Cyprus and Malta, being small islands with similar needs, will leverage on the work that they have been doing with EIT Climate-KIC to bring all the relevant partners together, exchange ideas, organize workshop and prepare action plans in the innovation field of their National Energy and Climate Plans.
Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) – storing water in aquifers during times of excess – is a key strategy to enrich groundwater resources in water scarce regions by providing intermediate storage, addressing the typical mismatch between water demand and availability. It can help to mitigate the effects of climate change, and to support water-related environmental services. MAR is, however, characterized by complex interaction of physical, biological and hydrochemical processes influencing water quality and the sustainability of infiltration rates. Individual processes are in principal known, but there is a significant knowledge gap on how they are linked and affect each other. An in-depth understanding of their interplay can lead to MAR systems tailored for best performance in terms of water storage, water polishing goals, infiltration rates, economic viability, and adaptation to climatic change. MARSoluT addresses this knowledge gap by a collaborative effort in a multi-disciplinary team. Activities are organized around the existing field sites of previous EU FP7 project MARSOL that are already highly characterised and instrumented to allow further in-depth studies and experimental approaches. This will lead to new insights into the complex and coupled processes at MAR sites and will help to optimize MAR design and operation, and thereby minimizing risk of MAR failure. Excellence in research and technological innovation are ensured by involving partners from renown research organizations as well as SMEs and industry partners with a strong background in the water sector. MARSoluT ESRs will get hands-on experience at various MAR sites while tackling specific MAR-related research topics in an interdisciplinary team. MARSoluT ESRs will become experts on the tailored planning of MAR systems making them attractive for employers from research, industry, and regulatory agencies which are eager to implement MAR into sound and safe Integrated Water Resources Management concepts.
The proposed project intends to support Member States in establishing or improving national and local schemes for SMEs to undergo energy audits and implement cost-effective recommended energy-saving measures. An initial work of policies and programmes mapping will be followed by an in-depth understanding of their strengths and weaknesses, with the aim of overcoming the current criticalities and bottlenecks. At the same time a work of characterisation of SMEs in terms of energy consumption, size and sector will be carried out to understand effective ways to properly address existing and innovative energy audit policies. Provided a continuous interaction (by means of workshops, questionnaires, meetings) with policy makers as well as SMEs and ESCOs/Energy Auditors associations, a set of policy proposals and recommendations will be then developed and diffused. The priorities guiding the policy and recommendation development will be: - Effectiveness and orientation to real market needs; - Integration with other points of the EED, particularly article 7 Energy Efficiency Obligation Schemes and alternative measures; - Replicability, at least for SMEs sector/size/region; A fundamental part of the project, with a relevant participation requested to each partner, will be a continuous action of capacity building and dissemination addressed to policy makers and relevant stakeholders at European, National and Regional level. In order to concentrate the efforts on new challenges and to valorise previous efforts, the Consortium is committed to take as much advantage as possible of results obtained in previous pertinent EU funded projects (such as ENSPOL, ODYSSEE-MURE, EPATEE) and relevant initiatives such as EEFIG and its related Sustainable Energy Investment Forums. On request of the European Institutions, the Consortium would also be very glad to contribute, through findings and results of the project, to the current debate on the SME definition.
With increased water scarcity due to anthropocentric and natural causes, the trade-offs and synergies intrinsic to efficiently allocate water resources to various competing uses have become more polarized. Realizing the importance of an integrated approach in water governance, the RETOUCH Nexus project introduces and promotes the Water-Energy-Food-Ecosystems (WEFE) Nexus as a multi-level and cross-sectoral approach that advocates the EU water economy and, in addition, relies on ecological and social considerations. The overall objective of RETOUCH Nexus is to design and foster integrated, innovative and inclusive Nexus-smart water governance schemes and institutional settings to promote a secure water future in the EU, resilient to climate change. RETOUCH Nexus follows an evidence-based approach to propose, assess and optimize a set of WEFE Nexus smart methods in six different case studies reflecting various cross-sectoral, multi-level and multi-stakeholder water governance contexts. First, the project will monitor water governance by providing a set of Nexus-smart socio-economic and environmental indicators that reflect the cross-sectoral and multi-level nature of water use. Second, RETOUCH Nexus will design integrated and climate-resilient water governance practices that ensure sustainable water systems. It will also develop economic instruments and business models that support robust water management under cross-sectoral competition. Third, RETOUCH Nexus will foster more transparent, inclusive and innovative engagement mechanisms that empower stakeholder and citizen participation in water governance. Finally, RETOUCH Nexus aims to effectively increase the socio-economic and environmental resilience of water governance in Europe by upscaling and endorsing successful and sustainable Nexus-based water governance interventions that will be designed and validated throughout the duration of the project.
The purpose of the proposal put together by the Climate JPI and the Water JPI is to “enable collaboration between national research and innovation funding members to address together the protection of cultural heritage in Europe and beyond. With this purpose, both JPIs will support the implementation of multi-annual joint activities that will focus on the better understanding of, and the identification of best available adaptation solutions in response to hydroclimatic extreme events”. The Consortium established by both JPIs gathers today 14 organisations including programme owners (funding agencies from Belgium, France, Georgia, Italy, Malta, UK, Kenya, Portugal and Romania), research performing organisations/ academia, foundations and private companies. The following operational objectives have been laid out by the Consortium: - Enhance cross-sector collaborations and strategic coordination between water, climate and cultural heritage. - Launch and monitor joint activities to measure progress towards widening. - Address potential barriers for collaboration. - Evaluate the impacts of those joint activities on widening policies as well as EU and international policy frameworks, notably the EU Green Deal and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). - Implement joint activities enabling the market, regulatory and societal uptake of results. The project will be structured around 6 work packages (WP) looking at the coordination of activities (WP1), the identification of relevant gaps in the fields of cultural heritage, water and climate (WP2), the launch of joint activities, the TAP instrument (Thematic Annual Programming; WP3), communication and dissemination of project results (WP4), the analysis of impacts of proposed actions on EU widening strategies (WP5), and the implementation of specific tools to enable the social, regulatory and market uptake of proposed innovations stemming from joint activities (WP6).