Welcoming Statements

João Pedro Matos Fernandes

Minister of the Environment

Porto will be the European Capital for Innovation on Water, during the week 24-30 September 2017. The Portuguese Ministry of Environment is proud to acknowledge the good work done by the local organizers and welcomes enthusiastically the participants of the Porto Water Innovation Week 2017. It is in fact a great privilege for Portugal and for Porto to host the EIP Water Conference 2017 - Bridging Gaps, Creating Opportunities.

In a fast changing world where sustainable growth, social development, competitiveness and adaptation to climate change play major roles in society, Porto Water Innovation Week 2017 will be a unique moment to share experiences and good practices from All over the world. It is the right time to discuss new models to quicken the competitiveness of the European water sector and to set up the roadmap for the Water agenda 2030. Key topics such as the value of circular economy, how to benefit water services from the water 4.0 revolution, how to boost innovation through innovative financing schemes, the playing role of social engagement for inclusive stakeholders Governance and public policies, sustainable and liveable cities will be subject of powerful debates during Porto Water Innovation Week 2017. 

Portugal has unique conditions to foster innovation and to cooperate worldwide. Over the last 20 years, I&D centers, start-ups, water utilities, both the private sector and public administration were part of a successful changing process, recognized worldwide. Clear achievements in water supply and wastewater services, water efficiency gains, new models for water & energy valorization and innovative governance models were put in place. Sounded competences were consistently developed by the Portuguese Water cluster. 

Portugal is also a country open to the world with cultural and historical ability to well connect in different cultures and different contexts, thus providing an excellent ground for innovative ways of cooperating, creating new business, economic growth and welfare. 

These background and behavior together with a remarkable presence of the Portuguese Water Cluster in international markets places Portugal as a privilege European innovation hub and a gateway connecting Europe to other continents. 

Last but not least, the Mayors & Water Conference 2017 taking place during the Porto Water Innovation Week 2017 reflects the critical importance of smart water management not only in urban development but also in the new wave of smart cities innovation. 

The Porto Water Innovation Week 2017 happens in a timely and crucial moment. It will create new and remarkable opportunities for Europe. 

I am looking forward to hearing from the inspiring conclusions of such Event and the commitments to progress further. 

The Minister of the Environment 

João Pedro Matos Fernandes

Porto Water Innovation Week

Alfândega Porto Congress Centre, Portugal


24 to 30 September