Kick-Off of the AquaticPollutants Core Synergy Forum
10 April 2022
The ERA-Net Cofund AquaticPollutants includes 18 funded research projects from 26 different countries that address three overarching themes – measuring, evaluating, and taking actions. These projects are based in various national contexts and operate with different levels of available/known information, but all have the overall aim of reducing the “risks posed to human health and the environment by pollutants and pathogens present in water resources”. How can this broad range of existing knowledge and expected results be successfully transferred to the appropriate stakeholders? What work are the 18 research projects doing and how can their effectiveness and impact be maximised?
As a platform to help answer these questions, AquaticPollutantsTransNet created the AquaticPollutants Core Synergy Forum (CSF), a group comprised of the project coordinators from the 18 funded projects, members of AquaticPollutantsTransNet, and ERA-Net Cofund Management Representatives. This collaborative platform has three overall objectives:
- Facilitate direct exchange and networking among the 18 funded projects by identifying synergies
- Allow for value-adding collaboration on topics that are common to multiple research projects, so-called cross-cutting issues (CCIs)
- Enhance knowledge transfer to relevant, targeted stakeholders by formulating key messages, implementing innovative knowledge transfer methods, and coordinating actions
The graphic in the top right explains how the activities of the transfer project and 18 research projects can benefit from collaboration via the CSF.
Similar forums have been implemented on a national scale in Germany, where DECHEMA, the coordinator of TransNet, was responsible for the planning, organization and implementation. Using lessons learned and realized benefits from these past experiences, TransNet organized the first AquaticPollutants CSF meeting on March 10, 2022, which was attended by a total of 36 people from the Cofund. The major output of this first meeting was the final selection of the cross-cutting issues (CCIs). Based on individual recommendations from the AquaticPollutants project members, TransNet developed four main CCIs that address the topics deemed as most important by the AquaticPollutants projects:
- Communication & dissemination (including policy needs & regulatory context)
- Harmonization of methods, sampling procedures
- Mitigation technologies for CECs & AMR
- Persistence, prioritization & impact of AMR/ARGs
The CSF members approved these four CCIs, which will be further defined and elaborated on via CCI-specific working groups, planned for the 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2022. The working groups will decide themselves on the best mode for collaboration and what topics or activities they want to address pertaining to each CCI. These could include collaborating on best practice documents or joint procedures; developing workshops, interviews, trainings, or publications; or coordinating stakeholder engagement efforts. Any outputs from the CCI working groups will be communicated to interested stakeholders and citizens via the AquaticPollutants website and social media channels.