The 4th European Innovation Partnership on Water (EIP Water) Conference took place on September, 27th – 29th, 2017 in the framework of the Porto Water Innovation Week, and was hosted by the Municipality of Porto, supported by the European Commission and the government of Portugal. This year’s theme was “Water Innovation: Bridging Gaps, Creating Opportunities”. Innovative solutions to address major European and global water challenges were presented and discussed. At the same time, other issues explored included market opportunities for these innovations, both within and outside Europe, and how to remove barriers by advancing and leveraging existing solutions. In sum, the Porto conference was conducted on the theme of the following 5 key aims:
More than 1,200 relevant stakeholders from 60 countries and five continents gathered together in Porto, including political leaders at European, national and local level, regulators, decision makers and technicians from utilities, industry and agriculture, researchers from universities and R&D&I centres, solution providers and innovators, start-ups and SMEs and investors, among others. Many presentations and discussions were held, were governance issues were identified as a crucial aspect, and the value of water as a multi-purpose resource was recognised. Special emphasis was given to innovative solutions which answer not only the challenges placed by Europe, but also those made by the entire world. From the business point of view, matters related to the opportunities offered by the market for general innovation inside and outside Europe were addressed, which also implies breaking down barriers to enable the solutions found to be applied.
The conference also included a fair where more than 100 companies showed the water sector what they have to offer; in this context, Water2REturn project was invited to be presented via poster, that was exhibited during the whole fair, and also via leaflets distribution.