The European Commission recently signed an Innovation Deal with fourteen national and regional partners calculated to overcome regulatory barriers to water reuse and anaerobic membrane technology in wastewater.
The first-of-its-kind Innovation Deal came about as a result of a commitment by the European Commission to help innovators overcome regulatory barriers and work towards better regulation. The Innovation Agreement includes national and regional authorities, knowledge centres, end-users, universities and innovators.
The deal is set to focus on existing regulatory framework affecting water reuse for agricultural purposes, and will clarify how EU legislation can be useful in ensuring better recovery of resources from wastewater through innovation. More clarity on the regulatory situation, which will serve as a basis for investment decisions in the technology, should be available by the end of 2017.
The Innovation Deal will look at various solutions on overcoming perceived barriers as well as the possible impacts and consequences of those solutions may be; it will also look at which stakeholders should be involved.
It is fervently hoped that, by opening up innovative solutions as a new source of agricultural irrigation, this deal will have a substantial impact on water scarce regions across Europe.
According to Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation:
“The Innovation Deals is an instrument towards a more modern and responsive administration that helps innovators facing regulatory obstacles to innovation in the existing EU legislative framework. Implementing Innovation Deals shows that we are changing as an institution, from only setting rules to being pragmatic and pro-active in helping achieve policy objectives through innovation.”
Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries said:
“This first ‘Innovation Deal’ on water helps in our push for a circular economy. It comes as we are about to check how European water policy is working. We want our policy to be simpler to put in place and easier to use. The Innovation Deal helps us do this“.
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