A meeting with stakeholders from universities, research centers, company’s advisers in the agri-food sector and the Region of Murcia Development Agency INFO was held on January 15, 2020. This meeting presented the project progress, especially on the evaluation of the critical mass of the Region of Murcia in the water technology sector, and ideas were promoted for the development of concrete actions within the roadmap established for the Region of Murcia.

Region of Murcia is a success story in the optimal management of its water resources. Public Administration, Research Groups, Technological Centers and other research and development entities, as well as private companies and an innovative cluster, form a Critical Mass capable of providing solutions to the water sector and that continually try to achieve a competitive improvement of companies of the region through public-private cooperation for the development of innovative initiatives related to the sector.

In addition, one of the Smart Specialization Strategies for the Region of Murcia (RIS3Mur) is the articulation of water policy on environmental, economic and social issues in high value-added products with scientific and technological competence. There is support from the Public Administration to generate innovative products and services that contribute to the creation of growth and employment in the region.

A notable regional project is the one entitled "Indicators of environmental eco-efficiency (water footprint) as a quality parameter in the production and marketing of agri-food products" that has been financed within the frame of the program "Support for the creation and operation of operational groups of the European Association for Innovation in agricultural productivity and sustainability”, corresponding to measure 16.1 of the Rural Development Program of the Region of Murcia 2014-2020 (year 2018). This is an idea which will allow quantifying the potential impacts generated by their activities on water resources. The objective is to achieve a certification of the water footprint, with the collaboration of the University of Murcia and the National Technological Center for the Food and Canning Industry CTC, with extensive experience in this field. More information at www.huellahidrica.es

Finally, Region of Murcia has close contacts with Associations and other research centers in the agri-food sector at European level, being suitable to disseminate the project and its results beyond the Region of Murcia, in such a way as to promote interregional collaborations in the water and agri-food sector, in accordance with the proposed actions. This Semester, the National Research and Development Institute for Food Bioresources - IBA Bucharest, has published information about iWATERMAP in its newsletter. More information at bioresurse.ro/blogs/media/interreg-europe-iwatermap