European research

Horizon 2020 - Horizon Europe - Other European projects

KWR’s participation in Horizon 2020 and other European research projects underlines the importance that we, as an applied research institute, attach to the interaction between the public and private sectors at an international level. Together with leading European knowledge institutions, water utilities, industry and technology providers we contribute to solutions for societal challenges. Among our areas of focus are health, safety, infrastructure, climate change and the circular economy. In the area of scientific innovation, we pursue international collaborations with universities.

Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 is a large European research and innovation programme aimed at strengthening European competitiveness. In consultation with the public and private sectors, KWR works within Horizon 2020 on solutions for societal challenges and scientific innovation. For water utilities and other end-users participation in the European programme’s projects means that they gain a European perspective on innovation.

The European research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020 (2014-2020), has an €80 billion budget to stimulate contributions towards solving societal challenges and scientific innovation. The objective is to strengthen Europe’s competitiveness by developing innovation and industry.

Horizon 2020 Projects

We are actively involved in the following European Horizon 2020 research projects:

  • AQUARIUS (2017-2020): Proposes disruptive improvements in laser-based water sensing.
  • AQUASPICE (2020-2024): Advances Sustainability of Process Industries through Digital and Circular Water Use Innovations
  • ARSINOE (2021-2025): Shapes the pathways to resilience by bringing together Systems Innovation Approach (SIA) and Climate Innovation Window (CIW) to build an ecosystem for climate change adaptation solutions.
  • B-Watersmart (2020-2024): Accelerates the transformation to a water-smart economy and society in European coastal regions, building on the vision of Water Europe.
  • Fiware4Water (2019-2022): Creates the ecosystem for the next generation of internet services linked to smart city initiatives.
  • IMPETUS (2021-2025): Accelerates Europe’s climate adaptation strategy to become the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050.
  • NextGen (2018-2022): Demonstrates the next generation of water systems and services for the circular economy. (KWR is coordinating this project)
  • NEXOGENESIS (2021-2025): Supports and informs the development of next-generation effective and intelligent water-related policies to manage resources properly.
  • PATHOCERT (2020-2023): Strengthens the coordination capability of the first responders in handling waterborne pathogen contamination events.
  • ULTIMATE (2020-2024): Demonstrates water-smart industrial symbiosis, at 9 large scale sites across Europe, through enabling technologies. (KWR is coordinating this project)
  • WATERMINING (2020-2024): Develops the next-generation water-smart management systems.

Horizon Europe: the successor to Horizon 2020

Horizon Europe aspires to a mission-driven approach with clearly defined objectives. The Horizon Europe programme tackles climate change, helps to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and boosts the EU’s competitiveness and growth. The programme facilitates collaboration and strengthens the impact of research and innovation in developing, supporting and implementing EU policies while tackling global challenges. It supports creating and better dispersing of excellent knowledge and technologies. The programme started in the Summer of 2021.

Other European projects

And also in the following other European funded projects:

  • EUSEME (2019-2021): Develops new approaches to monitoring emerging drug problems in Europe through wastewater-based epidemiology. (KWR is coordinating this project)
  • HEATSTORE (2018-2021): Develops Underground Thermal Energy Storage to support the transition of the heating and cooling sector to low-carbon solutions.
  • REWATCH (2016-2020): Implements water reuse in the petrochemical industry.
  • SPECTORS (2016-2020): Unlocks the market potential of civilian drone technology through sensor innovations for remote sensing and remote monitoring.
  • Water-Futures (2021-2027): Develops a theoretical and practical basis for designing water systems.

Completed projects

These EU research projects, that we actively participated in, have been finished:

  • ANSWER (2015-2019): Researches the transmission of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance in wastewater to humans and the environment via the soil, water and crop.
  • Bingo (2015-2019): Reduces the uncertainty of climate predictions at the local and regional level, and develop appropriate response strategies.
  • Bluecities (2015-2017): Generates recommendations on how water and waste can also be integrated, so as to make the Smart City policy even smarter.
  • Sim4Nexus (2016-2020): Investigates bio-physical and policy interlinkages across the five Nexus domains.
  • SUBSOL (2015-2018): targets a market breakthrough of SWS as robust answers to freshwater resource challenges in coastal areas. (KWR coordinated this project)
  • POWER (2015-2019): Builds an integrated approach to urban water management through a combination of social, technological and political innovation.
  • STOP-IT (2017-2021): Researches physical and cyber protection of critical water infrastructures.
  • Wat-Qual (2018-2019): Assesses water quality in drinking water distribution systems.

A European perspective on water sector challenges

For water utilities, participation in European projects means that they get close to the sources of innovative knowledge and expertise. They strengthen their network at the European level and learn from each other’s solutions, which provides them with a broader perspective on the challenges the water sector is addressing. This strengthens the operational effectiveness of the water utilities and other end-users.