Water and Soil Times number:10
WATER AND SOIL TIMES - Issue 10, January 2005  
A newsletter for the 'Water Cycle and Soil Related Aspects' activities in the European Commissions Directorate General for Research.  
The third call for proposals in the area 'Global Change and Ecosystems' closed on 26 October 2004. A total of 276 proposals were received. The evaluation of 
the proposals took place during November and December. Co-ordinators of proposals for Integrated Projects and Networks of Excellence have been informed at the end of December 2004 about the outcome of the evaluation
of their stage-one proposals. Successful proposers have been invited to submit full proposals for the second stage with a deadline for submission on 8 March
2005 (this is earlier than the originally foreseen date). The evaluation of second stage proposals is foreseen from mid-March to mid-April 2005. First results for STREP, CA and SSA proposals have been sent to the co-ordinators during the second week of January 2005. The procedure for selecting the proposals
to be funded is currently in progress, and it is hoped that contract negotiation for successful proposals can be opened in the course of February 2005. ----- WATER SUPPLY AND SANITATION TECHNOLOGY PLATFORM (WSSTP) Since the information provided in the previous issue of this newsletter, the following progress was made on the Water Supply and Sanitation Technology Platform
(WSSTP). The governance structure of the WSSTP has been now established. Besides the WSSTP Board (coordinating, deliberative and decision-making body), the Stakeholder
Forum (open consultative group), Secretariat (management and administrative support body) and the Member States Mirror Group (Member States consultation
body), four Thematic and one Horizontal Working Groups have been established. They provide the necessary scientific and technical background to the development
of the expected deliverables. Each of the working group has a chairperson, a rapporteur and a facilitator, and consists of 10-15 core members with relevant
scientific and technological expertise plus a number of corresponding members providing additional expertise. Furthermore, professional mirror groups
have been established in several EU member states to support the working groups and as means to disseminate information. More specifically the Working Groups
and chairpersons are as following: 1. Water Management Tools (Chairperson: Dr. G. S. Rodenhuis, IAHR/European Hydraulic Labs); 2. Urban and Rural Water Systems (Chairperson: Mr. R.Vahala, EUREAU); 3. Water for Industry (Chairperson: Dr. T.Vereijken, EUCETSA); 4. Water for Agriculture (Chairpesron: Prof. M. Nawalany, Warsaw University); 5. Horizontal Working Group on cross-cutting issues (Chairperson: Prof. A.Wilderer, EASA) Up to now six Board meetings, sixteen meetings of the various Thematic Working Groups (TWGs), and two meetings of the EU Member States Mirror Group have taken
place involving already about 100 European experts from the various stakeholders. In addition, a website has been launched (http://www.wsstp.org) to facilitate
dissemination of information, public consultation, intra and inter Working Group work. The various working groups are working to develop the first individual
outlines of vision, strategic research agenda and implementation plans, for their respective thematic areas, in order to move forward stakeholder consultation
and receive detailed feedback before proceeding with the production of the integrated WSSTP document. A first draft vision of the documents, strategic research agendas and the implementation plans are expected to be made available for consultations on the
WSSTP website at the end of January 2005. In this occasion, the organisation of an open Stakeholder Event is also envisaged to disseminate the results, enhance
public awareness and allow for an open consultation forum to debate and review the proposed orientations. The Stakeholder Event is planned to take place at
the end of February or beginning of March 2005. The date will be announced on the WSSTP website when fixed. ----- EUROPEAN TECHNOLOGY PLATFORM ON SUSTAINABLE CHEMISTRY The Technology Platform for Sustainable Chemistry is a joint initiative of Cefic (European Chemical Industry Council), EuropaBio (The European Association
for Bioindustries) facilitated by DG Research. It has been set up in close dialogue between the partners following contacts starting already in 2002, and upon
a formal invitation from Commissioner Philippe Busquin in November 2003. The platform was officially announced during an event in Brussels on 6 July 2004, in presence of Commissioner Busquin. The launch document can be downloaded
from http://www.cefic.org/Files/Publications/ ... The establishment of the Platform aims to boost chemical research, development and innovation in Europe. The objectives are to foster the development of
innovative chemistry and technologies that contribute to sustainability and ongoing competitiveness of the European chemical industry, through: - the development of leading-edge advances in environmentally respectful, energy efficient, resource efficient processes and product technologies
in three main technology innovation areas: Industrial (white) biotechnology, Materials technology and Reaction and process design; - research activities that address key aspects of health-safety-environment impacts; - actions that may allow identifying and addressing major barriers to innovation. The Platform consists of a network of strategic and intellectual alliances that bridge academia, industry, regulators and relevant stakeholders, to foster
the whole innovation process from idea to product launch. Three working groups will coordinate the three main technology areas: - Industrial biotechnology; - Materials technologies; - Reaction and process design. Moreover, a horizontal working group is being set up, which takes care of barriers and constraints to innovation, dealing with 'New Technology' Communications,
Testing Alternatives, Socio-economic impacts and Health, Safety and Environmental issues. A draft vision document ('European Technology Platform for SUSTAINABLE CHEMISTRY: The vision for 2020 and beyond '), set up by a working group, was presented
in the first stakeholder workshop in Brussels on 9 November 2004. The document will be available from a dedicated website to be launched by CEFIC shortly. The
activities of the platform will be published widely through this website. A consultation process will continue over the winter, while also widening the stakeholder
base involved, with the aim of producing a final vision document in early 2005. A mirror group, consisting of representatives of Member States and eventually of additional stakeholder organizations, is being set-up upon the initiative
of the Dutch Presidency in autumn 2004. It will allow coordination with national initiatives and projects, ensure a two-way flow of information from and towards
the working groups, and act as a discussion forum for Member States. The mirror group will meet for the first time on 20 January 2005. Technology Platform contact: Mr Frank Agterberg: (mailto:agt@cefic.be tel: +32 2 676 73 87) Commission services contact: Mr Andrea Tilche, DG Research (mailto:andrea.tilche@cec.eu.int tel: +32 2 299 63 42) ----- NEW WEB SITE FOR EUROPEAN ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH The EU supports research activities aimed at recommending practical ideas and technologies to help solve the environmental problems facing Europe and
the world. This website explains how the Commission's Environment research programme is tackling this huge research challenge through the right policies,
projects and people. You can visit the site at http://europa.eu.int/comm/research/envir
Posted: 13/01/2005 By: Jörg Frauenstein