EU Water Innovation Conference 2019


The EU Water Innovation Conference 2019 (EUWIC) will be held on December 12, in Zaragoza, Spain. It will carry the theme:

“Accelerating action to tackle water pollution and enhance EU preparedness to water-related climate change impacts”   #EUWIC

The European Commission aims to raise awareness about the need and urgency to improve water management across the European Union towards a water-smart society. This high-level event will feed innovators minds with best practices and innovative approaches at technical, governance and policy levels.

This will be the 5th EIP Water Conference, after Brussels (2013), Barcelona (2014), Leeuwarden (2016) and Porto (2017), and shall build upon the European Innovation Partnership (EIP Water)’s efforts so far to foster innovation in the water sector and overcome the main existing barriers. At the same time, it is a stepping stone into the future, as the current EIP Water is planned to end in 2020, and it will likely be followed by new actions to address water-related challenges, secure enhanced compliance with the EU water acquis and foster the research-policy interface, whilst strengthening partnerships for joint efforts.

The city of Zaragoza was selected as a host city after a pan-European competition won by the Region of Aragon (Spain).

Aragon’s proposal builds on a strong legacy of hosting the water-focused World Expo in 2008, and a strong institutional, entrepreneur and civil society engagement in water. Zaragoza and the conference venue are located at the Ebro river banks, and Aragon faces many of the today’s and tomorrow’s challenges on water management, including pollution, floods, scarcity and droughts. At the same time, Aragon is a dynamic region, with strong innovation activities related to the circular economy and sustainability. Zaragoza is a recognized congress city with important events such as Smagua International Water and Irrigation exhibition.

EUWIC and side events

The EIP Water conference will be preceded and followed by an increasing number of side events as well as site visits on December 11 and 13. Participants of the conference will learn about Aragon’s unique features, attend site visits in the middle Ebro river valley and Pyrenees mountains, and attend a series of side events before and after the event. More details will follow soon.

1. Aim – and what you can expect

To raise awareness about the need and urgency to improve water management across the European Union towards a water-smart society, take stock of key European Commission’s findings based on the 2019 Fitness Check of EU Water Law and of research and innovation results and outcomes, and promote exchange of best practices and innovative approaches at technical, governance and policy levels.

Participants can expect to:

  1. Hear the direction the European Commission is taking in its water, climate change and research and innovation policies;
  2. Learn the lessons of experienced water innovators in Europe;
  3. Gain insight into the regulatory and financial framework, partnerships and how to successfully establish innovation;
  4. Network with potential collaboration partners;
  5. Get to know the funding and financial instruments available.

2. Participants and target audiences

The main target audiences of the EU Water Innovation Conference 2019 are high-level representatives of the public and corporate water sector in Europe and beyond. Attendees will include water managers, representatives of water authorities, launching customers (innovation demanders) from the private and public sector (cities, regions and EU Member States), water-using sectors and innovation providers. Furthermore, there will be participants from other sectors related to innovation development, uptake and financing.

The conference is free of charge, but registration is required.

3. Date, Venue and Registration

The EU Water Innovation Conference 2019 is scheduled for Thursday, December 12 2019. The conference will take place in the Palacio de Congresos de Zaragoza, Spain, and will start at 10:00 am. Several side events such as meetings and site visits are planned for December 11 and 13, they may require additional registration procedures. More details will follow.

4. Preliminary programme

A preliminary programme providing some details on the session, speakers, as well as other information, is available here. The conference will be held in English; no translations will be provided. Please note, that some side meetings may also be in Spanish.

5. How to get involved

Those interested in participating in the EU Water Innovation Conference 2019 should:

  • Save the date
  • Register as a conference participant here.
  • Reflect on and take action for organizing a side meeting on December 11. More details are provided below.
  • Support promotion and news about the conference on Twitter using #EUWIC as the official conference hashtag.

6. Organising side meetings on December 11

Our website will incorporate information on “closed” and “open/public” water innovation-related meetings in Zaragoza on December 11 into forthcoming conference announcements to help promote your event and boost the number of participants. Please note, that side meetings may also be in Spanish, all information will be provided here.

Please provide the relevant information about your proposed side meeting in the promotion request hereASAP and at the latest by October 11.

7. Conference Organisers and Partners

The EU Water Innovation Conference 2019 is organised by the European Commission,

with the support of:

Government of Aragon 

The Government of Aragon is the executive organ of the Autonomous Community of Aragon which has authority in political and legislative areas. The Government of Aragon is committed to reactivating the legacy of the International Expo 2008 about “water and sustainable development” by engaging with the UN’s Agenda 2030. The Aragon Water Institute is the public body responsible for water matters. The Institute operates and maintains sewage treatment plants, and supports municipal entities in the actions that make up the cycle urban water. In the field of hydrological planning, the Aragon Water Institute coordinates the contributions made by the Government of Aragon and makes effective its participation in basin organizations.

Feria de Zaragoza 

Feria de Zaragoza is a member of the leading Spanish fair hosts and is focused on performing high-tech and specialized exhibitions in the corresponding fields, which has led it to be at the head of the European fair manifestations in a number of contests. Since 1974 it holds SMAGUA, International Water and Irrigation Exhibition, which is one of the most important events for the water sector in Spain and the South of Europe.  It attracts professionals from all over the world who find a wide showcase with the latest equipment and technologies applied to the water cycle.  The event has become the essential meeting point for the sector thanks to its clearly innovative position, the quality of its technical conferences and the numerous presentations of products, equipment and technological solutions.


ZINNAE, the Cluster for the efficient use of water, is a non-profit association that works to offer solutions to water security challenges in order to build a sustainable and resilient future, working under the principles of the circular economy and intelligent society. It was born in 2010 with the aim of bringing together the main economic agents linked to water and energy that are associated on a regional level. Our specialization areas are:

1) Resilient water infrastructure: water-energy efficiency, O&M, new pollutants, decentralized systems; alternative resources; invasive species.

2) Digital technology: water 4.0, cybersecurity, real-time monitoring, big data; business intelligence.

3) Adaptative Governance: communication, smart investment, reuse, valorisation, prevention, climate change adaptation.

Spanish Water Technology Platform (PTEA) 

Spanish Water Technology Platform (PTEA) was created with the vocation of being the meeting point at the national level among every scientific, technological and business stakeholders to promote research, development and innovation, besides technological upgrading applicable to the sustainable management of water resources. Another of its objectives is to promote the leadership of the Spanish technology sector worldwide, as well as improving employment and competitiveness. PTEA is a non-profit association that brings together the agents involved in R&D and innovation in the water sector in Spain and aims to boost the potential of innovation to promote collaboration and the implementation of strategic projects for the water industry, thus contributing to the implementation of national and European strategies in this field.

Water Europe       

Water Europe is the recognized voice and promotor of water-related RTD and innovation in Europe. We aim to increase coordination and collaboration, to enhance the performance of the water service providers, water users, and technology providers, in a sustainable and inclusive way.

To strive towards the realization of the EU water smart society, Water Europe has three core missions:

  • Improve coordination and collaboration in the water sector and water using sectors;
  • Enhance the performance of the European water sector and water using sectors;
  • Contribute to solving societal challenges through RTD&I

In addition, Water Europe has developed a Water Vision: “The value of Water” as a guideline for future research and development within the European water sector and established three main programmes (collaboration – advocacy and market programmes) as services to its members.

Water JPI   

Water JPI – Joint Programming Initiative on “Water Challenges for a Changing World” aiming at tackling the ambitious challenge of achieving sustainable water resources for a sustainable economy in Europe and abroad.

The Water JPI is facilitating and fostering cooperation between countries on water research so that big challenges can be addressed and resolved across the world. The science-knowledge produced by the Water JPI will support the implementation of European water-related policies and increase cooperation between European countries and International partners outside the European Research Area.


EurEau is the voice of Europe’s water sector. We represent 32 drinking and wastewater service providers from 29 countries in Europe, from both the private and the public sectors.

Our members are the national associations of water services in Europe. At EurEau, we bring national water professionals together to agree on European water industry positions regarding the management of water quality, resource efficiency and access to water for Europe’s citizens and businesses. The EurEau secretariat is based in Brussels, from where we coordinate the work of around 150 experts from member organisations and utilities and advocate common positions with EU decision makers.

Our members are fully committed to the continuous supply of clean water and its safe return into the water cycle. We have a role in raising awareness of threats to the water environment. With a direct employment of around 476,000 people, the European water sector makes a significant contribution to the European economy.