The dissemination activities of DEMEAU were planned in the beginning of the project and outlined in the dissemination strategy (von Toggenburg et al. 2013). After three years of project work, we have a look at the achievements of these dissemination activities.
As the DEMEAU activities cover a wide field of technologies and application possibilities, the overview of the interplay of these activities does not immediately become clear to the observer. In order to highlight the synergies of DEMEAU’s work areas and thus the technologies, a storyline was developed that helped to prepare dissemination messages used for a variety of means and activities. DEMEAU’s target groups comprise water utilities as the end users of the technologies, policy makers, scientists and technology developers as well as the general public. The report outlines the possibilities to convey the general message of DEMEAU to these target groups.
Although the main target groups are easily determined, the activities in the project are very target group specific. To target utilities, so called utility event were organised to present at the demonstration sites the respective technology and to present to the participants the interim research results of the DEMEAU activities. Workshops were organised in conjunction with the utility events and targeted at all relevant stakeholder relevant for the implementation of the technology, ranging from authorities, to utility operators, to laboratories. In order to reach the scientific community, DEMEAU staff participated in conference and presented the research.
As mentioned above, dissemination in DEMEAU used many activities and thus a variety of channels for dissemination. Most importantly to mention are digital channels such as the project’s website, social media and online networks as well as events that were organised by the DEMEAU team for dissemination and knowledge exchange purposes.
With the knowledge of the target groups, messages and channels, the dissemination material could be tailored to those specific needs. Using the five main dissemination goals, different communcation means were developed. For awareness raising, a video animation, a leaflet and technology brochures were prepared. Information was mainly sent through the website and the social media channels. Utility events were aimed at raising awareness on the innovative technologies. To influence policy for fostering uptake, external events were used to reach out to policy makers, e.g. the WssTP annual conference in Brussels 2015 or the Resource Efficiency Cluster Events. Stakeholder participation was aimed at with the organised workshops. Within utility events or through work within European working groups such as the Catalan Water Partnership, the project consortium reached out to technology clients. With the sum of dissemination commitment of the stakeholders was secured.
At the end of the three year long dissemination period, a facilitated discussion between consortium members was held to assess the results and impacts of the activities. It was concluded that the collaboration of the variety of stakeholders within the project and beyond led to a fruitful experience of knowledge transfer. For enhancing the implementation of advanced treatment tackle emerging pollutants, awareness raising at utilities and the general public is the key.
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