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Research and innovation


Water research and innovation, funding opportunities, collaboration, projects and results, scientific publications and databases, events and news

Why the EU supports water research and innovation

Water is a critical environmental resource, the basis for all life. It needs to be managed well, allocated fairly between ecosystems and all water users now, and conserved for future generations.

It is strongly linked to global socioeconomic development, ranging from basic water safety, through water quality and sanitation, to food supply and generation of renewable energy.

Population increase and urbanisation, changing diets, climate variability and change are all putting pressure on world water resources. This makes it important to address these challenges in a systemic way, understand their scale, the various interconnections and trade-offs, and strengthen partnerships between public and private actors and international collaboration. Research and innovation plays a crucial role for this.

It is also key to helping citizens, societies, and water consuming sectors adopt innovative solutions to optimise their water use, reduce its pollution and to recycle it in a safe way to people and ecosystems.

EU water research and innovation activities cover a wide range of issues

  • water quantity and availability
  • water quality and pollution
  • aquatic ecosystems protection and restoration
  • water management and governance, including circular use of water

Funding opportunities

Horizon Europe

On this page you can find more information, the work programme and a link to related calls

Recovery and resilience facility

Loans and grants available to support reforms and investments undertaken by EU countries for a sustainable recovery

LIFE+ Climate Action

Co-financing for research supporting the transition to a low-carbon and climate-resilient economy

European Structural and Investment Funds

Research related calls may be found in this programme, particularly in the European regional development fund.

Projects and results

Results packs on water innovation

Thematic collection of innovative EU-funded water research results (CORDIS)

Water research projects funded 2014-2020

Compilation of EU-funded water research projects

Project success stories

Stories of particularly successful EU-funded water research

Research project database (CORDIS)

The Commission's primary portal for the results of EU-funded research projects

Report on implementing the action plan for a digital single market of water services

Portfolio analysis of Horizon 2020 and LIFE ICT4Water cluster projects 

Horizon Magazine

Latest news, interviews and features about thought-provoking science and innovative research projects funded by the EU.

Horizon Results Platform

Platform where framework programme participants present their results for you to search, contact their owners, and form partnerships

Horizon 2020 dashboard

Access to real-time programme data with the ability to filter by country, region, theme and more

Collaboration and jobs

Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area (PRIMA)

Joint programme developing solutions to manage water and agri-food systems more sustainably in the Mediterranean

JPI water

Joint Programming Initiative aiming to achieve sustainable water systems for a sustainable economy in Europe and beyond

EIP water

European Innovation Partnership developing innovative solutions to address major European and global water challenges

ERA-NET cofund on aquatic pollutants

Joint project between three Joint Programming Initiatives: JPI Water JPI Oceans and JPIAMR on Antimicrobial Resistance.

Scientific publications, tools and databases

EU publications portal

Online library of EU research publications on water research

Scientific publications

Scientific research publications on water research published by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC)


You can access all scientific publications from Horizon 2020 via OpenAIRE

EU Open Data Portal

Single point of access to open data produced by the EU institutions - all data free to use for commercial and non-commercial purposes