Linking process industry and water industry know how to sustain water resources: That is the essential content of the European project ChemWater that has just started.
Over 30 months, 11 international partners from science, industry and water utilities will develop a long-term strategy for a sustainable industrial use of water in close coordination with existing initiatives and projects. A special focus will be the exploitation of technological potentials in the fields of nanotechnology, materials and process innovation.
Europe has to come to a more efficient water use in order to avoid the anticipated impacts of water shortages driven by climate change and other factors. The process industry, especially chemistry plays an essential role: It is both a major water user and a key solution provider for the development of future water technologies. The EU funded project ChemWater aims to coordinate EU strategies across and beyond existing technology platforms in order to integrate and exploit new findings particularly in the fields of nanotechnology, materials and process innovation.
A core rationale of the project is the shift from "water for chemistry" to a "chemistry for water" perspective. This emphasizes the role of the process industries as a solution provider. Thus, the project addresses not only the chemical industry but also other industries such as mining, biotechnology, health, food, electronics, pulp and paper and energy. The individual building blocks of ChemWater follow an inherent logic: Based on the identification of cross-industry synergies, a roadmap 2050 for technologies and process development will be set up. According to this roadmap, research needs and business development opportunities can be assembled in an action plan. At the same time, concepts for the rapid uptake and commercialization of innovations and for the dissemination of innovation will be formulated. Thus, ChemWater provides significant support for the "Water Efficient Europe" initiative of the European Innovation Partnership. This support will be discussed in a ChemWater workshop in early 2012.