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BRIGAID Cartagena Meeting “Supporting innovation with BRIGAID”

BRIGAID EU Horizon2020 (2016-2020) project celebrated a project meeting in Cartagena, Spain last October. The meeting was organized by ICATALIST & Future Water, project partners. The event was held at two different locations in Cartagena, Spain. The first two days (October 17 & 18) the event took place at Sercotel Alfonso XIII and the last day (October 19) at Batel Auditorium. Both sites located in privileged areas in the heart of the city of Cartagena.

On Wednesday morning the 17th of October, the venue was setup for a workshop to discuss the emergence and sustainability of Communities of Innovation (CoI) around natural hazards at different scales. Together with BRIGAID, other initiatives discussed topics related to communities of innovation such as innovation ecosystems, multi actor Labs and Nature Based Solution´s start-up accelerators, with colleagues from Climate-KIC Spain (José Luis Muñoz), COASTAL H2020 (Joris de Vente) and Ecostar Hub (Yolanda Ambrosio).

For the workshops, the group was divided in the 3 focus areas: Floods, Wildfires and Drought & Water Scarcity. End-users introduced the problems they face and Innovative needs that originate from them, after which various Innovators had 5 minutes to introduce their innovations. The discussion was focused on how innovations could solve end user´s needs and how feasible it is to implement them.

BRIGAID project has developed the Climate Innovation Window (CIW) platform, an online market place for innovations. During the workshop we discussed on the possibilities of an Innovator-Investor platform to coincide with the CIW. After an introductive presentation by The Funding Company, the discussion lead to suggested designs of such a platform.

We ended the day with a Samoa Circle dialogue, led by Icatalist, to discuss the possibilities and barriers that Communities of Innovation may encounter to be sustainable and effective.

Thursday was devoted to the ordinary project meeting including a special session to cluster with other projects about exploitation pathways. To have some more insight in the Innovations of BRIGAID four of them were presented:

• Innovations tested at Flood Proof Romania, by Adrian Poterniche (NAAR).

• The Toolkit Method, by Fransceco Lanza (Thethis).

• Water Vapour GNSS Monitoring, by Eugenio Realini (GReD s.r.l.).

• Tube Barrier, tested at the Flood Proof Holland.

The project clustering session was next where BRIGAID together with our sister-projects: I-REACT, NAIAD, EU-Circle, Bingo, DiverFarming, Imprex and RESSCUE, presented themselves and the projects potential impact and exploitation options, so they can still have activity beyond the H2020 programme funding deadline.

The final day started off at a new location on the waterfront of Cartagena in the El Batel Auditorium and Conference Centre, where we became acquainted with the new Innovation of the BRIGAID project and the Innovators became acquainted with BRIGAID and their Communities of Innovation (CoI). Starting with a general introduction of the project and its pillars, two Innovators: Michael Iggy Litaor (MIGAL - Galilee Research Institute) and Javier Navarro (ARANA Water Management), shared their Innovations and experiences with BRIGAID complemented by future challenges, and steps to possible overcome them. Hereafter Elena López-Gunn elaborated on the presently existing CoI’s of Antwerp, VP Delta and Albania, and ended with the outcomes and possible conclusions from the workshop session from the first day.

The Marketplace was another one of the highlights of the last day, Innovators, End-users and Investors came together accompanied by their posters which where place in the open lunch area to introduce a form of free interaction between the three. A few innovators and investors had the chance to pitch their solutions, and the session concluded with a few words from Francisco Victoria, the chief of the environmental service of Murcia region who set the climate change adaptation and innovation needs in the region of Murcia.

Together with a lovely lunch the Marketplace was a hub of interaction, mutual interests and a good way of presenting the Innovations.

After three days of presentations and poster the time was finally there to see an Innovation in real life. Just outside the city in the Campo de Cartagena, the University of Cartagena has a testing facility, here we were taken on a tour, coming in across many Innovations concerning Agriculture, Water treatment and finally as the icing on the cake: Javier Navarro’s Evapo-Control Innovation.

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