European research

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.

Horizon 2020: European research and innovation programme

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.

Jointly participating in 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. We are actively involved in the following European research projects:

  • EUSEME (2019-2020): Development of new approaches to monitor emerging drug problems in Europe through wastewater-based epidemiology. (KWR is coordinating this project.)
  • NextGen (2018-2022): Towards the next generation of water systems and services for the circular economy. (KWR is coordinating this project.)
  • Fiware4Water (2019-2022): Creating the ecosystem for next generation of internet services linked to smart city initiatives.
  • HEATSTORE (2018-2023): Underground Thermal Energy Storage facilitates the low-carbon transition of the heating and cooling sector.
  • Wat-Qual (2018-2019): Water quality in drinking water distribution systems.
  • STOP-IT (2017-2021): Physical and cyber protection of critical water infrastructures.
  • AQUARIUS (2017-2019): Proposing disruptive improvements in laser based water sensing.
  • REWATCH (2016-2019): Water reuse in the petrochemical industry.
  • SPECTORS (2016-2020): Unlock the market potential of civilian drone technology through sensor innovations for remote sensing and remote monitoring.
  • POWER (2015-2019): Integrated approach to urban water management through a combination of social, technological and political innovation.
  • ANSWER (2015-2019): Research into the transmission of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance in wastewater to humans and the environment via the soil, water and crop.

European perspective on water sector challenges

For water utilities the 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.

The successor to Horizon 2020: Horizon Europe

KWR is currently preparing itself for the successor to Horizon 2020: the new Horizon Europe research programme. Horizon Europe aspires to a mission-driven approach with clearly defined objectives.