Water research in Europe: ANR coordinates the Water JPI

The European Joint Programming Initiative "Water Challenges for a Changing World" (Water JPI) aims at reinforcing Europe's leadership and competitiveness in the area of water research and innovation, while fostering preservation of the resource. In November 2014 ANR took the chair and coordination responsibility for the JPI. Let's focus on this flagship initiative, the day after the World Water Day 2015.

The availability of water of adequate quality in sufficient quantities is a major issue of public interest on the European and world scale. Water is a vital fundamental resource, not only for direct consumption, but also for health, the production of food, industrial assets and goods. The scale of the economic, ecological, environmental, technological, demographic and societal issues relating to water makes it indispensable to adopt multidisciplinary and transnational approaches. Furthermore, given the extent of the necessary research efforts and the geographical variation of the problems associated with water, no European country can hope to meet this challenge on its own.

Developing sustainable water management systems for a sustainable economy

In this context the Water JPI was officially launched in late 2011, in particular to help reduce the fragmentation of the member countries' efforts in this area and to promote greater mobilisation of the skills, knowledge and resources.

Initiated by the European Commission in 2008, the joint programming initiatives (JPI) are intergovernmental actions that contribute to the construction of the European Research Area. They are designed to facilitate the creation of synergies between the national scientific programmes with regard to research needs having strong societal impacts for Europeans and sometimes beyond the boundaries of the European Union.

Focusing on Water challenges, the Water JPI currently counts twenty partner countries and four observers. Placed under ANR's chairmanship and coordination since November 2014, the Water JPI intends achieving five major objectives between now and 2020:

  • Involving the water end-users for effective RDI results uptake
  • Attaining critical mass of research programmes
  • Reaching effective and sustainable coordination of European water research development and innovation (RDI) in the area of water
  • Harmonising national water RDI agendas and activities in partner countries, and lastly
  • Supporting European leadership in science and technology

Its members have jointly developed a common vision and established a strategic joint research agenda hinging around five priority research themes:

  • Maintaining ecosystem sustainability
  • Developing safe water systems for the citizens
  • Promoting competitiveness in the water industry
  • Implementing a water-wise bio-based economy
  • Closing the water cycle gap

Among its activities the JPI launches calls for proposals that serve to fund consortia of multidisciplinary European researchers working on very closely targeted themes. In 2013 it launched a pilot call on the emerging contaminants. A second call, without the participation of France, is currently in progress for the development of technological solutions and services, particularly for water treatment.

As JPI coordinator, ANR also aims at giving new impetus to the initiative.

Therefore the agency will coordinate the future ERA-NET Cofund which will launch a major pan-European call for proposals following which the selected projects will be co-funded by the European Commission. The theme of the call will be "Water and Agriculture". It will be proposed in close cooperation with FACCE, the Joint Programming Initiative on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change.

Find out more:


What is a JPI?

The Joint Programming Initiatives (JPI) constitute a mode of cooperation between member States working to build the European Research Area. The JPIs aim to optimise national research efforts and to network the actors (organisations and funding agencies) in order to respond as effectively as possible to the major societal challenges facing European communities. They result in the defining of a common vision and a strategic research agenda on the issues that the national programmes cannot address alone.

ANR is a member of eight of the ten JPIs currently under way in Europe. It participates in the governance of these networks and helps establish the strategic research agenda for each JPI and develop synergies with other global initiatives. ANR is involved in setting up calls for proposals for collaborative research projects launched in this context and in choosing the subjects, and it funds the research undertaken by the selected French teams.




Last updated on 21 March 2019
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