European Innovation Partnerships (EIP) aim to speed up innovations that contribute to solving societal challenges, enhance Europe's competitiveness and contribute to job creation and economic growth. EIPs help to pool expertise and resources by bringing together public and private actors at EU, national and regional level, combining supply- and demand-side measures.
The European Innovation Partnership on Water - EIP Water in short - is an initiative within the EU 2020 Innovation Union. The EIP Water facilitates the development of innovative solutions to address major European and global water challenges. At the same time, the EIP Water supports the creation of market opportunities for these innovations, both inside and outside of Europe.
The EIP Water aims to remove barriers by advancing and leveraging existing solutions. Its implementation has started in May 2013 with the main objective to initiate and promote collaborative processes for change and innovation in the water sector across the public and private sector, non-governmental organisations and the general public. This is mainly done via the establishment of Action Groups.
The governance structure of the EIP Water allows for making accelerated progress towards its overall objectives, is action oriented, minimises bureaucracy and stimulates stakeholder participation.
The EIP Water is led by a Steering Group, consisting of 27 high-level representatives of relevant stakeholders and spanning both the demand and supply sides of innovation. The Steering Group is supported by a Task Force, composed of 45 stakeholder representatives.
Eight priority areas have been chosen for the EIP Water within its Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP). They centre on challenges and opportunities in the water sector, and on innovation driven actions that will deliver the highest impact. Five thematic priorities have been selected:
Water reuse and recycling
Water and wastewater treatment, including recovery of resources
Flood and drought risk management
In addition, selected cross cutting priorities are:
Decision support systems and monitoring
Financing for innovation
Smart technology has been defined as an enabling factor for all priorities.