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New horizons in Europe for research into water treatment

Brunel will be at the forefront of European research into water quality and treatment after successfully bidding for funding for two projects as part of the EU's prestigious Horizon 2020 innovation programme.

It means researchers will be involved in two of just five proposals funded by the European Commission to tackle issues concerned with water, to make a difference to people's lives - one as lead partner and the other as the major research partner.

Dr Mark Scrimshaw, from the Institute of Environment, Health and Societies, will co-ordinate the INTCATCH project to develop user-friendly water monitoring strategies and systems that will create a new franchise business model to support community groups and NGOs.
Dr Scrimshaw said: "This is an opportunity to work with our partners across Europe to influence the monitoring and management of river and lake water quality that is fit for the period 2020-2050. We aim to demonstrate an approach which will obtain relevant information on water quality over a larger area, in less time and at lower cost than is achieved at present.
"By creating and marketing a franchised business, we will be in a position to support water management in any catchment or River Basin District across Europe and around the world by community groups and NGOs. In a world where regulatory bodies are increasingly being asked to reduce costs, it is a very timely project that may really change the approach society takes for looking after our water."

The project, which has a total budget of €7,570,335 with €938,218 to Brunel, aims to support these groups to take ownership of their rivers and improve the quality of water bodies across Europe and the rest of the world.

Dr Evina Katsou, from the Institute of Environment, Health and Societies, and Professor Mizi Fan, from the Institute of Energy Futures, were also successful as partners in a project to scale-up solutions to renovate wastewater treatment plants by applying low-carbon techniques to recover materials that would otherwise be lost. Dr Katsou said "This project will help promote our international dimension and establish closer links with the European water industry. Our research and innovation in water engineering will be boosted attracting highly qualified researchers. 

The SMART-Plant project has a total budget of €7,536,306, with €666,066 coming to Brunel. It will look to prove the feasibility of circular management of wastewater and environmental sustainability of the systems for benefit globally.
Horizon 2020 is the EU's biggest ever research and innovation framework programme with a seven-year budget worth nearly €80 billion.

The research, which focuses on 12 specific areas, is intended to help boost Europe's knowledge-driven economy with solutions to real-world issues.