New CoLAB aims to bring innovative solutions to water



A partnership between 15 business and academic entities gave rise to a new Collaborative Laboratory (CoLAB) which aims to develop innovative solutions of general interest for entities involved in the natural water cycle. The research centre Fraunhofer Portugal AWAM (FhP-AWAM) is one of the institutions involved in this CoLAB, created in October 2022.
The Water-driven Collaborative Laboratory for Resilient communities, Water Co-Re CoLAB, will focus on the main problems of the natural water cycle and its multiple aspects, namely on issues related to the efficient use of water, solutions for water reuse, climate change, sustainability, circular economy, the resilience of infrastructures, digitalization of water and the water/energy nexus.
The involvement of FhP-AWAM occurs naturally since the research centre created in 2019 focuses its research within the areas of Smart Agriculture and Water Management, thus complementing the aim of the new CoLAB.

The Water Co-Re CoLAB is led by AdP - Grupo Águas de Portugal and includes Associação Fraunhofer Portugal Research; AST - Soluções e Serviços de Ambiente, Unipessoal Lda.; ATP - Associação Têxtil e Vestuário de Portugal; DouroECI - Engenharia, Consultoria e Inovação, Unipessoal, Lda.; EDIA - Empresa de Desenvolvimento e Infraestruturas do Alqueva, S. A.; GALP Energia, SGPS, S.A.; Instituto Politécnico do Porto; Instituto Superior Técnico - Universidade de Lisboa; Super Bock Bebidas, S.A.; VENTILÁQUA, S.A.; Veolia Portugal, S.A.; Universidade do Minho; Universidade do Porto - Faculdade de Engenharia and REQUIMTE - Rede de Química e de Tecnologia.

The Collaborative Laboratories are entities dedicated to the production, dissemination, and transfer of knowledge oriented towards the realization of Research, Development, and Innovation activities (RD&I), which enables the advancement of innovative applied research solutions with the potential to be made available to the market in end-use conditions, while promoting skilled employment, within the objectives of the FCT, also articulating with the ANI - National Innovation Agency.
The application for the constitution of this CoLAB was submitted in December 2021, publicly presented in January 2022, and officially approved by the Science and Technology Foundation (FCT) and constituted in October 2022.

Focusing on Smart Agriculture and Water Management, Fraunhofer Portugal AWAM aims to drive the development of innovative technological solutions that address issues such as food supply in terms of quantity and quality, sustainability, and environmental compatibility of agriculture, as well as the competitiveness of European farmers.
Fraunhofer Portugal AWAM emerged in 2019 from a partnership between the Fraunhofer Society (Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft), Fraunhofer Portugal, the Portuguese Science and Technology Foundation (FCT), the University of Évora (UÉ) and the University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro (UTAD). It strives to be a European reference in the areas of precision agriculture, and water management. The center tackles modern challenges such as sustainable food production and drinking water supply - largely caused by population growth and climate change.