The European Innovation Partnership on Water (EIP Water) is one of the European Innovation Partnerships (EIPs), a concept proposed by the Europe 2020 Flagship Initiative for an Innovation Union. DG Environment, in close cooperation with DG Research and Innovation and other DG's, has developed the EIP Water, presented in a European Commission Communication on 10 May 2012. The EU Member States, through Environment Council Conclusions on 11 June 2012, have endorsed the launch of the EIP Water. The Steering Group of the EIP Water has adopted the Strategic Implementation Plan of the EIP Water on 18 December 2012, setting out the priority areas and actions.
European Innovation Partnerships 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 overall objective of the EIP Water is to support and facilitate the development of innovative solutions to deal with the many water related challenges Europe and the world are facing, as well as to support economic growth by bringing such solutions to the market, inside and outside of Europe. At the same time, innovations are considered to be an important tool to develop adequate and state of the art European water policy.
The EIP Water will centre on removing barriers to innovation and connecting the supply and demand sides of water related innovations. The EIP Water will be based on a multidisciplinary approach, identifying in which areas innovations are needed to develop solutions – research, technology, governance, ICT, financial or others. This approach will ensure a maximum coordination with and use of the activities and outputs of existing European or national initiatives, such as the Joint Programming Initiative on Water, European Technology Platforms, the Eco-Innovation Action Plan, national Water Partnerships and other EIPs.
The EIP Water is driven by a bottom-up approach to identify the priority areas for action and to identify the bottlenecks and needs to facilitate innovation. The EIP Water is fully operational from early 2013 on and will deliver first results within one year.
A resource-efficient Europe – Flagship initiative of the Europe 2020 Strategy
The flagship initiative for a resource-efficient Europe under the Europe 2020 strategy supports the shift towards a resource-efficient, low-carbon economy to achieve sustainable growth.
Natural resources underpin our economy and our quality of life. Continuing our current patterns of resource use is not an option. Increasing resource efficiency is the key to securing growth and jobs for Europe. It will bring major economic opportunities, improve productivity, drive down costs and boost competitiveness.
The flagship initiative for a resource-efficient Europe provides a long-term framework for actions in many policy areas, supporting policy agendas for climate change, energy, transport, industry, raw materials, agriculture, fisheries, biodiversity and regional development. This is to increase certainty for investment and innovation and to ensure that all relevant policies factor in resource efficiency in a balanced manner.