European knowledge agenda for soil-sediment-water, subsurface and land use

Published: 17 November 2014

From 1 March 2015 onward, Deltares will be mobilising Dutch knowledge questions with the aim of establishing the research agenda for the, soil-sediment-water system, subsurface and land use in Europe. As the work package leader, we will also be making sure that other European countries do the same.

The Horizon2020 project to establish this specific knowledge agenda is known as INSPIRATION (Integrated Spatial Planning, land use and soil management Research ACTION).

Work package leader Jos Brils and “National Focal Point” Linda Maring: ‘That is, of course, mainly an excellent opportunity for getting strategic issues that we face in the Netherlands onto the agenda for European research, for example in the fields of scarce raw materials, the use of the subsurface or climate-adaptive planning. The Netherlands is already working on a national vision for the use of the subsurface (STRONG). And on climate-adaptive planning for cities by, for example, using nature-based solutions. In other words, Dutch knowledge is available, or people are working on it. Even so, this could represent a new opportunity for the long-term research issues that are currently being neglected because of time or money constraints. And the collaboration and knowledge exchange in Europe will also create openings. This will give the strategic research a new impulse; it is both efficient and effective’.

It is not surprising that Deltares, as a research institute for water, subsurface and infrastructure, is working on this venture. Linda Maring: ‘We know what the questions are, and we also know many of the stakeholders, both national and international. In the Netherlands, we are working together with the TCB (the Soil Protection Technical Committee that deals with environmental policy for the soil). It is important for research issues to be contributed by all stakeholders. Jos Brils: ‘We are working at the request of, and with assistance from, the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment (IenM). This project is strategically important for our government.’