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Norway Grants: Implementation can begin, six innovative projects will receive 77 million Czech crowns from the Trondheim call.

25.03.2022   |   Press release
In April last year, the State Environmental Fund of the Czech Republic began receiving project proposals for the two-round call "Trondheim." The amount of 93.6 million Czech crowns, allocated from the Environment, Ecosystems and Climate Change Programme, was intended for the implementation of projects aimed at reducing the pollution of surface waters by pharmaceutical residues.
Foto: EEA Library

Twelve projects advanced from the first round of the call for further evaluation, six of which were recommended for support. Successful applicants can start implementing their activities.

We have noticed a great deal of interest from applicants in terms of water pollution from pharmaceutical residues. In the first round of the call, we received fourteen project proposals, from which seven projects recommended for support emerged during the evaluation process. During the evaluation, we were informed that one of the applicants was unfortunately forced to resign due to operational reasons. However, the funds will not remain unused.

We intend to transfer the remaining amount to the “Rago” call where the allocation is insufficient. This step will enable us to support two other projects focused on innovations in ecosystem protection,” summarizes the results of the call Petr Valdman, Director of the State Environmental Fund of the Czech Republic.

The funds in the “Trondheim” call will go to the Brno University of Technology, where they will test the reduction of pharmaceutical concentrations using oxidation processes in the operation of wastewater treatment plants, or VSB – Technical University of Ostrava, which will prepare a pilot plant for the wastewater treatment plant in Příbram.

The town of Moravský Beroun will also focus on a new level of purification and thanks to the project of Agrovýzkum Rapotín p.l.c. will gain a new level of wastewater treatment. This project is particularly important for this site, as the recipient of the treated water is located in the territory of the water protection zone, in which mineral water springs are present.

The implementation of projects this time will not be the last phase of the call: “We consider the topic of surface water pollution by pharmaceutical residues to be very important. Therefore, we would like to present the results of our projects at a professional conference in the future, which will be prepared under the auspices of the Norway Grants Programme and especially its Bilateral Fund. We received positive reactions from the donor state and Czech institutions dealing with the topic of water pollution at the possibility of holding the final international conference,” Petr Valdman describes the plans for the presentation of projects. The actual implementation of the projects has an international dimension, the partners include, for example, the Norwegian Institute for Water Research and the Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava.

The Norway Grants will support the unique project of the Pražské vodovody a kanalizace and Thomayer University Hospital.

Among the supported applicants there is also one of the largest hospitals in Prague, which succeeded in cooperation with the company Pražské vodovody a kanalizace with its application and will implement the largest of the projects of this call.

The support concerns the unique treatment of specific hospital wastewater at source. These waters can not only be infectious, but are also heavily polluted with micropollutants, especially pharmaceuticals, which are not removed by existing technologies at conventional wastewater treatment plants. Such substances can then enter surface waters and adversely affect other components of the environment. Removing pharmaceutical residues from wastewater is also one of the key tools in preventing the development of antibiotic resistance in bacteria.

As part of the project, a new hospital wastewater treatment plant consisting of various technologies will be built on the Thomayer University Hospital premises, which will enable the removal of these pollutants. Our experts will monitor and evaluate their effectiveness and further optimize the technology of the cleaning process. We want to offer optimized and proven technologies to other hospitals in the future,“ said Petr Mrkos, Director of Pražské vodovody a kanalizace company.

“The main goal of the project is the protection of drinking water resources. We are proud that our hospital is a pioneer in such an important project,” adds the director of the Thomayer University Hospital doc. MUDr. Zdeněk Beneš, CSc.

The complete list of supported projects is published on the website of the State Environmental Fund of the Czech Republic.