With the consequences of climate change being felt all over Europe, the need for solutions is becoming more and more pressing. And researchers have presented numerous brilliant ideas to reduce risks from floods, droughts or extreme weather. Unfortunately, since they have limited knowledge of end-user needs, many solutions never materialise. How can the gap between innovators with new products and services and end users with a demand for new solutions be bridged?
An international network of 24 partners from 14 countries has the answer. BRIGAID, the EU-funded project they’re part of, is providing innovators with guidelines and tools to further the technical, social and market readiness of their innovations. On the other end, it’s also engaging with end users by involving them in the identification and testing of promising innovations. By creating local communities of innovation, BRIGAID is allowing different end users to share their experiences and connect with innovators to foster mutual learning.
EU reference marketplace where end users and innovators meet
Part of the BRIGAID efforts involves the development of the Climate Innovation Window
, a reference portal for innovations on climate change adaptation. It allows users to browse the innovations database by type of hazard or by topic based on a related sector or concept. Clicking on a particular hazard or topic leads to a brief description of it, followed by the innovations falling under that category. The hazards listed are coastal floods, river floods, droughts, heatwaves, heavy precipitation, storms, wildfires and multi-hazards. The related topics each innovation is linked to are agriculture, disasters and ICT, energy, forests, nature-based solutions, rivers, urban areas, water availability, water quality and water safety.
An entire page is devoted to each innovation. There, you can find the name of the innovation and a representative image or diagram, accompanied by a brief description of the innovation and the problem being addressed. Interested parties have the option to register in order to find out more details about the innovation and to be able to contact the innovator. Information is also given about how the innovation works and its current technical readiness level (TRL).
Advancing an innovation’s technical readiness
Technical readiness refers to how an innovation performs and how effective it is in reducing climate-related risks. The TRL is therefore used to assess the maturity of an innovation. The scale consists of nine levels, where each level characterises the progress in the development of the innovation, from the initial idea (Level 1) to the full uptake of the product into the marketplace (Level 9). The project team aims to guide innovators in developing testing plans that increase the TRL of an innovation and its potential for market uptake.
BRIGAID (BRIdges the GAp for Innovations in Disaster resilience) is providing integral support for innovations for climate adaptation, focusing on climate-driven disasters like floods, droughts and extreme weather. Its work is bridging the gap between innovators and end users by making innovations technically stronger, more socially acceptable and more attractive to investors.
For more information, please see: BRIGAID project website