More than twenty institutions across Europe and Israel form Project Ô


Project Ô partners are organised into smaller working groups

These working groups connect and flow in sequence to meet the project end goal

This novel process integrates social science research into the development process through direct consultation with audiences impacted by Project Ô technologies. Social innovation is intended to be promoted by incorporating, and even anticipating, stakeholder expectations and objections.

Co-creation projects help build a sense of public ownership of the new approaches and technologies developed by Project Ô. Water management is as much a responsibility for the end users as the regulators, and Project Ô wants to help increase public involvement.

The entire innovation process has an integrated and participative approach, which directly involves the community and the territory.

Work Packages

Working groups were given specific responsibilities:

Group 1: Project Management

Led by IRIS srl
Overseeing the overall management of the project, both operationally and financially.

  • Report on the project, financial and data management
  • Organise the Project’s Advisory Board

Group 2: Small water management, loop technologies that enable water treatment and reuse

Led by Università degli studi di Torino

Identifying technologies that are able to meet wastewater treatment challenges within a circular water economy. Considering further opportunities, such as nutrient extraction for reuse.

  • Design and prototype hardware
  • Test technologies on a small-scale
  • Develop advanced closed loop control

Group 3: Integrated water management, planning and circular economy

Led by Universidade de Aveiro

Assessing current water management frameworks to understand the impact of implementing a new circular water economy framework.

  • Assess how to incorporate the new approaches into existing frameworks and the likelihood of adoption
  • Determine barriers and opportunities in water and spatial planning consent
  • Identifying challenges for institutions, stakeholders and communities
  • Determine barriers and opportunities for water regulators and utilities, such as standards and tariffs
  • Co-creation of solutions and means to implement a circular water economy

Group 4: ICT-based integrated water resources management and planning

Led by Politecnico de Milano

Developing a Decision Analytic Platform (DAP) to support decision-makers in strategic management, focussing on exploring alternative water sources and reused water.

  • Identification of indicators, such as sustainability (like greenhouse gas emission reduction) and technology costs, to drive the software’s analytical engine
  • Robust portfolio planning to also drive the software’s analytical engine
  • Design, develop and test the DAP
  • Demonstration of the DAP working with Acquedotto Pugliese at the site in Italy

Group 5: Demonstration of small loop of water recycling within a complex system

Led by IRIS srl

Installing and testing the newly developed hardware and software.

  • Prepare each site and carry out a pilot study to identify and make any necessary adjustments before installation
  • Assemble, install and test the technologies over four months, including collecting monitoring data
  • Train site staff to use the new technologies

Group 6: Sustainability assessments and performance monitoring

Led by Institute for Methods Innovation

Leading on sustainability assessments of the technologies to fully understand their performance and impacts.

  • Track key performance indicators and study system efficiency
  • Environmental life cycle analysis: identify and assess potential environmental impacts, such as water footprint, human toxicity, ecotoxicity, resource depletion and climate change potential
  • Life cycle cost and cost-benefit analysis: includes capital and operational costs, and cost reductions to determine real-world economic feasibility
  • Social life cycle analysis: assess other benefits from technology implementation, such as local employment
  • Social acceptance studies: use evaluation techniques, like focus groups, to develop a strategy encouraging acceptance of a circular water economy

Group 7: Circularity of water and circular economy

Led by Politecnico di Milano

Assessing business impacts of and opportunities for a circular water economy.

  • Model the effects of price regulation, cost and operational drivers on the adoption of new technologies
  • Design and test software to help businesses interested in reusing their water to select the best technology for their water treatment needs
  • Design and test user collaborative platform software
  • Develop and analyse a practical circular water economy model, and compare it with the current linear mode

Group 8: Communication and stakeholder management

Led by Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences

Communicating about the Project and managing the stakeholders to ensure participation and co-creation.

  • Analyse stakeholder attitudes and expectations about sustainability aspects of water management
  • Analyse expectations and capacities for communication with Project partners to increase efficiency and effectiveness of reach
  • Develop a Project communication strategy
  • Ensure ethical and legal compliance to help build trust in the objectives and activities of the Project
  • Create the Project website, newsletters, manage social media and ensure a legacy presence
  • Manage events at the political and science advocacy level focussing on co-creation
  • Use tools like social media to build a living community of practice beyond the Project

Group 9: Dissemination and exploitation of results

Led by Università degli studi di Torino

Providing the legacy of the Project, by ensuring results and knowledge are shared for further use. This includes ensuring technical standardisation and utilising Structural Fund budgets to encourage technology adoption beyond the first four installation sites.

  • Manage and encourage communication within the science community at peer level
  • Exploit possible further benefits for technology owners, software developers, and adopters such as water utilities and water companies
  • Ensure Project technical language complies with existing standards to further aid adoption at more sites
  • Create business plans under three categories: technology and tool providers, water utilities and industrial adopters

Group 10: Ethics requirements

Led by IRIS srl

Ensuring all of the work carried out in this project meets ethical standards. This includes:

  • Ensuring any participants give informed consent before activities take place
  • Processing data in accordance with the latest EU regulations and ensuring it is stored appropriately and securely
  • The appointment and engagement of an ethics mentor, and reporting on their activities with the project
  • Ensuring any data transferred from or to a non-EU country or international organisation complies with national and EU legislation and authorisation, and that this information is kept on file

Group 11: Application of selected Project Ô results vs SARS-CoV-2

Led by IRIS srl

A later expansion of the Project aiming to help restrict disease transmission through water management technologies.

  • Deliver a safe water disinfection system to be proven effective against SARS-CoV-2, and can further address the inactivation of most relevant human pathogens
  • Detect and quantify SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater
  • Deliver a sensor for in-situ detection of human pathogens
  • Involve stakeholders and communicate results