In the Horizon2020 program, multiple European projects conduct research on the design and effectiveness of smart water systems. How do we avoid duplication of work and maximise the rate of return of European subsidies?
Water in Europe
Access to sufficient clean drinking water is a fundamental need and an important theme in Europe. In different calls, the European Commission funds various projects that conduct resarch to smart water technology that helps citizens and companies with managing their water consumption more efficently. There is no overall body that ties these projects together. How do we avoid duplication of work by the individual projects and stimulate collaboration and sharing of results?
Collaboration between the European Commission, projects and affiliated organisations
ICT4Water started as a cluster when the European Commission realised the large overlap in activities of the various projects. To support and stimulate the exchange of knowledge and results, cluster meetings were organised where representatives from every water related project were invited to participate. Three organisation, amongst which was BM-Change, elaborated on these meetings and set-up a digital platform where projects could disseminate and share results online. The platform consists of a web page, social media channels and an electronic newsletter. Next to that, in cooperation with the commission, the cluster organises multiple events each year where the cluster projects can meet, network and present themselves. Through all these activities the visibility of the ICT4Water cluster has grown significantly and European affiliated organisations started collaborating with the cluster.
Future strategy of ICT4Water
With the growth in activities of the cluster, also the need to professionalise the underlying organisation was growing. Participation in large international events required larger budgets which could not be made available by individual projects.For the continuity of the cluster it was important not to be dependent of a limited set of supporting projects or the European Commission. To attract new projects it was important to have a very low barrier for projects to join the cluster and to involve all projects in the further evolution of the cluster. BM-Change is helping with the development of a sustainable exploitation model that meets the requirements of this specific context.
For more information look at the ICT4Water cluster website at www.ict4water.eu