Water JPI Workshop Exploring opportunities for the scaling-up of Water JPI activities

Within the EU-funded Coordination Support Action IC4WATER, International cooperation for Water, the Water JPI held remotely on January 28th a workshop dedicated to exploring the opportunities for the scaling-up in Europe and beyond the JPI activities linked to water challenges

Building upon the key lessons and recommendations from previous Water JPI workshops, the objective of the workshop was to discuss how to

  • reinforce collaboration of the Water JPI with the enterprises and to increase their participation in the joint activities launched under the Water JPI umbrella
  • enlarge collaboration and activities in Europe and beyond
  • develop new types of activities for the Water JPI, such as expertise, advocacy and technology transfer

The workshop, introduced by the International Cooperation Directorate of the European Commission, was attended by 41 participants including international organisations such as OECD, World Bank Group, and also national competitiveness clusters, enterprises (Data For Good, Cleveland Water Alliance) and policymakers.

Participants were divided into 2 parallel breakout sessions to discuss:

  1. How to increase awareness and participation of the water private sector in flagship Water JPI activities?

Discussions emphasized that the combination of large enterprises and SMEs is really important as both types of enterprises influence each other in a positive way, and that, in addition to the private sector, policy and public sector should also be included in Water JPI activities. Participants identified themes to work on together internationally (science – stakeholders): data management, internet of things, automation, defragmentation of the market on data technologies, monitoring technologies, introduction of standards, IT infrastructures, increasing awareness in policy and the public.

  1. How can the Water JPI contribute to the UN SDGs in Europe and beyond?

Discussions highlighted the lack of holistic and systemic approach in bringing the actors together, of link between science and implementation. International networks can help to achieve these issues. Many challenges come actually from not technical again but from socio economic aspects. It is crucial, especially in times of crises to support mobility of knowledge and to bring scientists and decision-makers together to overcome nationalistic drives. Water JPI could contribute to capacity building, through e.g. networking, pilot areas/studies with inclusion of all stakeholders. Linking water related science with education is another important aspect.