Introducing “Waterline” 2022: Our First Horizon Project

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H2O-People is a proud partner of Waterline, a HORIZON-WIDERA-2021 project, which kickoff online in October.

“Waterline” is an acronym for Transforming Advanced Water Skilling through the Creation of a Network of Extended-Reality Water Emulative Centres.

This project is coordinated by Malta College of Arts Science and Technology (MCAST) and includes 15 partners from academia and industry. It aims to create a European Digital Water Higher Education Institution (HEI) Alliance, based on the quadruple helix model of innovation, leading to the development of the Alliance’s research, educational and entrepreneurship capacities. This shall leverage the individual, institutional and regional resources required for a transformative structural and sustainable learning and innovation environment.

To achieve this, WATERLINE has five specific objectives:

  1. support consolidation of the Alliance by co-creating a common governance framework, and a Research & Innovation (R&I) capacity building plan;
  2. co-create a portfolio of water components for Master level and transform emulative laboratories in partner Widening HEIs into assisted and virtual reality. These structural changes will lead to transformed and more competitive R&I HEIs;
  3. strengthen WATERLINE researchers’ R&I capacity excellence by implementing activities, such as summer schools to enhance education and R&I skills, and proposal writing workshop;
  4. build a European network of academics/researchers who, together with quadruple helix actors, will allow knowledge flow in water domains and extended reality technologies. This allows greater involvement of regional actors in the R&I process and enhances one of the major societal challenges: water-related education. Moreover, it will strengthen academic and business links through academia-to-business meetings and a hackathon to mainstream entrepreneurship mindsets.
  5. sustain the alliance by, (i) establishing ambassador networks, (ii) identifying the R&I funding landscape, thus increasing participation in HE and the mobilisation of resources in the water sphere, and (iii) creating synergies with EU initiatives, institutions, other projects and networks.

H2O-People’s main roles in the project is:

  • Promoting the stakeholder engagement to ensure a good representation from all sectors.
  • Capacity building to enhance research, education and experience: This is done by organizing trainings on personal and professional development skills.
  • Facilitating sustainability of Waterline to ensure continued utilization of the WATERLINE’s outputs after its completion.

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