Thematic annual programming (alignment of new national projects)
The Thematic Annual Programming action (TAP) is a network of national projects focussed on specific RDI needs. It relies on the establishment of a network or cluster of excellence, creating a critical mass of research and technological excellence, the integration and sharing of knowledge, infrastructure, data and modelling tools, training and capacity building, as well as improved communication and networking with stakeholders and the scientific community. This cluster will allow coordination between the individual projects, lead to a greater impact at the European level, addressing research gaps and avoiding duplication. Activities will include annual working meetings which will allow exchange on approaches, methods, data.


First TAP Action
The Water JPI Strategic Research & Innovation Agenda (SRIA) subtheme 1.1. “Developing Approaches for Assessing and Optimising the Value of Ecosystem Services” is the topic of the first Water JPI TAP action. This first Water JPI TAP action will run for 24 months, i.e. from June 2019 until June 2021. The national research funding agencies participating in this action are listed below.

The following countries which will take part in this joint action are:
Finland (FL);
Ireland (IE);
The Netherlands (NL);
Spain (ES); and
France (FR)*.

*as WaterWorks2015 Secretariat for now, as no national projects were selected by ANR for the TAP action in 2018. ANR is currently investigating how best to join this activity.

The first Water JPI Thematic Annual Programming related-national calls or selection of new national projects will take place in late 2018, with a launch date for the action in 2019. Participation of other countries will remain open until its Kick-off workshop in June 2019.

On June 12th 2019, the Water JPi is organising the 1st TAP kick off meeting which will take place in Dublin, Ireland. The workshop will include the first TAP researchers, funding partners, other TAPs and the wider Water JPI community, in order to collate & discuss their experience and feedback of getting involved in R&D projects which involve Ecosystem Services.

Read more on the SRIA Theme 1

Many of the world’s ecosystems have undergone significant degradation with negative impacts on biological diversity and people’s livelihoods. There is a growing realization that we will not be able to conserve the earth's biological diversity and meet the United Nation Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) through the protection of critical areas alone. When applicable, ecosystem restoration in terrestrial, freshwater as well marine environments should be an important component of conservation and sustainable development programmes so that the livelihoods of people depending on these degraded ecosystems can be sustained. For instance, efforts and Research, Development & innovation (RDI) actions are currently needed at the European level to ensure the protection and/or restoration of water bodies and ecosystems and their biodiversity whilst meeting the socio-economic, political and cultural needs of current and future generations. Further, one of the four priorities of the recent European Union (EU) Action Plan for nature, people and the economy is to improve guidance and knowledge in order to reach broader socio-economic objectives. In this context, relevant research for guiding the conservation and restoration of degraded ecosystems and their biodiversity is required to support a relatively wide range of European policy initiatives including the 7th Environment Action Programme (EAP); the EU Biodiversity Strategy; the Water Framework Directive; and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, the EU Nature Directives and the EU Floods Directive. Such research will also support Europe’s endeavours to implement the UN SDGs, especially SDG 6 “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all”, SDG 14 “Life below water”, and SDG 15 “Life on land”.

  • The theme of the first Water JPI Thematic Annual Programming Action is focussed on the Water JPI SRIA Subtheme 1.1. Developing Approaches for Assessing and Optimising the Value of Ecosystem Services. This Subtheme aims at providing a better understanding and assessment of ecosystem services and relies on research into the ecological functioning of aquatic (surface, transitional and coastal water), riparian (located along the banks of rivers, streams, or any other water bodies) and groundwater ecosystems. The current research needs identified in the Water JPI SRIA include:
  • Developing approaches for assessing the ecological functioning of ecosystems;
  •  Developing and testing methodologies for the valuation of ecosystem services;
  • Establishing multiple pressure impact-response relationships in aquatic, riparian and groundwater dependent ecosystems;
  • Integrating ecosystem services into management of water resources; and
  • Adapting and integrating our water/ecosystem management, planning and governance systems with better environmental data and information.

Research must be undertaken in cooperation and coordination with the Water JPI TAP action. Projects should foresee 7-10% of the total budget to be allocated to these networking activities.

The Water JPI TAP action will be implemented based on the following steps:

Step 1:
Promoting that participating national research funding agencies will publish in their national research calls the same call text on “Developing Approaches for Assessing and Optimising the Value of Ecosystem Services”. Participating national research funding agencies will then select projects on this area according to their national criteria.
Participating national research funding agencies, which do not have a dedicated water research calls, will identify projects awarded from their most recent national calls, which are relevant to the research area “Developing Approaches for Assessing and Optimising the Value of Ecosystem Services”.

Step 2:
The national funded projects will be invited to join an international cluster (Water TAP Cluster) organised by the Water JPI. Coordinators of these national funded projects will have to participate in annual working meetings to exchange on approaches, methods, data (exchange) and results. This will allow coordination between the individual projects and should lead to a greater impact at the European level as well as to create critical mass, addressing research gaps and avoiding duplication.

Expected outputs

  • The expected outputs of the Water JPI TAP action include (but are not limited to):
  • Creation of a leveraging network, which would not necessarily exist without this action – Increasing synergies of national-funded projects;
  •  Fostering coordination and sharing of results;
  •  Fostering mobility and sharing of infrastructure;
  •  Providing input into the update of the SRIA;
  •  Preparing policy briefs, joint scientific publications, harmonisation of protocols etc,
  •  Facilitating mutual learning;
  •  Developing interoperable databases (including harmonised metadata);
  •  Developing common and cohesive practices / methodologies;
  •  Presenting at Water JPI events; including carrying-out foresight exercises; and
  •  Leading to new research projects;

Added-Value for Funders
It is expected that the Water JPI Thematic Annual Programming Action will:

  • Ensure that the solutions developed by research have a greater impact on & greater relevance to stakeholders and society;
  •  Bring together researchers in a more collaborative manner; and
  •  Contribute to alignment at project-, researcher- & institution-level.

Added-Value for Policy-makers
It is expected that the Water JPI Thematic Annual Programming Action will:

  •  Provide policy briefs on which they can rely;
  •  Narrow the gap between science and stakeholders ; and
  •  Provide a more holistic view of water challenges based on multi-stakeholders’ approach.

Added-Value for Researchers
It is expected that the Water JPI Thematic Annual Programming Action will:

  •  Provide access to other RDI Infrastructures;
  •  Allow researchers to inform the contents of the Strategic Research & Innovation needs for future funding;
  •  Provide researchers with opportunities for networking – Apply for other EU funding;
  •  Facilitate cooperation resulting in high-impact publications;
  •  Improve the researchers’ awareness of research priorities in other countries and how their needs overlap;
  •  Build the researchers’ capacity through integrated, transnational and multi-disciplinary approaches and exchanges of Good Practices;
  •  Provide the researchers with enhanced opportunities for mobility and sharing of/access to infrastructure;
  •  Foster Knowledge exchange and transfer; and
  • Provide access to EU Legislations.


1Stakeholders include for example: RDI funding bodies & programmes, enterprises, Water utilities & river basin management bodies, EC, policy makers, public.

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published on 2015/02/19 10:08:00 GMT+0 last modified 2019-04-04T07:36:29+00:00