Call for proposals for Water Innovation: boosting its value for Europe H2020-WATER-2015-two-stage Closed!


The Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020) is implemented by specific programme and work programmes.

The “Societal challenges” responds directly to the policy priorities and societal challenges that are identified in the Europe 2020 strategy and that aim to stimulate the critical mass of research and innovation efforts needed to achieve the Union's policy goals.

The specific objective is to fully exploit the potential of Europe's talent pool and to ensure that the benefits of an innovation-led economy are both maximised and widely distributed across the Union in accordance with the principle of excellence.

Funding shall be focused on the following specific objectives:
(a) Health, demographic change and well-being.
(b) Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine, maritime and inland water research. and the bioeconomy.
(c) Secure, clean and efficient energy.
(d) Smart, green and integrated transport.
(e) Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials.
(f) Europe in a changing world - Inclusive, innovative and reflective societies.
(g) Secure societies - Protecting freedom and security of Europe and its citizens.


Actions foreseen within this call for proposals include the following topics:

  • WATER-1b-2015: Demonstration/pilot activities. One of the main factors hampering the market uptake of innovative solutions in the field of water is the lack of real scale demonstration of their long term viability. In addition, highly promising and sustainable eco-innovative water solutions (technologies, processes, products, services etc.) often do not reach the market due to pre-commercialisation challenges and the residual risk linked to scaling-up. There is therefore a need to take action to accelerate the commercialisation of eco-innovative water solutions with a view to stimulating sustainable economic growth, business and job creation in the water sector. The EIP on Water has identified 8 priority areas: 5 thematic priorities (water reuse and recycling; water and waste water treatment, including recovery of resources; water and energy integration; flood and drought risk management; and the role of ecosystem services in the provision of water related services) and 3 cross-cutting priorities (water governance; decision support systems and monitoring; and financing for innovation). According to the EIP on Water, these are areas which show high potential for innovation and market uptake.


  • WATER-2b-2015: Integrated approaches to food security, low-carbon energy, sustainable water management and climate change mitigation. The rising demands of a growing world population for food, water, materials and energy will put increasing pressures on land use, water resources and ecosystems. Increased energy use leads to increased demands for cooling water for thermal power plants. Climate mitigation options such as biomass production for energy (biofuels) might also lead to increased land and water demands. Increased food and feed demand will put increasing pressures on land (e.g. deforestation leading to more greenhouse gas emission) and water resources. Such pressures will be compounded by the impacts of climate change which are likely to further modify the availability and suitability of these resources as well as affect agricultural productivity. Tools to help explore options for low-carbon pathways, such as climate-energy models, currently lack a comprehensive integration of land-use and water systems, leading to an incomplete picture of the interactions between competing demands and the future viability and costs of adaptation and mitigation options as well as the environmental protection and agricultural challenges. Despite considerable progress over the past ten years, the forecasting of natural water cycle variability and extreme weather events in the short and medium term still suffers from severe limitations. Improved understanding of the impacts of climate change on the hydrological cycle is necessary in order to better inform decision makers and ensure sustainable water supply and management of water systems, and quality of water bodies, in the EU.


  • WATER-5c-2015: Development of water supply and sanitation technology, systems and tools, and/or methodologies. Sustainable water supply and sanitation is fundamental to the food security, health, survival, societal well-being and economic growth in developing countries, especially in Africa. Developing countries are also particularly vulnerable to water-related problems which are expected to be exacerbated in the future by more frequent and severe floods and droughts due to climate change. A prerequisite for tackling these challenges is a profound analysis of water resources at cross-boundary catchment scales, pressures on water resources and conflicts in water use that require sound approaches to water management, taking into consideration broader socio-economic factors and greater gender balance in decision making. International cooperation can play an important role in mitigating negative effects. At the same time, the EU should aim to strengthen international cooperation also with emerging economies, especially China and India, through strategic partnerships in the field of water. This will allow for joint development of technological solutions that, capitalising on the mutual knowledge and experience of the water industry in EU Member States and these countries, have a great potential for further replication and market uptake. Building on its leadership in international water-related negotiations, the EU will promote its experience in water policy and river management in order to share best practices.

European community funding

The Community provisional funding available for the call for proposals is:

  • 75,00 Million EUR (Global Budget)

All the important deadlines

  • 24 April 2015 - 6 years ago (Deadline for the presentation of proposals)

Further information about the call

Official webpage of the call

Useful documents

  • Water Innovation: Boosting its value for Europe (Legal base)

Organisations eligible to participate

Opened to the following bodies or institutes with legal status established in the covered areas:

  • Any legal organisation

Covered areas

Bodies or institutes must have their registered legal seat in one of the countries taking part in the Programme which are:

  • European Union (EU)

Directorate-Generale responsible

Directorate-General for Research

Related calls for proposals

Related calls

Explore other programmes