Lombardy Energy Cleantech Cluster will support the Lombardy Region in the Water Smart Territories thematic area for the S3 strategy, the European platform that brings together experts and bodies with skills and responsibilities in the management of regional innovation programmes.
The main objective of the thematic area Water Smart Territories is to strengthen the innovation capacity of European regions in order to facilitate new investments and new technologies for the sustainable management of water resources by clusters in regional ecosystems.
The collaboration between the partner regions and the regional clusters of the project was created to respond to the challenges of the water sector through advanced technological solutions and to address the needs of water territories and European society. This enables the development of innovative technologies and services, stimulating regional cooperation and industrial dialogue.
The following 4 collaborative areas were identified:
- Boosting resilient infrastructure. Aging infrastructure and low investment in operation and maintenance; persistent and emerging pollutants, water losses and scarce resources must be tackled through a combination of innovative and nature based solutions, opening the traditional water sector to new technologies that introduce efficiency and productivity in water management
- Digitalization. Industry 4.0 also brings many opportunities for economic development in the water sector. Business intelligence, big data -acquisition and management-, sensors, robotics, virtual reality are new elements that might facilitate water management for different water users and uses.
- Circular economy introduces a new paradigm for current water technologies. Resource recovery, sludge valorisation, water reuse, energy efficiency and production are the new paradigm that should be taken into consideration in water management plans of different water consumers.
- Enable multistakeholder governance, as water should be managed according to the multiple water users: agriculture, urban and industrial water consumers that need to observe different requirements and manage a common and unique resource. For example, small municipalities are facing extra challenges such as aging and disperse population and low productivity that risks the future economic development.
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