SANITAS is a project financed by the European Union under the 7th Framework Programme (Marie Curie Initial Training Network – ITN – 289193)

Start date: 1st of November 2011

Duration: 48 months

Overview: SANITAS was created to meet the deficiencies in human resources in European Urban Water System (UWS) management, the need for applications of technology and for sustainability through development of an integrated technology, knowledge and action base. The partners of this ITN are acutely aware of the risks associated if these needs are not met, and the urgency with which action must be taken in a comprehensive manner through this ITN. SANITAS is an extremely timely intervention in addressing the critical lack of trained professionals at a time when they are most needed, and when multi–disciplinary skills are emerging as a key training requirement. A next generation of integrated UWS management professionals will be created by providing a Europe–wide training in the technical and complementary skills they will require. The emphasis is on innovation, not just in the technical training provided that will significantly expand knowledge beyond the state–of–the–art, but in the training methodologies, the applications, the implementation strategy and the advisory oversight of the Consortium. Innovation at all levels is essential for Europe to embrace the responsibilities and opportunities for global leadership in this sector.

What are the objectives of SANITAS? 1) To introduce new methodologies for Europe–wide training in the technical and complementary skills that the next generation of UWS professionals will require. 2) To extend the knowledge base and application of innovations with the resilience to cope with future climate change scenarios and that are driven by industry needs and societal concerns. 3) To create a sustainable training structure that nurtures a spirit of intersectorial knowledge sharing, adoption and integration of system–wide best practice. 4) To provide scientific inputs to ensure that policy is framed within the context of what is technically possible, to ensure that future policy frameworks enable the uptake and application of European innovation and the transfer to global partners where the need is most critical. 5) To explore the potential benefits, technological, training and policy requirements of emerging supradisciplinary fields and their integration into advanced UWS models.

How will this be achieved? SANITAS will 1) train scientists in methodologies, technologies and complementary skills that are considered most appropriate to enable transformation of existing practices above the state of the art, 2) provide improved technologies for application in the field, and 3) provide inputs for the refinement of policy related to innovation and the environment to enable transformation of UWS management practices in line with future needs and ensure sustainable supply of motivated and competent professionals.

Who will manage the programme? A multidisciplinary consortium of experts comprising 10 FNP’s and 5 AP’s will manage this ITN to ensure this research training programme will achieve extension and application of knowledge in modelling, control and decision making in UWS. Industrial partners (2 as FNP and 4 as AP) and one water agency as FNP ensure an end–user driven strategy for the implementation. Training in the role of scientific inputs for policy formulation will empower ESR’s and ER’s in their role in meeting the future needs of society. ESR’s and ER’s will be trained to think with global vision through the insights of an Independent Panel of Experts.

Why is SANITAS ITN needed? There is an acute need for 1) sustainable and integrated UWS management in Europe, 2) advanced training in UWS management, 3) global vision for adequate water quality and supply by 2015 and for urban infrastructure renewal in emerging economies, and 4) supradisciplinary dialogue and new vision. SANITAS joint research training programme fits very well in to these mentioned European wastewater research and competitiveness requirements.