Drivers and Barriers to Implementation of DEMEAU Technologies

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Recently the partners of Work Area (WA) 5 have published a report on perceived drivers and barriers for successful implementation of the four groups of technologies investigated in DEMEAU: Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR), Hybrid Ceramic Membrane Filtration (HCMF), Advanced Oxidation Processes (AOPs) and Bioassays.  Stakeholders in six case studies were questioned about their view in order to highlight which aspects have enabled or constrained market uptake of the innovative technologies.

The DEMEAU project aims to promote the market uptake of prototypes and practices from promising technologies that tackle micropollutants and other emerging contaminants in water resources.  To promote this aim, WA 5 investigates potential drivers and barriers in the socio-technological system in which diffusion of the innovations needs to take place.

As a first step in this process, selected stakeholders in six case studies in the four DEMEAU work areas were asked to share their experiences. Stakeholders included among others technology developers and planners, implementers at utilities such as waste and drinking water treatment plants, local regulators and authorities. They identified the degree to which they perceived aspects to be enabling or constraining the successful implementation of the respective technology.

Generally, implementation drivers that were identified mainly relate to good relations between involved stakeholders, the availability of an established network with trusted and knowledgeable experts and effective cooperation. A crucial success factor for actual implementation is the motivation of people involved in the untertaking to engage with innovation and to thus gain new skills in this process. Furthermore the inventory shows that it is the combination of technological knowledge (from developers, researchers or consultants) and situational practical knowledge (on the implementation context), which must be tapped in the process of the market uptake of emerging technologies.

Barriers were mainly identified in relation to embedding the innovations into policies and regulations. Existing relevant policies lack a demand for optimal treatment solutions, improved quality and/or specific guidelines for the respective methods and technologies. In addition, the appropriate allocation of financial resources among stakeholders was often identified as a barrier. Governmental institutes are presently tight on budget, the developing parties often do not have the means to invest (being relatively small enterprises), and water utilities tend to be driven mainly by regulatory thresholds (which are often lacking as mentioned before).

Moreover, specific drivers and barriers have been identified for each of the four DEMEAU technologies, which can be found in the released report. The results from this assessment of drivers and barriers lead to some interesting follow-up questions, for example regarding the relation between drivers and barriers and activities in various stages of innovation, and regarding interplay among various stakeholders. These questions will be further investigated in the next months.

Read the deliverable "Drivers and barriers for successful implementation of innovative DEMEAU technologies".

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