EAU is a world-class competitiveness cluster devoted to water resources (e.g. localization, extraction, rational use, and sanitation of waters). It is located in the regions of Languedoc-Roussillon, Midi-Pyrénées and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, and coordinates its activities with those of similar clusters, i.e. Hydreos and DREAM.
The EAU cluster has focused on the following topics:
- Identification and mobilization of water resources;
- Concerted management of water resources and uses;
- Reuse of all water sources and recycling of wastewater;
- Institutional and societal approaches in terms of actors and decisions.
The main objectives of the cluster are as follows:
- Make the best use of innovative project results in the field of water, so as to promote economic development, job creation, and development of SMEs and mid-cap companies;
- Pool expertise and knowledge in order to find solutions to the numerous problems related to the management of water resources;
- Integrate all water stakeholders in the international dynamics of water markets.
The EAU cluster relies on a longstanding industrial approach, in particular in Languedoc-Roussillon, around the Swelia network, which gathers above 70 companies. Three of them, namely Veolia Environment, Suez and Saur-Séché, are leaders of water technologies and water services. In the region Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, the cluster relies on the Éa Éco-entreprises association, which brings together about fifty SMEs in the fields covered by the cluster. Thus, thanks to the commitment of large groups (Egis Eau, BRL, IBM, Nestlé Waters, Danone...), as well as small and medium-sized companies, the EAU cluster represents a major industrial force.
The cluster also relies on the support from higher education institutions and research organisations, such as Agro ParisTech-ENGREF, BRGM, Cemagref, the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), CIRAD, École des Mines d’Alès, ENSCM, the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA), IRD, SupAgroMontpellier, and Polytech'Montpellier.