European Innovation Partnership on Water


The importance of innovation in the field of water management is recognized by the EU Member States. On June 21st 2011, the Council of the European Union invited the Commission to 'investigate an innovation partnership on water in close cooperation with the Member States, with a view to achieving sustainable and efficient use of water'. The importance for Europe to engage in the sustainable management of water as a key resource is underlined in the Europe 2020 Resource efficient Europe flagship initiative.

The Europe 2020 Flagship Initiative for an Innovation Union proposed the concept of European Innovation Partnerships (EIPs). DG Environment, in close cooperation with DG Research and Innovation and other DG's, has launched a proposal for a European Innovation Partnership on Water.

The EU Member States, through Environment Council Conclusions on June 11th 2012, have endorsed the launch of the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on Water.The EIP on Water was proposed by the European Commission on the 10th of May 2012 (Commission Communication on the European Innovation Partnership on Water).

European Innovation Partnerships, proposed by the Europe 2020 Innovation Union flagship initiative, 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 on 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. 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 on Water is centred on removing barriers to innovation and connecting the supply and demand sides of water related innovations. The activities of the EIP on Water is structured around challenges in the areas of urban water management, rural water management and industrial water management, as well as addressing cross cutting themes. The EIP on Water is 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, Eco-Innovation Action Plan etc.

The EIP on Water is driven by a bottom-up approach to identify the priorities for action and to identify the bottlenecks and needs to facilitate innovation.

Anticipated outputs of the EIP on water include:

  • innovation sites to identify barriers to innovation; develop, test and demonstrate concrete activities, actions, prototypes and solutions in relation to particular water challenges
  • dissemination of breakthroughs and innovative solutions
  • removal of water innovation barriers – regulatory, financial, standardization, technical, social, etc. – which hamper the successful delivery of innovations to the market; and
  • a water innovation 'market place' to promote interaction between those facing water problems and those who can provide potential solutions, regardless of their geographical location.

The EIP on water is fully operational from early 2013 on and will deliver first result within one year.


In the preparation of the proposal EIP on Water the stakeholders have had the possibility to share their views in writing for the public. Please find the written views received so far here.

Project type
  • Other
EIP Water
Geographical focus
  • Europe
Scientific focus
  • Agricultural Sciences
  • Cross-thematic/Interdisciplinary
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Natural Sciences
Project start: May 2012
Runtime: unknown

Entry created by Elke Dall on August 1, 2012
Modified on March 6, 2014