One of Water2REturn project goals is to engage all relevant stakeholders by taking into account their operational and legal requirements in the technological development activities.
For this purpose, the stakeholder engagement and consultation foresaw an end users strategic analysis by identifying four different target sectors at international level.
For each of them, first the partners involved developed the related questionnaires and then, they collected the replies. The identification of the stakeholders influence and interest in cooperation within project, as well as identification of challenges and opportunities was carried out by designing a matrix with four sections:
Furthermore, the different target groups were positioned on the matrix according to the reached scores.
The first stakeholder group analyzed was the Consumers and NGOs. The obtained results showed a strong interest from the European associations operating at international level, which are mostly plotted in “Manage closely” section and showed their interest in:
At the same time, interesting results came from stakeholders with a lower level of influence, which showed their interest in replicating the project outside Europe.
The second group targeted was the Farmers. The results showed that most of them as well as associations at different levels in the section “Manage closely” were interested in obtaining nutrients from a sustainable resource in order to reduce soil deplation. Attention has also be paid to the cost saving of fertilisers and in practical application of water reuse in conventional agriculture. Even in this case, stakeholders from outside Europe showed a remarkable interest.
Following the results obtained from the analysis of the third group, the Fertilisers, confirmed the interest for products development of companies mainly from France. In particular, plotted in the “Manage closely” sector they showed interest for algae products as well as access to useful agronomic materials at interesting prices.
Regarding the last group, the slaughtherhouses, the “manage closely” section showed a strong interest of companies mainly related to the potential benefits in terms of water treatment and reuse as well as in residues valorisation. Reduction of processing costs and sustainability improvement were also mentioned as main aspects the slaughterhouses industry take care of.
However, four levels of engagement were identified based on the results of the matrix. Consequently, a tailored engagement strategy has been designed by planning a related action for each involvement level.
In particular, for the stakeholder groups plotted in the “Manage closely” a collaborative action was planned by focusing on the fact that these stakeholders are essential to the project and must be fully engaged with. Thus, in this case, the target groups were invited to take part to several workshops, demonstrations, project meetings, webinars.
For those who were plotted in the “Keep satisfied” section, an involvement plan was carried by foreseeing an adequate information activity and a regular contact through interviews, requests for participation to conferences, demonstration and interviews. Nevertheless, for those stakeholders plotted in the “Keep informed” a consult strategy was carried out by proving them with enough information and interaction to keep them updated and to address their concerns, but do not overwhelm them with too much information. This purpose was realized through participation in events, on line or e-mail surveys after/during the events and focus groups. Finally, an informative strategy towards the stakeholder groups of the “Monitor” section was implemented through the sending newsletters and updating the social media channels.
Thanks to the excellent results obtained through this first stakeholder engagement and consultation, Water2REturn projects is organizing a second one.