STEP-WISE and STREAM Final Conference, 3rd – 4th December, Brussels

The STEP-WISE and STREAM Final Conference “Building Bridges – Facilitating Water Information Exchange between Science, Policy and Industry” was concluded with a session at the European Parliament on 4th December with the attendance of 67 participants from 12 countries representing 16 from Policy, 21 from Research and 17 from Industry and Consultancy sectors, and 13 from other areas (NGOs, media, communication and education).


The first day at the International Auditorium focused on presenting, evaluating and discussing practical instruments to enhance communication and dissemination of projects research results. The European Commission’s approach to the SPI activities was presented by Phillippe Quevauviller from DG Research and Karen Fabbri, from DG Environment, both of them underlining the importance of policy-relevant and industry-driven research, as well as the engagement of societal actors in the research and innovation processes. In the following session, Hinano Spreafico, Gaelle Nion and Guido Vaes, the project coordinators of the STREAMWaterDiss 2.0, and STEP-WISE projects shared their experiences and results with the SPI-Water cluster.

The conference also provided an exchange of experience and ideas during poster presentation sessions, where EU funded water research projects made brief presentations of their projects and answered questions by participants. Various videos produced by STREAM and STEP-WISE were shown at a video corner, audiovisual production being an effective tool to present research results with an accessible and friendly language.
In the afternoon, three parallel workshops were organised to develop further recommendations regarding the different aspects of science policy interfacing such as the tools to make research visible, effective SPI and keeping information available. At the end of the day, the SPI-Cluster roadmap was finalised to be presented during the second day.

The second day of the conference, hosted by the MEP Cristina Gutiérrez-Cortines, took place at the European Parliament and a high-level discussion was made on the roadmap recommendations. Among the research, policy and industry representatives in the panel were Philippe Quevauviller (DG Research) Claire McCamphill (DG Environment), Stuart Rutherford (ECPA) and researchers Daniel Sempere-Torres, Adriana Hulsmann and Angeles Blanco. The highlights of the debate was the importance of a result-oriented approach in dissemination of research results, using “translators” to transfer scientific information to stakeholders and to make information accessible to all.

The main output of the conference was a roadmap with recommendations based on the experiences of the SPI-Cluster projects STREAM, STEP-WISE and WaterDiss2.0, as well as the discussions made during the first day of the conference. Among the roadmap recommendations are that the research projects should ensure to have professional communication strategy targeting the necessary stakeholders, the European Commission should fence  resources and online tools for making research results available after the project ends, research projects should  prepare policy briefs to demonstrate how their results are relevant for EU and national politicians and thematic conferences gathering various research projects should be considered to reach the industry more effectively.

INFLATER poster grabbed visitors' interest

INFLATER poster grabbed visitors’ interest

Further information on the programme is available on the SPI-Cluster website.