastewater, Sewage Sludge Treatment, Agriculture, Flooding, SUDS, Sewerage, Control Systems, Water Services, Surface Water, Groundwater Leakage, Water Mains, Drinking Water.
Project ID: 
4 927
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Project Duration: 
Project costs: 
200 000 000.00€
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Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.