Press Release: Midterm Results Available
July 4, 2023
The Midterm Meeting of the ERA-NET Cofund AquaticPollutants took place in Alcalá de Henares (Spain) from 30 May to 1 June 2023. The focus was not only on the results of the different projects so far, but also on various networking activities and joint discussions.
After 18 months, at the halfway point of the funding measure, the 18 research and innovation projects of the ERA-NET Cofund AquaticPollutants met in person for the first time. The interest was great: not only were all 18 projects represented at the Midterm Meeting. Several PhD students, young researchers, members of the transfer project, AquaticPollutantsTransNet, as well as representatives from the funding organisations also attended the meeting. In total, about 100 people were at the project meeting, 60 of them from AquaticPollutants. Another 40 people were there because of the final meeting of the WaterWorks2017 Cofund, which runs until December 2023 and aims to support EU water policy implementation for sustainable water resource management. The two meetings were held together since the joint sponsor Agencia Estatal de Investigación (AEI, Spain) was responsible for both events.
Highlights of the Midterm Meeting
During the meeting, each of the 18 AquaticPollutants projects had ten minutes to present results and progress, followed by ten minutes for questions from the follow-up group. In addition, there was a networking session attended by the partners of both AquaticPollutants and WaterWorks2017. "With our networking session, we gave the participants the chance to discuss essential questions about the different partner projects, such as the specifics of the projects, what results have been achieved so far or what problems have been encountered in the project work," said Silvia Lorrio from AEI. "Our aim was also to bring the project partners together with a focus on possible synergies, for example in common interests, in problem solving or with regard to training and further education. This opportunity was well received by the partners."
Other highlights of the meeting included a poster session and a poster competition in which young researchers from both research programmes were able to present their work. There were also four lectures for young researchers given by experienced experts. The topics ranged from the current state of science and career paths in academia to the organisation of project meetings. These lectures and the poster session were led by the Israeli Ministry of Health, which is also responsible for the AquaticPollutants PhD Forum.
In addition, the partners from the transfer project AquaticPollutantsTransNet ("TransNet") presented their results so far from several stakeholder interviews and workshops, in which the knowledge needs of the end-users are identified. TransNet also presented the planned Innovation Challenge on "Knowledge Transfer", which is scheduled to start at the end of June. In addition, Thomas Track, expert on water management at DECHEMA e.V., and Simon Frank from Project Management Agency Karlsruhe (PTKA) gave a presentation on the added value of transfer projects based on experience at the national level and initial experience on an international level within AquaticPollutants.
What happens next?
Many of the 18 projects have already achieved initial results at the halfway point of the Cofund and will start disseminating these in the coming months. Many publications, workshops and events are therefore planned for 2023. In addition, the Midterm Meeting contributed to the projects' wishes for more exchanges with each other: "After we were finally able to meet in person, many projects expressed the wish to exchange even more with other projects on various topics and to plan joint actions," says Thomas Track (DECHEMA e.V.). "This is where the Transfer Project can also provide support, for example with the cross-cutting themes and the internal Core Synergy Forum meeting on 22 June."
About the ERA-NET Cofund AquaticPollutants
The ERA-NET Cofund AquaticPollutants was established in September 2021 by three Joint Programming Initiatives (JPIs) together with the European Commission: JPI AMR, Water JPI and JPI Oceans. AquaticPollutants consists of 18 research and innovation projects focusing on three themes: measuring, evaluating and taking actions related to risks from pollutants and pathogens in water resources. The ERA-NET Cofund AquaticPollutants is coordinated by the Project Management Agency Karlsruhe on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
The Cofund also includes the transfer project AquaticPollutantsTransNet. This aims to support the transfer of knowledge and the exchange of findings from the 18 research projects with the relevant stakeholders at national, European and international level. AquaticPollutants TransNet is led by DECHEMA e.V. together with ACTeon Environment (France), the French Geological Survey (BRGM, France), the Swedish Institute for Environmental Research (IVL) and the Institute for Social-Ecological Research (ISOE, Germany).
The AquaticPollutantsTransNet partners have received funding from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the French National Research Agency (ANR) and the Swedish Research Council (SRC) within the 2020 Transfer Project Call, implemented under the ERA-NET Cofund AquaticPollutants of the Joint Programming Initiatives (JPIs) on Water, Oceans and Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR).