International Cooperation Strategy

Published in June 2022, the International Cooperation Strategy is a reference document that is guiding the activities of the Water JPI for the 2022-2027 period. The strategy also offers a list of recommendations both for the Water JPI and the European Co-funded Partnership Water4All.

The Water JPI International Cooperation strategy became a reality in June 2022. Developed within the framework of the Coordination and Support Action (CSA) IC4WATER (January 2017-June 2022), its main purpose is to guide in a systematic way Water JPI’s activities on International Cooperation for the 2022-2027 period. The document has then been conceived as a roadmap for the initiative in the short- and medium-term as regards thematic priorities, cooperation models with other partners (e.g., other water initiatives, peer institutions and water stakeholders), cooperation barriers, and strategic contacts to bepursued. The strategy also offers a list of recommendations both for the Water JPI and the European Partnership Water4All. Through such recommendations, the International Cooperation strategy also intends to support in the delivery of the Exit Strategy of Water4All in 2027, and in the identification of key water issues to be addressed after the end of Horizon Europe (also coming to an end in 2027). For the assessment of Water JPI activities at the international level, IC4WATER set up an indicator-based monitoring system that has been integrated in the strategy.

The International Cooperation strategy will make a direct contribution to the alignment and widening activities of the Water JPI to join efforts in addressing global challenges whilst also addressing the objectives laid out in European and international policy frameworks such as the Water Framework Directive (WFD), the Green Deal and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).


Development process

The development of the strategy has involved the literature review of key strategic documents from the European Commission on international cooperation, consultations processes, a mapping exercise for Research and Innovation in countries outside Europe, and the organisation of workshops targeting both European and international organisations, water initiatives, the scientific community and the private sector. These workshops allowed, amongst other results, enlarging the Water JPI network of contacts, today counting with representatives from the European Commission, other EU initiatives (e.g., other JPIs, BONUS/BANOS, PRIMA, Horizon Europe Partnerships), international initiatives (e.g., Belmont Forum, Future Earth), as well as members of national agencies and ministries in charge of water research from countries from America, Africa and Asia.

A first draft of the Water JPI International Cooperation strategy was presented to the Governing Board in February 2022. Recommendations from the Governing Board were integrated in a subsequent draft that was subjected to a new round of consultations and vote. The final version was approved in June 2022.


Structure of the International Cooperation strategy

The International Cooperation strategy is structured around 3 main pillars, each one of them responding to specific objectives.

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The main highlights of the strategy for each of the objectives are provided below.

As regards priority geographical areas and exploring collaboration opportunities

  • The strategy offers detailed information on a number of scientific, economic and water infrastructure criteria for numerous countries all over the world. This allows developing a more comprehensive view of the Research and Innovation on water in countries outside the Water JPI network.
  • Although the Governing Board recommended to apply an opportunistic approach in the initiation, development and reinforcement of collaboration opportunities, the strategy advocates exploring cooperation with African countries, the Balkans region, and ASEAN countries.
  • The Water JPI has established a wide network of contacts with other peer institutions and water-related initiatives. Some of them have been grouped as “strategic” because of their potential to contribute to the objectives of the Water JPI in the area of international cooperation.

As regards alliances

  • A set of cooperation models has been identified such as Horizon Europe CSAs, calls for tenders, dissemination activities through participation in international conferences or seminars, or agenda-setting activities. The Water JPI will explore with the European Commission opportunities to contribute to the implementation of the European Research Area (ERA) policy.
  • Barriers for cooperation are numerous but the limited capacity of third parties to launch and manage joint actions stands out amongst others.

As regards the evaluation of international cooperation activities

  • The Water JPI has the expertise, knowledge and tools necessary to contribute to European and international policy objectives. Collaboration and close communication with relevant stakeholders and end-users of Research and Innovation results are essential to successfully transfer evidence-based knowledge and innovative solutions. The Water JPI Coordination and Secretariat team will put in place the means necessary to measure progress.



  • Download the Water JPI International Cooperation Strategy, June 2022 - download
  • Information on the International Cooperation Strategy development process and related workshops - here
  • Overview of IC4WATER activities and main results - here

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published on 2023/08/04 14:19:00 GMT+1 last modified 2024-04-04T15:17:40+01:00