In Jordan, water security is one of the key societal challenges and an essential factor for future economic development and stability. For improved management of water resources, technical and social innovations are required, which can only be achieved through the close interaction of science, policy, administration, and economy. While research can provide modern tools and needed information to assess, manage and govern water resources, there is a clear demand that ‘applied research’ obtains funding and that the research design from the beginning is implementation and market-oriented. For this purpose, the WaterD2D project will form an “Innovation Ecosystem” involving Jordanian and German actors from science, policy, business, and civil society. This ecosystem can be viewed as a safe space to design and implement a new innovation-based model for water research and related sectors in Jordan.
In the above illustration, water security in Jordan is the thematic focus. An interaction between the representative institutions of research and education (i.e., partners at GJU and INWRDAM) and the society falls at the center of the Innovation Ecosystem. This interaction expresses the effect academic institutions have on the development of society. The WaterD2D project aims to support the role of local universities/science partners in knowledge creation through research and knowledge transfer through education. The way to achieve this will be through the designed Pilot Projects implemented in work package 3: Innovation and Application. Moreover, the German partners (i.e., TH Köln, TUM, and FUB) have a supporting role, focused on the Capacity Development and Supportof this interaction process between the local partners and society. Activities such as designing new projects, capacity development events, and providing education, research, and other support will occur in work package 4: capacity development.
Moving forward to the institutional setup of work package 2: Concepts of the Structure of Innovation Ecosystems. There are three different levels of the Innovation Ecosystem, according to the project’s first objective, which focuses on the improvement of framework conditions (governance) relevant to research and innovation. The first level is to set up a real framework for this Innovation Ecosystem, where interactions with reference to the real world and particular outcomes occur. Thus, each pilot project is an individual project, but many of the projects have similar demands and could be linked together under a real framework called the Water Solution Lab as a supporting instrument for this linkage. Furthermore, the second level aims to set up an Institutional Innovation Ecosystem which will allow the framework to be implemented at an institutional level in the local water sector. The third level and the largest one is to set up a National Innovation Framework that allows the implementation of the framework at national institutions and influence their work through the duration of the WaterD2D project to elaborate new codes and programs which are targeting the interaction of academia on the one hand and societal actors on the other hand.
Furthermore, work package 5: Outreach of the Platform and Dissemination aims to bring science into the decision-making process by sharing the outcomes of activities in work packages 2, 3, and 4. The WaterD2D project has multiple levels that build synonymity and encourage seeding new initiatives through Outreach and Transferactivities.
All the work packages and activities will be implemented parallelly with work package 1: Project Management.