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BESSE – BROKERING ENVIRONMENTALLY SUSTAINABLE SANITATION FOR EUROPE

BESSE (Brokering Environmentally Sustainable Sanitation for Europe www.besse-project.info ) is a European project, funded under the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Research Programme. The project is a collaborative effort of municipalities, enterprises, research centres, academic, professionals civil society and non-governmental organisations aimed at contributing to the Renewed Sustainable Development Strategy of the European Union through the enhancement of the links between sanitation policy and research on sustainable sanitation development.

BESSE is intended to promote innovation processes in the field of sanitation as well as to support effective policies for strengthening knowledge brokerage (i.e, the mediation process facilitating knowledge transfer between different social, professional, cultural, institutional and organisational contexts). In this framework, BESSE is paying particularly attention to the analysis of the obstacles and facilitating factors connected with innovation and knowledge brokerage in the sector and to the study of the role played by the various concerned actors.

Notwithstanding the availability of new knowledge about environmentally sustainable sanitation, most sanitation approaches in Europe are based on knowledge, technologies and management systems developed in the 19th and early 20th century. These approaches 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. In this framework, the BESSE project attempts to understand the obstacles that hinder effective dissemination of knowledge and to identify mechanisms to broker sanitation knowledge more effectively.

The main project output will be a set of policy guidelines on knowledge brokerage in support of environmentally sustainable sanitation. The guidelines will be drafted on the basis of knowledge and information emerging throughout the research activity. The key steps of this research path are:

– on the one side, the analysis of the existing environmentally sustainable sanitation technologies as well as the mapping of obstacles and facilitating factors to knowledge brokerage in the sanitation sector in Europe;

– on the other side, the implementation of three experimentations in Bulgaria, Italy and the Netherlands.
 
 
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