Finding innovative solutions for water scarcity in Southern Europe
EIT RawMaterials, EIT Food, EIT Climate-KIC and EIT Manufacturing are looking for three organisations based in Greece, Italy and Spain to organise and conduct three Challenge Labs in 2020 at the regional level. These start-up events will provide training and mentoring for entrepreneurs while fostering creativity in finding solutions to specific water-scarcity challenges.
Food systems sustainability is constantly threatening by water scarcity, particularly in Southern European countries -Spain, Greece, Cyprus, Italy and Turkey, where water shortages are expected to increase soon. According to FAO, the food production consumes 70% of the world’s freshwater resources; not only in growing crops and raising animals but also in processed food, where water is a major ingredient.
Besides, a lot of water is wasted. New technologies, improved irrigation management, drought-resistant crops and water recycling in factories could save up to 40% in the agricultural and industrial sectors. Flooding and water scarcity in Europe will increase in the coming decades if the objectives of the Paris Agreement on climate change are not met. The European Commission, together with the KICs, is working with EU countries to overcome these challenges and encourage countries, companies and households to implement more water-efficient measures.
The long-term objectives of the “Finding innovative solutions for water scarcity in Southern Europe” project are: promoting the transition of ideas into businesses by supporting the development of innovative solutions for water scarcity; strengthening cross-networks to work together in innovation and entrepreneurship; boosting innovation in regions with modest to moderate rates in innovation, notably in Italy, Greece and Spain; creating start-ups and contributing to job creation; promoting synergies with Smart Specialisation Strategies and successful policy initiatives as a way of fostering financial sustainability.