For a healthy aquatic environment: ERA-NET Cofund AquaticPollutants projects officially started
To tackle one of the most pressing issues facing society – the presence of pollutants and pathogens in water resources – the three Joint Programming Initiatives (JPIs) on Water, Oceans and Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) brought together 32 ministries, authorities and funding organisations from 26 countries to form the new ERA-NET Cofund AquaticPollutants. This unique network aims to address the risk posed by contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) through a multi-faceted approach comprised of the freshwater, marine and health research sectors.
The ERA-NET Cofund includes two components: 1) The 2020 Joint Transnational Call resulted in18 research and innovation projects that focus on the three themes of measuring, evaluating, and taking actions related to risks posed by pollutants and pathogens present in water resources. 2) The 2020 Transfer Project call awarded to AquaticPollutantsTransNet to maximise the transfer of knowledge and impact of the projects’ research results.
The official kick-off of the 18 projects took place on 30 September 2021, during which approximately 190 participants, including researchers and members from funding agencies, had the first opportunity to present and capture the research objectives and work plans of the funded projects. More importantly, this kick-off meeting served as the basis for establishing collaboration 1) between the funded projects themselves and 2) between the projects and AquaticPollutantsTransNet. Measuring – Evaluating – Taking Actions: These three themes are anything but unique. Cross-cutting issues highlight the overlap and synchronisation of the Cofund AquaticPollutants’ focus and are of special interest for all 18 projects. These cross-cutting issues, on topics such as the standardization of methods, bridging science and policy, and strategic communication, will be identified by the projects and elaborated on over the next four years through the support of AquaticPollutantsTransNet and the engagement of key water stakeholders.
In the coming months, AquaticPollutantsTransNet will work with the projects to identify these stakeholders and analyse their knowledge gaps. We will assess the political contexts of the research projects to determine regulatory demands along with stakeholder demands and align these with both existing knowledge transfer channels and innovative channels developed through co-creation methods.
AquaticPollutantsTransNet Coordinator: Thomas Track, Head of Water Management, DECHEMA e.V., E-Mail: aquaticpollutants(at)dechema.de