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NEXOGENESIS and GoNEXUS work together

Collaboration is at the heart of every European Horizon 2020 project but it does not stop at the borders of a consortium of partners and can also take place between projects. The interview below shows that there are many opportunities for knowledge sharing, as told by Janez Susnik and Manuel Pulido Velázquez, the coordinators of the NEXOGENESIS and GoNexus projects.

What is the aim of the NEXOGENESIS and GoNexus projects? Where are you now in the project?

Janez Susnik: NEXOGENESIS aims to help determine, via state-of-the-art modeling and stakeholder engagement, optimal policy solutions to achieve multiple, often competing policy objectives, across water, energy, and food resources sectors in 5 case studies. We are currently 20 months into the 48-month-long project.

Manuel Pulido Velázquez: GoNexus will develop an evaluation framework to design and assess innovative solutions for efficient and sustainable coordinated governance of the water-energy-food-ecosystem (WEFE) nexus. We are entering the equator of the project in May 2023.

Why is collaboration between European projects in this field important? Are there any overlaps with the subject matter?

Janez: Collaboration is critical to learn from each other and to exploit advances that each project makes. Often, the advances in one project may be directly relevant in another, and through collaboration, you become aware of what is going on and how best to leverage that work. There are also networking opportunities and the brainstorming that comes with this – even the potential that a new project proposal might develop! We can also be more efficient in sharing stakeholders, disseminating (policy) messages to a broader audience than individually, and potentially in ‘stacking’ individual project gains to boost impact. In our respective projects, there are many overlaps, so there is a much opportunity for collaboration, networking, and sharing of ideas, resources, messages, etc.

Manuel: It is important to jointly identify the potential benefits of integrated approaches adopting the nexus concept and how the research could support the policy process. Moreover, it is also key to maximise the impact of publicly funded research within the EU and strengthen Europe’s capacity to address scientific, technological, and societal challenges. Overlaps involve identifying model WEFE nexus interlinkages considering climate change, future socio-economic development, and different policy scenarios thanks to a detailed analysis of different indicators (comparison of nexus performance) and policy feasibility assessments.

What collaborative activities between both projects are envisaged in the coming months?

Janez: At the moment, we plan a joint workshop or event focusing on a common case study area – the lower Danube region. We aim to hold a joint stakeholder event and discuss further collaboration and dissemination opportunities going forward.

Manuel: We are planning meetings with other European projects focusing on the Lower Danube, although we are working on the scale of the whole Danube basin. We are working on the scale of the whole Danube basin and the middle Danube (Tisza basin), so it will be interesting to compare the results.