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Context: The weak economic conditions of the Lower Danube countries, the Middle East (less so in Israel) and North Africa affect their water sector capacity to implement water, wastewater and ecosystem innovations. In most of those countries, investments in water networks are a priority but implementation of smart devices and services is lagging behind. Low funding availability means that individual water companies and authorities have little capacity to develop and implement new solutions on their own. Greater transferability of smart solutions and increased ease of sharing of solutions would greatly enhance penetration and success of smart services that are urgently needed in the Region and the Sector. Furthermore, lack of cooperation and partnerships in the area, at national but also at transnational level are important barriers to innovative project realisation.
Approach: The project will select several (4-7) countries on the Lower Danube Basin with additional stakeholders from the Middle East and North Africa to participate in a study to assess the potential for uptake of the Fiware4Water portfolio of Smart Devices and Apps in the area. National databases of local stakeholders interested to join Fiware4Water project developments and solution implementation will be developed and populated (WP5) and the development stage of digitisation of their water sectors will be analysed. The potential of FIWARE for uptake by the Water Sectors of Eastern European countries (e.g. Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia and Moldova) will also be assessed considering existing institutional and legal frameworks towards embracing IT innovation in the water sector as well as the potential technical gap that could delay application of Fiware4Water services building on experiences and lessons from the Tier 1 Demo Cases. For the most promising markets, we will present the Fiware4Water solutions to key stakeholders and identify together with them a set of objectives to be taken forward by the ConCensus, selecting technologies relevant in the local context to be adopted and further developing beyond the project. To support follow up we will (a) apply the FIWARE Business Model Canvas (BMC) and adapt it to national water sectors and build up a community of follower, creating a platform for cooperation between Eastern European stakeholders at national and international levels.