Sustainable water management is essential for key sectors in Europe, such as tourism, agriculture, energy, but also for other large water-consuming industries (food, chemicals, cellulose and paper, etc.). The common challenges of this sector refer to outdated infrastructure and reduced investments in operation and maintenance, the use of persistent pollutants, water losses and inefficient management of this resource.

Since 2018, North-East RDA is partner in the iWATERMAP Interregional Cooperation Project - Water Technology Innovation Roadmaps, funded under the INTERREG Europe Interregional Cooperation Program (call 3), involving 9 partners from 7 European states.

The iWATERMAP project is focused on water technologies, due to their contribution to overcoming the societal challenges related to water resource management, water efficiency, use of technologies in other related fields, recovery of resources from wastewater and wastewater treatment, etc. This sector has great potential to generate innovative products and services which can be exported thus contributing to increased competitiveness, economic development and the creation of new jobs in the region.

In this context, on June 25-26, 2019, the North-East Regional Development Agency organized, in Iasi (at the headquarters of ApaVital SA Iasi), the 3rd transnational meeting attended by relevant actors from the region, as well as by the project partners: Wetsus (European Center of Excellence for Water Sustainability Technology) Netherlands, Fryslan Province (Netherlands), Riga Technical University (Latvia), Crete Region (Greece), Food and Agriculture Cluster of Murcia Region (Spain), University of Minho (Portugal), CREA Hydro & Energy (Czech Republic) and Ministry of Education and Science of Latvia.

An element of novelty is the accession of the North-East Region to the Water Smart Territories partnership constituted, within the Smart Specialization Platform (S3 Platform), by 3 European leading regions, specificallyAragón - Spain, Center Val de Loire – France and Province Fryslan - Netherlands. This initiative aims at creating a platform dedicated to water, which will contribute to strengthening the innovative capacity of European regions, facilitating new investments in infrastructure and creating new technologies for sustainable water management.