Knowledge Brokerage for Environmentally Sustainable Sanitation. Position Paper and Guidelines from the EU-FP7 BESSE project.

Project team BESSE, W.E. Bijker, Giovanni Caiati, Luciano d'Andrea

Research output: Book/ReportBookProfessional

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The EU-funded BESSE project explores how sanitation in Europe can be made more sustainable. European sanitation is still based on 19th and early 20th century technologies and management systems. These systems do not adequately respond to the sustainable development needs of the 21st century, such as reducing energy use and the overall environmental impact of sanitation. BESSE set out to find innovative solutions for making the sanitation sector more sustainable.

The BESSE consortium consisted of project partners from wastewater treatment companies, social and technological research institutions and public policy agencies. Objectives of the project included collecting, reviewing, and systemising existing knowledge on sustainable sanitation and then identifying the factors that hinder effective dissemination of knowledge to policy makers.

Although focused on sanitation, the more general research related to knowledge brokerage: how to bridge the gap between knowledge producing universities and knowledge implementing sanitation plants? Hence most of the project outputs have a broader relevance of addressing questions about linking research, industry, policy making and society on issues of sustainability and sanitation. BESSE's policy guidelines seek to strengthen the relationship between research and innovation.

Through its pilot studies, BESSE identified various concrete mechanisms of knowledge brokerage. Clearly there is much more scientific and technological knowledge on sustainable sanitation available, than currently used in Europe. The BESSE guidelines give specific advice on how to help the communication and translation of that new knowledge to the engineers and managers in sanitation plants. BESSE concluded with targeted advice to sanitation utilities, policymakers, civil society organisations, and research institutions.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationMaastricht
PublisherMaastricht University
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012

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