H2O People Joins as Partner in Launch of the iMermaid EU project  

H2O-People is leading the work package in the new iMermaid project on societal actions tailored toward preventing and reducing chemical pollution. The H2O team will develop and run social media campaigns aimed at influencing public perception and behavior toward the use of chemicals and contaminants of emerging concern.

iMermaid is a Horizon Europe project aiming specifically to improve water quality by reducing chemical pollution in the Mediterranean Sea. The consortium brings together 26 diverse partners from sectors of research-academia, innovation, industry, and capacity-building spaces from 14 countries. The 36-month project is coordinated by ITCL Technology Centre, and supported by CINEA – the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency.

H2O People, represented by Naomi Timmer and Chrysoula Papacharalampou, participated in the iMermaid kick-off meeting which took place on 7-8 June in Burgos, Spain. The kick-off event brought together the diverse group of the project’s partners and enabled the creation of common ground for collaboration. The 2-day session was fruitful with passionate discussions and the exchange of ideas for solutions and technologies to tackle pollution in the Mediterranean basin and sea.

The H2O-People campaign design will allow to first map current perceptions and monitor change over the course of the project, and then enable new knowledge and alternative options to be disseminated to the public.  Additionally, H2O-people will co-create a community toolkit for stakeholder engagement. The toolkit will be used in the project’s pilot regions: Spain, Greece, Cyprus, Tunisia, and Italy. The applications will extend to a wide range of industries and sectors, for example pharmaceutical companies and municipal water and waste treatment facilities. The work of the iMermaid project team will also include the co-creation of a lesson package and of a schooling project. These are going to be developed in English and then translated to the local languages of the pilot regions, in order to maximize their uptake within the local contexts. The work of  the team is cross-cutting, to collaborate with the project’s partners, and more closely with Water Europe and VTT, which are involved in the work package H2O-People is leading.

Building on the experience of the European Junior Water Programme, the H2O People team will also create and deliver an innovative capacity-building platform for the iMermaid project partners, specifically targeting the young water professionals involved. The platform will focus on skills and leadership development, as well as cross-project knowledge transfer and integration.

The social media campaigns on the interesting and acute topic of chemical pollution and contaminants of emerging concern will be launched in the fall of 2023.  Overall, the work of H2O-People on societal actions and impact is a new journey for the team and we will be sharing our milestones and achievements along the way.

Stay tuned for updates!


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