There is no denying that more innovation is needed to reduce and optimize water use and produce food in a more sustainable way, while avoiding an increase in food prices. EIT Food, EIT Climate- KIC, EIT Manufacturing and EIT Raw Materials have joined forces and, with the support of ATHENA and BioAzul, are tackling these issues through the project "Finding innovative solutions for water scarcity in Southern Europe".
The cross-KIC initiative started in March and is currently in the middle of its first phase where the Body of Knowledge - a group of 16 experts- has identified the challenges affecting water scarcity that startups will apply to solve. These challenges are:
- Digitalization for a better water management.
- Raising awareness and promoting education regarding local risks and measures.
- Unlocking water Governance and financial schemes for the sustainability of the water scarcity measures.
- Optimizing and matching water supply and demand.
- Ensuring production control and better water consumption to allow legal enforcement, and
- Fostering climate change readiness from the perspective of water.
In the second phase these startups working on the previously-mentioned challenges will need guidance, and, to be precise, 30 mentors to support them during the InnoWise Challenge Labs which will be held in three countries: Italy, Greece and Spain between September and October. The event will gather 30 of the most disruptive and innovative startups working on SMART solutions (including both technologies and services) with the aim to move towards a water-efficient and water-saving economy. These market-oriented events are intended to strengthen the capacities of the startups to increase their business opportunities, find investors and make their solutions reach the market, thereby making their business grow.
Each expert will be assigned to one startup to provide them with guidance and support as well as promote market acceptance of the startup product or service.