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Water Research and Innovation Partnership Addressing Sustainable Development Goals


Water is vital for life: for drinking, cleaning, flushing, food and energy production, and the manufacture of many industrial products. Water challenges are complex and significant, e.g. the fast-growing world population, pollution from multiple sources, water security and global climate changes. Providing every citizen with access to an adequate supply of safe water, meeting every economic sector’s water needs and delivering water quality improvements with a reduction in energy consumption and without conflict of uses require increased investments in research and innovation to develop and test innovative solutions and contribute to the policy debate. Achieving clean water and sanitation targets by 2030 will require contributions from (1) science that links disciplines, knowledge systems, and societal partners, to support and implement the necessary developments and (2) large funding partnerships to reach the necessary critical mass and implement the cross-sectoral approach required to address the ascertained global challenges. Recognising this need, in 2015 the European Union (EU) established an independent expert group to advise on the role of science, technology and innovation in implementing the 2030 Agenda (EC 2015). The EU has been a major player in the UN discussions and is committed to be a frontrunner in implementing the 2030 Agenda, through a joint effort of the EU and Member States, mainstreaming UN SDGs into all EU policies and initiatives or projects (EC 2016a). This engagement applies to sectoral policies (environment, agriculture, climate, cohesion, etc.) and is already happening (Darmendrail et al., 2019). Such considerations are a central part of the current negotiation of the next Multiannual Financial Framework (2021–2027), especially for the next Research and Innovation Framework Programme. To overcome the barriers faced by research and innovation programmes (fragmentation, low level of results uptake by policies and markets), in 2008, national governments and the European Commission (EC) launched an innovative research programming model entitled the Joint Programming Initiatives (JPIs), which target major global societal challenges that cannot be addressed individually by countries. Here, it is presented the broad range of actions taken by the Water JPI to tackle water challenges in the context of the UN SDGs (Water JPI 2020), highlighting the importance of the efforts to research, innovate, scale up and implement the most sustainable, fair and acceptable solutions, both those already made and those planned for the future.
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Dates and versions

hal-03119446 , version 1 (24-01-2021)



Dominique Darmendrail, Alice Wemaere. Water Research and Innovation Partnership Addressing Sustainable Development Goals. Clean Water and Sanitation. Encyclopedia of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, pp.1-11, 2021, 978-3-319-70061-8. ⟨10.1007/978-3-319-70061-8_124-1⟩. ⟨hal-03119446⟩


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