Joint research proposal developed under TORCH wins grant

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Thu, 12/07/2023 - 11:35

A proposal developed in the CHARM-EU R&I dimension has secured funding under the highly competitive Water4All Joint Transnational Call for research and innovation projects. A multidisciplinary team led by Prof. Judit Mádl-Szőnyi (ELTE) will work on a nature-based solution that mitigates the impact of extreme climate events and contributes to securing water supplies.

Building up the research and innovation dimension of CHARM-EU, one of the tasks of TORCH was to identify potential areas for joint research collaborations and to create research communities (Knowledge Creating Teams, KCTs) that develop R&I project plans on the basis of the identified strengths of partner universities. As a result of this work, six SDG-driven and transdisciplinary research challenges were chosen to be developed as independent projects.

The KCT working on the water-related challenge connected to combatting climate change and its impacts (SDG-13) was coordinated by Eötvös Loránd University. The research group was the first to submit their proposal back in October 2022 to the joint transnational call launched under the European partnership Water4All. The research proposal titled ClimEx-PE (Climate Extremes buffering through groundwater flow-based Managed Aquifer Recharge and Public Engagement) was one of the 27 winner projects, selected for funding through 2 highly competitive rounds from more than 200 submitted proposals. The KCT is led by hydrogeologist Professor Judit Mádl-Szőnyi from ELTE’s Faculty of Science as Principal Investigator and unites researchers from CHARM-EU partner universities (UB, ELTE, TCD and UU) and beyond (University of Zaragoza).

Drawing of the NB-MAR approach based on groundwater flow systems (Source: ClimEx-PE)
    NB-MAR approach based on groundwater flow systems (Source: ClimEx-PE)

The conceptual background of the proposal was provided by the know-how of the researchers of the József and Erzsébet Tóth Hydrogeology Chair of ELTE’s Faculty of Science, entitled "Landscape-scale nature-based targeted groundwater recharge based on groundwater flows" (NB-MAR), which was recognised and accepted as an invention by the ELTE Innovation Board in April 2023.

The ClimEx-PE proposal aims to address knowledge gaps regarding groundwater flow systems in connection with surface water bodies and extreme climate events as well as Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR), an engineering approach for intentionally recharging aquifers (bodies of rock and/or sediment holding groundwater). The transnational team will propose a new nature-based MAR approach (NB-MAR) which can play an important role in the mitigation of extreme climate events, thereby contributing to ensure safe water supplies for humanity and ecosystems. The multidisciplinary project involves scientists from the field of natural science and researchers coming from socio-legal fields while also paying special attention to public engagement through communication and education.

The result is an example of the potential of R&I collaboration in CHARM-EU, demonstrating the effectiveness of the Alliance in the EU funding space. CHARM-EU warmly congratulates to the coordinators and team members of the ClimEx-PE research team and will continue to actively support collaborative research and innovation project proposals developing within the Alliance.