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Network of the National Water Partnerships in Europe to grow as a functional SME support system

Feb 6th, 2014 |

Increased European cooperation has big potential for the European water sector

On 19 January 2014, nine National Water Partnerships (NWPs) across Europe attended a successful network meeting in Berlin and agreed to intensify the joint-up activities in a Network of National Water Partnerships (NNWP) focusing on concrete projects and turning the network into a spinning wheel for cross national matchmaking to bring potential partners together and support European businesses. There is a growing interest in stronger cooperation between the established NWPs across Europe as well as in setting up the national water partnerships in the countries where they do not exist yet.

EWP actively facilitates and initiates cooperation between NWPs and links them to the EU initiatives such as the European Innovation Partnership on Water, demands for innovative solutions coming from the implementation of the water legislation, and Horizon 2020.

There are important EU developments where National Water Partnerships have to respond especially in representing the views of SMEs that form the bulk of membership base of most of the NWPs. Although NWPs have different agendas, the world market is growing and there is a common interest in supporting and promoting the European water sector to find and enter new markets. The main objective of the network is to create more opportunities to successfully bring innovative water technologies to (international) markets by working together in a smart, pan-European network. This network has many advantages for the European water sector mainly as a functional SME supporting system that provides pre-competitive market intelligence and offers suitable tools (for example developed in the framework of the  INNOWATER project) to support SMEs in defining their USPs and choosing the right business model. The opportunity of matchmaking across the water sector Europe to find potential business partners through the NWPs is another unique opportunity for European SMEs resulting from the strengthened cooperation.

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