CircInWater Project

European project


CircInWater Project

CircInWater is a 36 months European project (2022-2025) funded by the European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency (EISMEA) through Joint Cluster Initiatives (EUROCLUSTERS) for Europe’s recovery (SMP-COSME-2021-CLUSTER) to boost the triple transitions and development of water-smart solutions on the agrifood and energy-intensive industries.

CircInWater answers the need to support the European industry to be greener, more digital, and more resilient, tackling the water challenges of consumption and pollution and contributing to Europe’s economic sovereignty. Therefore, CircInWater aims to accelerate the triple transitions by supporting SMEs to develop and implement water-smart solutions as part of their transition pathways.

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are, however, those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or EISMEA. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.


  • Connect SMEs along the water value chain across key industrial ecosystems to enhance their resiliency and ability to cope with future shock and crisis.
  • Boost SME’s innovation in terms of products and tools to build water-smart industries.
  • Improve the collaborative and innovation capacity of SMEs via a bespoke “Joint portfolio of training services”.
  • Foster the adoption of processes and technologies to reinforce transformation into a greener and more digital economy.
  • Speed up SMEs’ internationalisation through the establishment of key support services.
  • Maximise the communication impact towards key industrial ecosystems and SMEs.
  • Define a sustainable long-term strategy that ensures the EUROCULSTER continuity and its strong impacts on the resilient transformation of the European SMEs.

Action plan

CircInWater will accelerate the transformation of the industries with the highest water footprint by:

  • Acting as an innovation booster for SMEs offering water-smart solutions.
  • Providing intelligence on the challenges, needs and market opportunities.
  • Connecting end-users with water-smart solution providers while fostering the synergies across value chains to develop strong interlinkages.
  • Strengthening capacity building of SMEs.
  • Boosting access to global supply and value chains.
  • Promoting and disseminating water-smart innovations widely.


CircInWater will bring a comprehensive support package to SMEs by delivering a joint portfolio of re-skilling and skilling services, helping them to address international markets and offering financial support to maximise their innovation and resilience capacities.

To materialise this support, CircInWater will provide financial support to SMEs working on developing water-smart solutions through three funding schemes: Innovation lump sum scheme, knowledge lump sum scheme, and internationalisation lump sum scheme.


  • European SMEs.
  • Agrifood and energy-intensive industrial ecosystems.
  • Clusters in targeted sectors and cluster associations.
  • European, national and regional organisations and networks supporting SMEs and the twin transition.
  • Research institutions, technological centres and universities.
  • International cooperation partners.
  • Policymakers.
  • Woman-led business.

Zinnae is the cluster for the efficient use of water in the Aragonese region in Spain. ZINNAE is a non-profit association that works to offer solutions to water security challenges to build a sustainable and resilient future, working under the principles of the circular economy and smart society. ZINNAE works with its partners to promote the efficient use of water resources on rural, urban and industrial scales by boosting their innovation capacity, especially SMEs.

Water Alliance (SWA) is a unique partnership of public and private companies, government agencies and knowledge institutes involved in the Dutch water technology sector. SWA is the network organisation for Dutch water technology and focuses on innovative and sustainable water technology that can be used worldwide. SWA supports SMEs in the water technology industry in terms of (international) matchmaking, networking and business development.

France Water Team (FWT) is the national water competitiveness cluster that federates the three regional water clusters: AQUA-VALLEY, DREAM and HYDREOS. FWT is gathering a network of about 500 active members working on water-related issues (SMEs, ETIs, Industries, research and education actors…). FWT acts as a catalyst for the emergence of collaborative R&D projects developing major innovations for water and aquatic environments.

Blue Economy Mikkeli (BEM) from Finland focuses on circular economy of wastewater management. Excellence in research (LUT University, XAMK University of Applied Sciences), world-class RDI environments, and collaboration with companies create the conditions for the development, commercialisation and business development of new solutions and services.

Innovation centre of the Olomouc Region (ICOK) from the Czech Republic is an organisation established by the Olomouc Region to develop an innovation ecosystem in the region and support the application of R&D results in practice. Its goal is to create a regional innovation ecosystem that responds flexibly and naturally to the development of human knowledge and the market.

CREA Hydro&Energy, z.s. is a cluster operating in the field of technologies for water management works, water and waste management and renewable energy sources. Members of the cluster collectively participate in research, product innovations and development, promotion of the branch, presentations and realisations of projects in the Czech Republic and in other cories.

WCF (affiliated an entity of BEM) in Oulu excel in the digitalisation of water processes. Together with its partners, the University of Oulu and SuperIoT AI DIH, WCF generates new high-end solutions to tackle challenges related to quality, efficiency and reduction of harmful environmental impacts in water processes of municipal waterworks, industry and mines.

Funding scheme

CircInWater will launch a scheme of lump-sum funding schemes to boost and facilitate the triple transitions, digital, green and resilient, of the agri-food sector and energy-intensive industries. The lump sum scheme aims to offer flexibility to SMEs to cover their needs for developing their innovative solutions and bringing them to international markets. This lump-sum funding scheme has a total budget of 1,050,000€ and it is, split into 3 different ones:

Consist of 14-42 cross-sectoral Innovation lump sums divided into 2 thematic two strands (agri-food and energy-intensive industry) in one call. The maximum budget per SME will be 60k€, with the possibility to apply as an individual SME or collaborative project (3 SMEs maximum) with other private organisations (extra points). These lump sums are open to all types of innovation activities, such as developing a prototype; testing innovative solutions on end-users facilities; or validating technologies by research centres.

Support SMEs getting external support or consultancy on strategic issues that will accelerate their triple transitions: green, digital and resilient. CircInWater will launch an open call until spending all the funds. The maximum amount per lump sum is 4.000€ to fund a minimum of 40 SMEs. Applicants can choose an expert from the pool provided by the EUROCLUSTER or another expert if he/she has the skills needed to support the SMEs.

Financial support for SMEs willing to: – participate in meet-the-buyer events organised by CircInWater in third countries – participate in fairs/international events in third countries targeted by the project. The lump sum can be used for travel and accommodation to third countries. The maximum amount per lump sum is 2.000€, funding a minimum of 20 SMEs.