Take a look at our current projects by clicking on the title below to find out more information:
ARSINOE is financed by the European Commission with a total budget of 15 million euros and is coordinated by the University of Thessaly, Greece. It brings together 41 partners from 15 countries and intends to be a game-changer for shaping pathways to resilience by delivering regional innovation packages that build an ecosystem to develop and implement innovative climate change adaptation measures and solutions across Europe.
Acknowledging that climate change is complex and strongly connected to other global challenges, such as food security, water scarcity, biodiversity depletion and environmental degradation, it is insufficient to use traditional approaches to innovation that focus on one aspect of the problem.
Systems Innovation Approach (SIA) addresses the developing complexity, interdependencies and interconnectedness of contemporary societies and economies, covering the functions of the cross-sectoral system as a whole and the respective variety of stakeholders. The Climate Innovation Window (CIW) refers to the European Union’s innovations marketplace for climate adaptation technologies.
Towards this direction, in the next four years the ARSINOE project will develop a methodological framework for the combination of SIA with the CIW to create an ecosystem under a three-tier approach: (a) integration of multi-faceted technological, digital, business, governance and environmental aspects with social innovation for the development of adaptation pathways to climate change, so as to meet EU Green Deal targets for specific regions; (b) linkage with CIW to form innovation packages by matching innovators with end-users and regions; (c) fostering the ecosystem sustainability and growth with cross-fertilization and replication across scales, at European level and beyond, using appropriate business models and exploitation-outreach actions.
Nine widely diverse regions across Europe will demonstrate the ARSINOE three-tier approach as a proof-of-concept with regards to its applicability, replicability, potential and efficacy. These are: (i) Athens metropolitan area (EL), (ii) Mediterranean ports including Port of Piraeus (EL), Limassol (CY) and Valencia (ES), (iii) Main river in Germany (DE), (iv) transboundary Ochrid/Prespa lakes (MK, AL, EL), (v) Canary Islands (ES), (vi) transboundary Black Sea including Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey (RO, BG and TR), (vii) Southern Denmark (DK), (viii) Torbay and Devon county (UK) and (ix) the Mediterranean island Sardinia (IT).
So far, individual water companies have been able to use open data and Artificial Intelligence to gradually improve their performance in delivering services. Through this initiative, Severn Trent are leading this cross-sector coalition to go much further, piloting an autonomous system to monitor an entire waste catchment. By bringing together extensive testing with emerging technologies, this approach can work through huge amounts of data to provide real-time insights to help water companies reduce the risk of flooding and sewerage pollution in a catchment: delivering benefits for both customers and the environment.
Through this project, the delivery team will be developing a tried and tested blueprint for how this approach can be scaled across the UK. More broadly, the team hope that this project can be a catalyst for wider use of AI in the water sector, building trust and demonstrating the value of this important technology.
Led by: Severn Trent Water
Partners: South West Water, Southern Water, Thames Water, Hafren Dyfrdwy Water, Northumbrian Water, Microsoft, Rockwell, British Telecom, Blackburn-Starling, 8power, National Cyber Security Centre, University of Exeter.
Funder: Ofwat Water Breakthrough Challenge
For further information, please visit the Ofwat website.
The aqua3S project aims to create strategies and methods that will enable water facilities to easily integrate solutions regarding water safety, through a combination of novel technologies in water safety and the standardisation of existing sensor technologies.
Exposure of citizens to potential disasters has led to vulnerable societies that require risk reduction measures. Drinking water is one of the main risk sources when its safety and security are not ensured.
aqua3S combines novel technologies in water safety and security, aiming to standardize existing sensor technologies complemented by state-of-the-art detection mechanisms. aqua3S can propose innovative solutions to water facilities and responsible authorities in order to detect and tackle water-related crises in a timely manner.
On the one hand, sensor networks are deployed in water supply networks and sources, supported by complex sensors for enhanced detection; on the other hand, sensor measurements are supported by videos from Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), satellite images and social media observations from citizens that report low-quality water in their area (e.g. by colorization); introducing this way a bottom-up approach which raises social awareness and, also, promotes interactive knowledge sharing.
The proposed technical solution is designed to offer a very effective detection system, taking into account the cost of the aqua3S platform and target at a very high return-on-investment ratio.
The main strategy for the integration of aqua3S’ solution into the market is designed on the standardization of the proposed technologies and the project’s secure platform.
Visit the aqua3s website for further information.
The aim of this fellowship is to develop novel technologies to facilitate the delivery of smart and resilient water systems.
The aim is to develop analytical tools to analyse big data from smart sensors at household and system levels, so as to identify vulnerabilities and inform infrastructure planning, design, operation and management decisions and thus improve resilience.
The aim of this project is to develop a digital twin for water pipe systems to predict performance of the pipe network.
GeoRes will develop protocols to improve the engineering characteristics of waste geomaterials, and to guarantee the level of performance over the service life of geostructures built from waste geomaterials considering site-specific conditions (climate, water table, leaching, weathering, hazardous compounds, etc.).
GeoRes aims to expand the scope of the involved teams’ research in addressing some of the outstanding challenges in geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering: developing innovative solutions for the reuse of waste geomaterials generated by construction and mining industries across Europe and worldwide.
Find out more on the dedicated GeoRes webpage.
With focus on co-development between EU and India ensuring exploitability of its outcomes, LOTUS brings a new ICT solution for India’s water and sanitation challenges in both rural and urban areas.
- To co-design and co-produce, jointly with EU and Indian partners, an innovative multi-parameters chemical sensor as an advanced solution for water quality monitoring in India. It shall use advanced technologies (carbon nanotubes) capable of monitoring in real time multiple contaminants and adaptable to diversified use cases in India;
- To develop a suite of tailor-made software tools, combined into a platform with cloud-based implementation. By integrating LOTUS new sensors to advanced ICT technologies, it shall improve water management according to the specific requirements of LOTUS Use Cases, representative of water challenges in India;
- To demonstrate and showcase the LOTUS sensor and software solution in a wide variety of Indian use cases across the whole value chain of water (urban and rural areas, drinking and irrigation water quality, river and groundwater monitoring, treated wastewater quality). Across use cases, the common goal is to improve on water availability and quality by improving on existing infrastructures, thus answering a wide range of socio-economic and technical water challenges in India;
- To investigate, co-design and plan the business model and market uptake of the LOTUS solution, with industrial production and further development and production of the sensor in India, ensuring an advanced but affordable, low cost product and solution for monitoring water quality, after the end of the project;
- To promote social innovation, by introducing co-creation, co-design and co-development with Universities, Research Centres, SMEs, NGOs, Utilities and local stakeholders, bringing together social sciences and technology experts, as a paradigm of successful EU-India Cooperation in the water sector, with lasting social, technological and business impacts for water quality in India, leading to viable, affordable and (socially) acceptable products and solutions, capacity development, job creation, contribution to wider issues and initiatives and wide outreach activities.
Visit the LOTUS website for further information.
NextGen evaluates and champions transformational circular economy solutions and systems around resource use in the water sector.
NextGen aims to boost sustainability and bring new market dynamics throughout the water cycle at the 10 demo cases and beyond. Three key areas of action are foreseen.
The project will asses, design and demonstrate a wide range of water-embedded resources, including:
Itself with reuse at multiple scales supported by nature-based storage, optimal management strategies, advanced treatment technologies, engineered ecosystems and compact/mobile/scalable systems.
Combined water-energy management, treatment plants as energy factories, water-enabled heat transfer, storage and recovery for allied industries and commercial sectors.
Such as nutrient mining and reuse, manufacturing new products from waste streams, regenerating and repurposing membranes to reduce water reuse costs, and producing activated carbon from sludge to minimise costs of micro-pollutant removal.
An integral part of deploying NextGen solutions will be to define and cultivate the framework conditions for success:
- Involving and engaging citizens and other stakeholders - to give feedback on technology development, increase collective learning and shape solutions and behavioural change using communities of practice and living labs. Serious gaming and augmented reality will be immersive tools to explore the circular economy and behaviour change.
- Addressing social and governance challenges - to ensure long-term adoption and support for circular economy solutions. This includes social acceptability testing, policy and regulation support and development of a European Roadmap for Water in Circular Economy.
Last but not least, NextGen will explore new business models and support market creation with three key initiatives:
- A thorough analysis, profiling and sharing of business models and services for water solutions in the circular economy;
- An online marketplace allowing users to explore NextGen showcases and demo case technologies;
- Business and marketing support to exploit the extensive new opportunities revealed by adopting a circular economy approach.
For further information, please visit the NexTGen website.
RECONECT is developing a holistic ecosystem-based framework enabling cross-sectoral/transdisciplinary analyses and evaluation to advance the knowledge of NBS in the context of hydro-meteorological risk reduction focusing on floods, storm surges, landslides and droughts.
RECONECT aims to rapidly enhance the European reference framework on Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) for hydro-meteorological risk reduction by demonstrating, referencing, upscaling and exploiting large-scale NBS in rural and natural areas.
In an era of Europe’s natural capital being under increased cumulative pressure, RECONECT will stimulate a new culture of co-creation of ‘land use planning’ that links the reduction of hydro-meteorological risk with local and regional development objectives in a sustainable and financially viable way.
To do that, RECONECT draws upon a network of carefully selected Demonstrators and Collaborators that cover a wide and diverse range of local conditions, geographic characteristics, institutional/governance structures and social/cultural settings to successfully upscale NBS throughout Europe and Internationally.
To achieve these ambitious goals, the RECONECT consortium brings together an unprecedented transdisciplinary partnership of researchers, industrial partners (SMEs and large consultancies) and authorities/agencies at local and watershed/regional level fully dedicated to achieve the desired outcomes of the project.
For further information, please visit the RECONECT website.
ResilienTogether is a Defra initiative in the Pix Brook catchment. Its aim is to better monitor, respond and adapt to changing flood risks over the next six years.
The project will integrate a network of smart controls to monitor, control and report on catchment responses to rainfall, in real time, to manage flood frequency and impact, water and environmental quality, community resilience and wider engagement. It will also help develop an awareness and agreement of how understanding the catchment can benefit at risk communities.
The ResilienTogether project is made up of different organisations, including Hertfordshire County Council, The University of Exeter, Bedford Group of Draining Boards, Environment Agency, Anglian Water, Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity, Friends of Norton Common, Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation, Affinity Water and North Herts Council.
Led by: Central Bedfordshire Council
Funder: Defra Flood and Coastal Resilience Innovation Programme
Using real-time monitoring and control solutions, the Smarter Tanks to build a resilient network project will explore how to best monitor drinking water and rainwater storage tanks to understand if more water can be stored when needed most.
The opportunity to implement smart water tank control into existing infrastructure will:
- build operational resilience and reduce disruption to customers and the environment
- pave the way for the rest of the water industry to follow suit
A key outcome of the project will be the development of a one-page business model for each smart tank use case, with supporting evidence gathered from workshops, desktop research and pilot installations to help scale the propositions tested. This will lay the groundwork for other companies or providers to adopt the concept if value is identified through successful proof of concept installations.
Led by: Affinity Water
Partners: Aqua Civils Ltd and University of Exeter
Funder: Ofwat Innovation in Water Challenge
The South West Partnership for Environmental and Economic Prosperity (SWEEP) is a collaborative initiative that will help deliver economic and community benefits to the South West, whilst also protecting and enhancing the area’s natural resources.
Funded by Natural Environment Research Council’s Regional Impact from Science of the Environment programme for 5 years, SWEEP will bring academic experts, businesses and policy makers together to solve some of the challenges involved in managing, utilising and improving the natural environment.
SWEEP is a collaboration of three research institutions: the University of Exeter, the University of Plymouth and Plymouth Marine Laboratory – working together with a large group of highly engaged business, policy and community partners.
ULTIMATE aims to create economic value and increase sustainability by valorising resources within the water cycle.
ULTIMATE will act as a catalyst for “Water Smart Industrial Symbiosis” (WSIS) in which water/wastewater plays a key role both as a reusable resource but also as a vector for energy and materials to be extracted, treated, stored and reused within a dynamic socio-economic and business oriented industrial ecosystem. We adopt an evidence-based approach anchored on 9 large-scale demonstrations across Europe and SE Mediterranean relevant to the agro-food processing, beverages, heavy chemical/petrochemical and biotech industries.
We recover, refine and reuse wastewater (industrial and municipal) but also extract and exploit energy (combined water-energy management, treatment processes as energy producers, water-enabled heat transfer, storage and recovery) and materials (nutrient mining and reuse, extraction and reuse of high-added-value exploitable compounds) contained in industrial wastewater. We support the cases and ensure their replicability through smart tools to optimize and control, assess costs and benefits, minimize risks and help stakeholders identify, assess and explore alternative symbiotic pathways linked to emerging business opportunities, supported by tailored contracts and investment schemes.
ULTIMATE nurtures partnerships between business (incl. industrial and technological ecosystems), water service providers, regulators and policy makers and actively supports them through immersive Mixed Reality storytelling using technology and art to co-produce shared visions for a more circular, profitable, socially responsible and environmentally friendly industry, with water at its centre. The project mobilises a strong partnership of industrial complexes and symbiosis clusters, leading water companies and water service providers, specialised SMEs, research institutes and water-industry collaboration networks, and builds on an impressive portfolio of past and ongoing research and innovation, leveraging multiple European and global networks to ensure real impact.
For further information, please visit the ULTIMATE website.
WATERLINE aims to create a European Digital Water Higher Education Institution (HEI) Alliance, based on the quadruple helix model of innovation, leading to the development of the Alliance’s research, educational and entrepreneurship capacities. This shall leverage the individual, institutional and regional resources required for a transformative structural and sustainable learning and innovation environment.
The WATERVERSE mission is to develop a Water Data Management Ecosystem (WDME) for making data management practices and resources in the water sector accessible, affordable, secure, fair, and easy to use, improving usability of data and the interoperability of data-intensive processes, thus lowering the entry barrier to data spaces, enhancing the resilience of water utilities and boosting the perceived value of data and therefore the market opportunities behind it.