Key activities of the Water JPI during the first semester of 2022

The year 2022 will undoubtedly be marked by the official launch of the Water4All Partnership, which will bring together more than 70 entities from all over Europe with the mission to boost systemic transformations and changes across the water research and innovation pipeline. But whilst the community gets ready for the first Water4All’s call, the Water JPI carries on the implementation of its action plan. A number of supporting projects are still running and several thematic activities have been launched.

The kick-off meeting of the AquaticPollutants Thematic Annual Programming (TAP) took place in January. The event gathered 21 participants, who learnt about the concept of the TAP, aligned expectations and identified outputs that could be achieved over the duration of the action.  Key lessons and recommendations to bear in mind in the launch of future TAPs have also been recently presented as part of the WaterWorks2017 project.

Much work has been done by partners in the frame of the IC4WATER supporting project. In February, the Water JPI Secretariat – as coordinator of the project – presented its Water JPI’s international cooperation strategy draft to the members of the Governing Board. A number of recommendations were made and integrated later on in the final version of the document. Two more deliverables are in the pipeline: a deliverable describing cooperation activities with other water initiatives in Europe and abroad as well as strategic contacts for the Water JPI in the next few years, and a second one offering a number of recommendations for strengthening international cooperation. These recommendations will not only drive activities of the Water JPI but also those of the Water4All Partnership.

Several members of the Water JPI decided to join forces with partners from the Climate JPI and PRIMA for the submission of a proposal in April in response to the call HORIZON-WIDER-2022-01-10: Programme level collaboration between national Research and Innovation Programmes. The proposal aimed at the protection and sustainable management of cultural heritage in Europe and far afield through a better understanding of the impacts on cultural heritage of, and the identification of best available solutions in response to, hydroclimatic extreme events in the context of climate change. Amongst other results, it is expected to set the ground for the launch of a TAP action.

One of the most important events of the first semester of the year was the Global Impact Assessment of Water JPI activities, also as part of the IC4WATER project. The event, held on 20 May 2022, offered a good understanding of the impact of the initiative and the key learning points that should be considered in the future for the global success of the Water JPI.

Also in May the twenty-two Research and Development projects selected for funding in the BiodivRestore 2020-2021 Joint call on the topic of “Conservation and restoration of degraded ecosystems and their biodiversity, including a focus on aquatic systems” started. Last but not least, and following the departure of Dr Véronique Briquet-Laugier from the ANR (France), Dr Esther Díez Cebollero was appointed new coordinator of the initiative till the end of November 2023.

The month of June is being particularly hectic for Water JPI partners as the IC4WATER project is coming to an end, and the WATER JPI Secretariat & Coordination team is exploring opportunities for further collaboration with other initiatives and for the wider communication and dissemination of our work. Thus, once again, we are getting ready for the organisation of a side event within the next edition of the Cairo Water Week (October 2022) on a topic that is still under internal discussion.

Moreover, we are about to start a joint activity with PRIMA for the valorisation of our projects. We will keep you fully updated of our progress and the actions to come!

For those interested in the outcomes of 2021 side event on “Strengthening EU-Africa Cooperation in Water RDI: challenges and opportunities” that was held as part of the Cairo Water Week last year in cooperation with PRIMA, the workshop proceedings and records, as well as the keynote presentation from Daan du Toit , Deputy Director-General of International Cooperation and Resources at the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) of the Republic of South Africa, are now available online. Read more here.