Last week on the 17th of October the Cartagena meeting program started off in Sercotel Alfonso XIII in Cartagena.
Brigaid partners and many innovators, end-users, critical infrastructure managers and investors gathered for three days of workshops, meetings and a marketplace.
The workshop was attended by 50 participants.
Wednesday morning 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, multifactor 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 main focus areas: Floods, Wildfires and Drought & Water Scarcity. Accordingly, actors went to their designated areas; here 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.
We held another exercise that day with an interesting discussion on the possibilities of an Innovator-Investor platform: the Funding Platform. After an introductive presentation by The Funding Company the discussion lead by them followed in two separate groups consisting of the different actors. Needs and expectations from both sides were topics of the discussion leading to suggested designs of such a platform.
We ended the day with a Samoa Circle dialogue, a way of discussing the possibilities and barriers that Communities of Innovation may face 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. The day started off with Roelof Moll (TU Delft), who briefly updated everyone on the developments within BRIGAID, followed by Sascha van den Berg (TU Delft) who talked about the Project and financial management.
To have some more insight in the Innovations of BRIGAID four of them were presented:
- 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, where different companies and technological centers could explain their solutions and prototypes to end-users and funding actors and investors who, at the same time, raised the most important challenges and needs in the region for CC adaptation and DRR. Innovators, End-users and Investors came together accompanied by their posters which where placed in the open lunch area to introduce a free interaction between the three. Together with a lovely lunch the Marketplace was a hub of interaction, mutual interests and a good way of presenting the Innovations, a Climate Innovation Window…
After three days of presentations and posters the time was finally there to see an Innovation in real life. Just outside the city in El Campo de Cartagena, the University of Cartagena has a testing facility, where we were taken on a tour, showing us many Innovations concerning Agriculture, Water treatment and finally as the icing on the cake: Javier Navarro’s Evapo-Control Innovation.