Introducing Horizons 2020: Taking a Step Towards Circular Economy

Introducing Horizons 2020: Taking a Step Towards Circular Economy

Horizons 2020: The Framework Programme for Research and Innovation

Towards the next generation of water systems and services for the circular economy.

The Project Objective:

The NextGen initiative will evaluate and champion innovative and transformational circular economy solutions and systems that challenge embedded thinking and practices around resource use in the water sector. We will produce new understandings to underpin the exploitation of techniques and technologies that enhance our ability to recover, refine, reuse, repurpose, capture value from, and extend the use-life of, an ever-increasing range of resources and products, thereby projecting the European water and allied sectors as global circular economy pioneers. NextGen will demonstrate innovative technological, business and governance solutions for water in the circular economy in ten high-profile, large-scale, demonstration cases across Europe, and we will develop the necessary approaches, tools, and partnerships, to transfer and upscale. 

The circular economy transition to be driven by NextGen encompasses a wide range of water-embedded resources: water itself (reuse at multiple scales supported by nature-based storage, optimal management strategies, advanced treatment technologies, engineered ecosystems and compact/mobile/scalable systems); energy (combined water-energy management, treatment plants as energy factories, water-enabled heat transfer, storage and recovery for allied industries and commercial sectors) and materials (nutrient mining and reuse, manufacturing new products from waste streams, regenerating and repurposing membranes to reduce water reuse costs, and producing activated carbon from sludge to minimise costs of micro-pollutant removal). 

The project mobilizes a strong partnership of water companies, industry, specialized SMEs, applied research institutes, technology platforms, city and regional authorities and builds on an impressive portfolio of past research and innovation projects, leveraging multiple European and global networks guaranteeing real impact.

This project is currently accepting grants. 

Find the full programme on CORDIS Europa