The 4th EIP Water Conference 2017 will include an exciting pitch competition, for startups with innovative water-related business projects.

Over €20,000 to be awarded!

The call for this competition is now closed – finalists will be announced here on 31 July.

SPLASH Innovation Stage is looking for projects that have a high innovative component and that demonstrate significant impact in the water sector. A Pool of Needs with inputs from water utilities and industrial and agriculture end-user companies is available. Applicants can look into this pool to match their solutions to the needs and challenges shared by potential customers and investors.

This competition wil take place on 27 September 2017 at Alfândega Porto Congress Centre and is organised by the Municipality of Porto with the support of EIP Water and powered by UPTEC - Science and Technology Park of the University of Porto and Isle Utilities.

SPLASH will also have the support of Global Impact Partners and Launch Factory 88 as members of the jury. Get to know them better here.

Pool of Needs

Pool of Needs

All water utilities and industry and agriculture end-user companies were invited to share any challenges, problems and needs faced by the water sector. Below, you will find a list of the challenges collected while the survey was open.

Whilst not mandatory, startups wishing to apply to the SPLASH Innovation Stage competition have the option of applying with a project that directly provides a solution to a challenge presented in this pool.

Hopefully, a handful of bright and successfull startups will provide innovative solutions to some of these issues through the Splash competition. Then, solution providers and end-users can eventually meet them at the Conference Sessions, or at the extensive Exhibition, at one of the technical Site Visits of Porto's most innovative water facilities or at the many networking moments prepared.

Describe Your Need/Challenge/Problem


Please select one option:



Whilst necessary for registration, this information will not be publicly available for participants, by default. Should you wish to have your company’s name publicly associated with this need/challenge/problem, please contact us at

Contact Person

Whilst necessary for registration, this information will not be publicly available for participants, by default. Should you wish to have your company’s name publicly associated with this need/challenge/problem, please contact us at

Please insert your name and email address here.

* All fields are mandatory; However, please note 'Entity' and 'Contact Person' will note be disclosed to the public at this stage and will only be used by the organization to ensure the input is adequate to the pool. These details will be disclosed towards the end of the competition, in principle.

Terms & Conditions

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N. Need/Challenge/Problem Description Field Area
No result


A robot that can survey an underground infrastructure (gallery), where the route is unknown. Besides filming in an adverse, dark and small dimension environment, the robot should have the possibility of mapping its trajectory and integrate it in a GIS Software.

Water Utility

Stormwater drainage system


A wastewater and/or rainwater flowmeter that, besides measuring the flow, can produce micro-energy from the flow and/or temperature within sewage pipe to support wide range of applications such as the flow meter instrument itself and/or the 24/7 communication systems and data loggers. The use of turbines is not advisable taking into account the passage of solid waste.

Water Utility

Wastewater and stormwater drainage systems


How can we turn a costly brine stream that we have to discharge into a value adding product? Several water utilities struggle to get rid of the 'waste' streams in a circular and cost effective way, thus limiting the opportunity to benefit from innovative ion exchange, ED and membrane filtration processes.

Water Utility

Wastewater treatment


Despite extensive research , water quality in distribution networks is hard to control. Drinking water companies want to profit from the IoT developments, but lack cheap sensors of which thousands need to be installed to get good overview of what is going on.

Water Utility

Water supply


How can we extend the lifetime of underground assets? Finding solution for the global challenge of ageing underground networks is a growing need. The solutions lay potentially in sensor technology and data analysis but also in smart new materials and fundamental new ways of organising infra networks.

Water Utility

Asset management


How can new low cost software solutions and artificial intelligence (AI) solve the gap between "lots of data" vs. "low quality information"?


Modelling, Information, Data Analytics, Smartwater


How can utilities transform data registered through client's devices into valuable information that can be used to assess and predict consumer's behaviour?

Water Utility

Predictive Modelling, Information, Data Analytics, Smartwater


When and how is it possible to close the cycle and make the sewage sludge of the wastewater treatment plants into a value-added product in a cost-effective way? The challenge is to turn waste into a product, while complying with EU legislation.

Water Utility

Wastewater treatment, Sewage sludge, End-of-waste, Agriculture, Fertilizers, Incineration and co-incineration


The Asian market is looking for new innovative solutions that can address the infrastructures needs while providing knowledge and support in the ground. We need to transfer, from the European market, B2B innovative tech solutions that need “smart money”.


Environmental sector


A new method to survey underground water infrastructures, often unknown, that would allow detecting their location, material and size. Available for water mains and service pipes, often with sizes under 100mm.

Water Utility

Water distribution systems


Heated water is still a weak link in creating energy neutral houses. Housing corporations need new and innovative technologies and technological concepts that are aiming at energy-efficient and/or energy-neutral domestic heated water supply for their building stock of about 20,000 houses. These technologies/technological concepts must be feasible and user-friendly.


Domestic heated water supply and recovery, District heating

Splash Innovation Stage

All applications are currently being assessed by the jury who will select the most promising candidates and invited them to pitch their projects at the SPLASH Innovation Stage competition.

Finalists will be announced here on 31 July 2017.

Finalists will be required to attend a 2-day Communication Workshop on 25 and 26 September. This workshop is free of charge and mandatory, as it consists of intensive training sessions to prepare the final pitch presentation.

Finalists will also be invited to attend an optional 5-day Acceleration Programme, between 18 and 22 September 2017. Both initiatives are free of charge and powered by UPTEC - Science and Technology Park of the University of Porto. More details coming soon!

The 4th EIP Water Conference will gather over 600 water innovators from all over Europe and, on the afternoon of 27 September, many will have their eyes set on the promising startups bringing disruptive ideas to transform the water sector at the SPLASH Innovation Stage competition.

Each finalist will pitch their project for 3 minutes before a jury and the Conference audience. Then, the jury will have up to 5 minutes to ask questions and comment each pitch.

More info about the jury here.

The top three winning pitches will be chosen considering the jury deliberation (75%) and the audience opinion, who will vote through a mobile app (25%). The top three most voted pitchers will receive a monetary award:

  • 1st prize         €12.000
  • 2nd prize         €6.000
  • 3rd prize           €3.000

Additionally, the winners will have the opportunity to repeat their pitches at one of the main Conference Sessions and will be invited to the Innovation Dinner.

Application and T&C

This call is now CLOSED. The jury is currently assessing the applications and contacting the candidates.

Finalists will be announced on 31 July – until then, you can learn more about what will happen on the afternoon of 27 September here.

Terms & Conditions

Jury & Finalists




The City of Porto, had the honour of being selected to host EIP Water 2017. Porto is working hard to become a living laboratory for smart urban technologies that can handle all the major systems a city requires – water, transport, security, green buildings, and clean energy. Porto will be represented as a juror through its water utility municipal company, Águas do Porto, a utility that manages the city’s full water cycle.



UPTEC - Science and Technology Park of University of Porto is the structure of the University of Porto dedicated to incubating startups and hosting national and international Business Innovation Centres, supporting an effective knowledge and technology transfer between academia and markets. Since the beginning of its activity, in 2007, UPTEC has supported more than 450 business ideas.

Isle Utilities Logo


Isle Utilities is a technology and innovation consultancy specialising in cleantech, with a proven track record in accelerating the development and commercialisation of emerging technologies through their Technology Approval Group “TAG” – the industry forum that drives innovation. Isle brings together the optimal blend of technical and commercial specialists to help you make the right decision.

Global Impact Partners Logo


Global Impact Partners is a company which works at the international level, in partnership with investment funds, industries, large companies, SME’s, startups and public organisations on developing the innovation portfolio, undertaking technology benchmark and facilitating market development and access, in the water and environmental sectors. Besides these activities, competences extend to project building and management, development of economic and operational strategies and access to public and private funding.

Launch Factory Logo


Headquartered in Shanghai, Launch Factory 88 helps their partners enter China with a tailored solution based platform. LF88 cater to the specific identified needs of B2B companies that want a simplistic entry underpinned by a competitive edge in the elusive Chinese market. Their Core Business Services are: Distribution Support Platforms; Localized Manufacturing and Assembly; and Investment Services.


Finalists will be announced on 31st July 2017!