The EU’s Urban Drainage Systems (UDS) have been valued at €2.5 trillion. They are essential infrastructures providing safe sanitation and drainage and environmental protection by collecting and then returning securely to the natural water bodies.
Many UDS are at risk, their economic life is coming to an end, and it is unclear how limited knowledge on their state and processes, population growth, climate emergency, untreated stormwater and public health threats caused by emerging pollutants and pathogens can be addressed, and how knowledge innovation and best practice is effectively shared. Innovative approaches are urgently needed to tackle these challenges, and largescale laboratory facilities are essential to investigate and validate new approaches and provide confidence in their effectiveness and safety before implementation in existing UDS.
Co-UDlabs aims to integrate 17 key large scale research facilities at a European scale into an ambitious project aiming to offer the R&D community, water infrastructure operators and their supply chain high quality laboratory and field facilities, human resources, high level training opportunities and improved data sharing platforms in order to meet major UDS related societal, environmental, and economic sustainability challenges of the 21st Century.
The main objective of Co-UDlabs is to provide a transnational multidisciplinary collaborative research infrastructure that will allow stakeholders, academic researchers and innovators in the urban drainage water sector to come together, share ideas, co-produce project concepts and then benefit from access to top-class research infrastructures to develop, improve and demonstrate those concepts, thereby building a collaborative European Urban Drainage innovation community.
In relation with the main objective, Co-UDlabs addresses the following specific objectives:
- Foster a culture of co-operation between RIs and the urban drainage community through a set of coordinated Networking Activities which help to develop a more inclusive, open and efficient research and innovation environment.
- Facilitate free of charge Transnational Access to 17 leading European facilities by two open calls. The calls and the project both focus on support to scientific communities and water utility and supply chain innovators in their access to highly relevant research facilities.
- Enlarge and strengthen the quality and quantity of the services offered at European level through a combination of interconnected Joint Research Activities.