Wasserringe in einem See (© lpictures - adobe.stock.com)

AquaticPollutantsTransNet – Knowledge transfer for the reduction of pollutants and pathogens in the water cycle

The transfer project AquaticPollutantsTransNet accompanies 18 projects funded by the European Union that address risks to human health and the environment from pollutants and pathogens in water resources. The aim is to promote the transfer of knowledge from research results to the public and administrative sectors, politics, industry and business. By means of innovative methods, the perception of stakeholders and citizens is to be improved through active participation in the reduction of pollutants and pathogens in the water cycle, and public attention is to be drawn to this issue. This will raise awareness of the impact of pollutants and pathogens in the water cycle and thus create political and social conditions for their reduction.

Research approach

AquaticPollutantsTransNet supports ongoing AquaticPollutants projects in order to create synergies and maximize the impact of projects’ research results through joint strategic dissemination, exploitation and communication. In the first phase of the project, key stakeholders and knowledge demands regarding water pollutants will be identified. Innovative methods, strategies and tools will be developed to improve the knowledge transfer to policy makers, the public, the health sector, agriculture and industry, based on scientific findings.

The goal of the second phase is to strengthen collaboration among the AquaticPollutants projects and thereby create added value, strengthen collaboration with stakeholders, and implement innovative methods and tools for the strategic transfer and communication of results in order to reach the relevant identified stakeholder groups.

ISOE supports the consortium in the technical conceptualization, implementation, and evaluation of stakeholder workshops, in the identification and evaluation of knowledge transfer approaches, and in the implementation of meetings on cross-cutting issues. Of particular importance is the transdisciplinary expertise and expertise in the field of water-related and systemic risks.


Knowledge of pollutants and pathogens in the water cycle has increased greatly since the turn of the millennium. Projects dealing with aquatic pollutants and other EU-funded projects and initiatives have helped to increase knowledge on the identification, fate, impact, risk assessment, and (non-) technical measures aiming to reduce pollutants and pathogens in the water cycle. Today, international networks for data and knowledge exchange on aquatic pollutants already exist. At the national level, the knowledge base has also been greatly expanded through government-funded projects. Strategic processes and action plans for micropollutants are currently being implemented in several European countries with a steadily growing number of research groups and centers. At the global level, antibiotic-resistant residues in the water cycle are addressed, among others, by a WHO global action plan. Research findings have led to changes in regulation and perception, but not all important findings are implemented accordingly. In particular, communication between the water, marine, and health sectors could be improved. To increase impact and provide policy-relevant data, effective science communication and knowledge transfer are key to success. It is therefore necessary to identify problems, select and translate relevant knowledge, and establish communication channels to promote and adapt knowledge transfer.

Research and project partners

  • DECHEMA Gesellschaft für Chemische Technik und Biotechnologie e.V., Frankfurt am Main, Germany
  • IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, Stockholm
  • BRGM – Geoscience for a sustainable Earth, Orléans
  • ACTeon environment research & consultancy, Colmar


The project (AquaticPollutantsTransNet – Successful knowledge transfer and networking strategies to minimize potential risks of water pollutants and pathogens) is funded by the European Union within the research and innovation program “Horizon 2020”. ISOE is subcontractor of DECHEMA.


2021/06 – 2025/05