CREAF coordinates the European project WaterInnEU, whose objective is to create a marketplace connecting results of European R&D on water with potential users. Through WaterInnEU, it is hoped that tools, protocols, and data produced by European research can be standardised, provided via open access, and that they are transferred to actors in the water management sector with decision-making power, or that they penetrate into the market in the form of products and services.
Over the last few decades the European Union has financed a large number of R&D projects with the objective of creating valuable technologies and knowledge relating to water. This has resulted in the development of innumerable tools, guides, models, protocols, and reports which have not been circulated sufficiently among end users and have not been very accessible. To help resolve this issue, the European Union has financed a support and coordination action called WaterInnEU, led by CREAF, with 1 million Euros. The project begins today with a kick-off meeting at the Casa de Convalecencia (Barcelona) with the eight project members and representatives of the European Commission.
According to the European Union, the proposal presented by CREAF has a quite innovative focus and could turn this problem around. To begin, WaterInnEU proposes the creation of an active community with interrelated components and members. Technologically, this community will be supported on a virtual marketplace handling products and knowledge deriving from European projects relating to water and connecting them to users, businesses, and managers who could benefit from their use. The virtual marketplace will be developed synergistically with the European Innovation Partnership for Water (EIP Water), managed by the European Union, with the final objective of integrating the marketplace into the European institutional portal.
WaterInnEU will be an interactive project, identifying technological needs of the water sector and promoting innovative solutions which prove most promising.
The project will establish dialogue with the principal actors of this sector in order to identify which preliminary research project results are most likely to arrive to the public, either because they have good chances of getting to the marketplace, or, for example, because they offer improvements in the efficient management of water resources.
Through the marketplace WaterInnEU will offer consulting and professional technical services such as to boost the amount of research results arriving to the market or to make scientific results more understandable when they arrive to managers and decision-making actors of the water sector. “If within the marketplace we identify, for example, data or mathematical hydrological models which can help a small or medium-sized company develop a new product, we will guide the transformation of the result of research into a new product or service and its future use,” says Lluís Pesquer, CREAF researcher coordinating the project.
Open access and interoperable data
Through WaterInnEU, it is also hoped that all the information generated during the last few decades in the area of water (data, metadata, tools, models, etc.) will be progressively harmonized as much as possible, standardized, and put into open access. To do this, the project will formulate a plan to promote interoperability and prepare information for its use and reutilization by all end users. “Interoperability is an essential re quirement for [a product’s] incorporation into our marketplace, but at the same time this is what can open more doors and better guarantee final success. Interoperability will make the new product or service much more connectable, reusable, and recognizable,” comments Joan Masó, CREAF expert on interoperability.
The WaterInnEU consortium includes CREAF as coordinator, the Technische Universiteit Delft (Holland), the German companies 52°North Initiative for Geospatial Open Source Software and Adelphi Research, the companies RandBee (Italy), Antea Belgium (Belgium) i Orion Innovations, (Regne Unit) and the Global Water Partnership – Central and Eastern Europe (Slovakia).
Project Website : www.waterinneu.org/