Author Giuseppina Monacelli ISPRA (Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research) * Introduction The Water JPI (Joint Programming Initiative "Water challenges for a changing world") is an intergovernmental initiative and responds to the grand challenge of "Achieving Sustainable Water Systems for a Sustainable Economy in Europe and Abroad". This JPI is one of the ten JPIs approved at EU level in order to harmonize national research, development and innovation agendas and develop joint actions (projects, mobility and infrastructure) on relevant societal challenges to better addressed by joining efforts at European and international level. The water challenges require transnational and multi-disciplinary approach to the economic, ecological, technological and societal aspects to be considered in facing the threats to European waters. The WATER JPI, approved by the Council of the European Union on 6 December 2011, currently counts on 19 partner countries and 5 observer countries plus the European Commission.
* Methods The Water JPI aims at strengthening European leadership and competitiveness in the field of water research and innovation, reducing the fragmentation of European R&I and increasing linkages/synergies among initiatives to safeguard water resources. A water RDI mapping in Europe (national/regional research performer/funding entities, programmes, projects, patents, researchers, ,etc) is feeding the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) development. The SRIA is the Water JPI backbone, leading to the implementation of joint programming and to the achievement of strategic objectives. The SRIA embodies a collective and shared strategy identified on the basis of the comparison the national/regional agendas, consultations and discussions among the scientific community and the stakeholders in order to met the research and innovation needs to properly implement the water policy with the more advanced and consolidated research and innovation results. The Implementation Plan focuses on activities, like the common calls, to be performed by the institutions members of the Water JPI and on other proposed actions to be implemented by the European Commission. Strengthening the international dimension of European water RDI and developing durable partnerships for water RDI in the world are objectives that the WATER JPI initiative is facing by mapping the international strategic alliances and agreements run by Water JPI partners with countries outside Europe on water RDI, in order to optimize efforts and resources. Development and sustainable strategic alliances outside Europe are then agreed in close coordination with SFIC, like in the India case.
* Results and Discussion The Water JPI has achieved a joint vision on water challenges and identified six objectives to be accomplished by 2020: 1. Involving water stakeholders for effective RDI results uptake; 2. Attaining critical mass of research programmes (the goal is to involve at least two-thirds of the public national water RDI investment in Europe); 3. Reaching effective, sustainable coordination of European water RDI; 4. Harmonising national water RDI agendas in Partner Countries; 5. Harmonising national water RDI activities in Partner Countries ( joint programming activities will amount to at least 20 % of the total budget of Partners national water RDI Programmes); 6. Supporting European leadership in water science and technology (the target is to maintain the European world leadership in water related scientific publications and PCT patents). The Water JPI Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA version 1, June 2014) has identified five key RDI themes: 1. Maintaining ecosystem sustainability; 2. Developing safe water systems for the citizens; 3. Promoting competitiveness in the water industry; 4. Implementing a water-wise bio-based economy; 5. Closing the water cycle gap.
In 2013 the Water JPI launched a call on the topic "Emerging water contaminants -- anthropogenic and pathogens". The two H2020 Societal Challenge 5 Co-fund ERA-NETs WaterWorks2014 and the forthcoming proposal WaterWorks2015 constitute major steps towards the implementation of Water JPI up to 2020 under Horizon 2020 and, in particular, in 2014 for water distribution and measurement, waste water treatment and reuse, desalination, floods and droughts; in 2015 for sustainable water use in agriculture, to increase water use efficiency and reduce soil and water pollution. Another Co-fund ERA-NET will probably launch a common call in 2017 on the theme of closing the water cycle gap.
Conclusion Since its approval the initiative has achieved all its objectives and the implementation process is evolving according to the envisaged chrono-programme. The EU Commission recognizes the important role of the initiative for Horizon 2020 implementation and is supporting its current activities, starting from the WatEUr CSA 2013-15, and the future common calls through the instrument of the ERANET Co-fund. The WATER JPI Implementation Plan for the period 2014-2016 was presented in Brussels on 21st October 2014, together with the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA). Interfacing with society, empowering research, development and innovation (RDI) actors and improving the efficiency of RDI programmes are the three types of activities in which those taken into consideration in the ongoing Implementation Plan. 1. WATER JPI (Joint Programming Initiative Â“Water challenges for a changing worldÂ”)_ http://www.waterjpi.eu