Circular Water Solutions
NextGen is a collective water research and innovation initiative from Circular Economy pioneers with diverse areas of expertise.
The NextGen initiative will evaluate and champion innovative and transformational circular economy solutions and systems that challenge embedded thinking and practices around resource use in the water sector. We will produce new understandings to underpin the exploitation of techniques and technologies that enhance our ability to recover, refine, reuse, repurpose, capture value from, and extend the use-life of, an ever-increasing range of resources and products, thereby projecting the European water and allied sectors as global circular economy pioneers. NextGen will demonstrate innovative technological, business and governance solutions for water in the circular economy in ten high-profile, large-scale, demonstration cases across Europe, and we will develop the necessary approaches, tools and partnerships, to transfer and upscale.
The circular economy transition to be driven by NextGen encompasses a wide range of water-embedded resources: water itself (reuse at multiple scales supported by nature-based storage, optimal management strategies, advanced treatment technologies, engineered ecosystems and compact/mobile/scalable systems); energy (combined water- energy management, treatment plants as energy factories, water-enabled heat transfer, storage and recovery for allied industries and commercial sectors) and materials (nutrient mining and reuse, manufacturing new products from waste streams, regenerating and repurposing membranes to reduce water reuse costs, and producing activated carbon from sludge to minimise costs of micro-pollutant removal).
The project mobilises a strong partnership of water companies, industry, specialised SMEs, applied research institutes, technology platforms, city and regional authorities and builds on an impressive portfolio of past research and innovation projects, leveraging multiple European and global networks guaranteeing real impact.