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Cofunded by the European Union

Today an interview focused on Pillar C which supports knowledge transfer and the uptake of research outcomes and innovative approaches in the water sector.

On behalf of Formas and ISPRA Teams, Osman Tikansak answers some questions.

  • What are the objectives of Pillar C?

It is essential for Water4All Partnership to be a prominent enabler of global water community and to address complex water challenges collectively. Pillar C: Science-Policy-End-Users Interface holds an important role in addressing these challenges by coordinating various activities for the better uptake of scientific-evidence and results by policy makers, practitioners and end-users at large. The activities in Pillar C include formation of science-policy communities, such as knowledge hubs and policy support working groups, that facilitates dialogue for mutual understanding of knowledge gaps and needs, and designs policy guidelines and tools accordingly. In a similar fashion, Pillar C aims to provide strategies and support to accelerate the market uptake of innovations, in particular the ones developed by start-ups and SMEs. Furthermore there are capacity building activities and training materials that are designed, implemented or monitored with a holistic systems approach including PhD schemes for the scholars of the water management, and mobility programmes and vocational training activities for the practitioners. Last but not least, Pillar C has a strong ambition for fostering the open science/open data/open access competency of Water4All by collaborating with data experts, research infrastructures and observatories.

  • Why do you think Pillar C activities are relevant to the work of Water4All and for society at large? What is the added value of this Pillar?

There are a few things that make co-funded partnerships unique mechanisms in the Horizon Europe’s structure. The first feature is related to holding different profiles within partnerships, which makes them multifaceted collaboration avenues in real sense. More precisely it becomes possible for research funding organizations, researchers, NGOs, industries and policy makers to experience and learn from each other under the same structure. The second feature is related to the determination and open call from European Commission’s side to operate the co-funded partnerships as catalysers for delivering impact. In practice this means that the partnerships should do more than just disseminating the outcomes of funded research and innovation activities. It requires exploitation and scaling up of tangible outputs to become a driver of societal transformation. So, a common added value in all partnerships is to bring-in tangible impact on societal challenges. This approach also manifests itself in the recent policies such as the EU Green Deal that aims at setting up straight-forward targets to the most pressing issues of today. 

Pillar C is no exception in this context, as it relates well to both features mentioned above. Through its various tasks it provides a platform for dialogue and learning for partners with different profiles. The task and subtask leaders in Pillar C also have proven record of competency in their fields with subtle experience of working with different stakeholder groups. The combination of knowledge transfer, market support, capacity building and open science promotion activities in Pillar C holds a strong potential to lead to accumulated societal impact related to water challenges.   

  • What are the key dates and events that Pillar C is planning to launch in the near future?

As we are entering into the second year of Water4All, there are many things in the horizon for Pillar C to look forward to. In September 2023 (provisional), a call for interest to join the first knowledge hub of Water4All will be launched. It will be coordinated as part of the second joint transnational call. During autumn INBO and VMM will organize the first of a webinar series of the Policy Support Working Group for identifying the implementation gaps related to key water regulations of EU. During the final quarter of 2023, there is going to be a physical workshop led by BRGM and Danish Environmental Portal that will mainly deal with the barriers for data sharing in water sector. In May 2024 we are going to convene another onsite workshop led by GSRI that will address strategies for interconnection of research infrastructures and observatories. Finally, the new learning track developed by Vlakwa and VITO that provides a set of very adaptive and flexible learning material and methodology to understand water challenges will soon be available here.

More information about the dates and registration links for the public events will be published on Water4All webpage and announced on social media channels closer to the event dates.

Other news

The Water4All Partnership - Water Security for the Planet - is a funding programme for scientific research in freshwater. It aims to tackle water challenges to face climate change, help to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and boost the EU’s competitiveness and growth.

It is co-funded by the European Union within the frame of the Horizon Europe programme (a key funding programme for research and innovation). The Partnership duration is for seven years from 2022.

The Water4All objective is to enable water security at a large scale and in the long term. Its goal is also to tackle water issues in a holistic frame. 

All forms of life on earth need water. All human activities operate with this resource. Water is part of our everyday life. It is also integrated within urban and countryside landscapes. It is one of the most valuable elements we share with plants and animals.

These simple facts must be kept in mind to understand the Water4All ambition.

This resource is weakened in many places due to climate changes, and human habits. We know that we can improve the way we use water. Everyone has a role to play and especially the scientific research community.

Scientific research is the heart of the Partnership as It is a powerful tool to improve knowledge on preserving, restoring, and managing this essential resource. 

International cooperation is also needed as water has no borders on Earth and runs from one country to another.

Water4All brings together a broad and cohesive group of 90 partners from 33 countries in the European Union and beyond. This consortium gathers partners from the whole water Research, Development and Innovation (RDI) chain.