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Desal + is a project to create and consolidate a joint R+D+i platform in Macaronesia (Canaries, Madeira, Cape Verde and Mauritania)  with high research capacities and infrastructure of international excellence in water desalination, knowledge of the desalinated water-energy nexus and exclusive use of renewable energies.  

Undoubtedly water desalination in the Co-operation Space is the activity associated with blue economy and most directly related to social and economic stability. We have over 500 operating desalination plants, the greatest density of operating desalination plants worldwide (700,000 m3/day - over 1% worldwide). The Canaries and Cape Verde have the largest installed capacity followed by Mauritania and Madeira.

Despite having this enormous number of desalination plants, unique in the world due to variety and dimension, the Co-operation Space does not have a cohesive group of researchers to respond to the sector needs and shortages. Commitment to desalination R+D+I is required to have detailed knowledge of the water-energy nexus and co-ordinately assign resources to develop innovative demonstrative solutions and projects related to water desalination technologies (using renewable energies), as per RIS3 and Blue Growth-EU priorities.

DESAL+ proposes...

  • Creating a joint research platform in the Co-operation Space; 
  • Modernising, rationalising, strengthening and making visible the desalination infrastructure associated with R+D; 
  • Developing innovative solutions and demonstrative projects; 
  • and increasing the researchers’ training and joint participation in European projects likewise international co-operation.

It is, therefore, an important challenge to create a multidisciplinary group focused on desalination, strongly interconnected and with optimum research infrastructures enabling us to deepen our knowledge and advance in solutions adapted to insular or decentralised territories, likewise benefiting from the potential of existing renewable energies (wind, sun, waves) associated with desalination. In this sense, Open Living Lab (OLL) configuration is pursued as associated R+D+i infrastructure.


  • Instituto Tecnológico de Canarias, S.A. (ITC). Canarias. España
  • Agencia Canaria de Investigación, Innovación y Sociedad de la Información (ACIISI). Canarias. España
  • Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPGC). Canarias. España
  • Universidad de La Laguna (ULL). Canarias. España
  • Plataforma Oceánica de Canarias (PLOCAN). Canarias. España
  • Fundación Centro Canario del Agua (FCCA). Canarias. España
  • Consejo Insular de Aguas de Gran Canaria (CIAGC). Canarias. España
  • Mancomunidad Intermunicipal del Sureste de Gran Canaria  (MANSURESTE). Canarias. España
  • Águas e Resíduos da Madeira, S.A. (Arm). Madeira   
  • Universidad de Nouakchott (CRAER). Mauritania
  • Agir en Faveur de l'Environnement (AFE). Mauritania
  • Agence de Promotion de L´acces universal aux services (APAUS). Mauritania
  • Consejo Insular de Aguas de El Hierro (CIAEH). Canarias. España
  • Canaragua. Canarias. España
  • Empresa Mixta de Aguas de Las Palmas (EMALSA). Canarias. España
  • Soslaires. Canarias. España
  • Águas de Ponta Preta (APP). Cabo Verde

Budget:   2.578.812,93 €    

INTERREG MAC 2014-2020 Finance Program, European Regional Development Funds ERDF (85%):  2.191.990,99 €

January 2017 – December 2019

Main objective:

Create and consolidate a joint R+D+i platform in Macaronesia with high research capacities and infrastructure of international excellence in water desalination, knowledge of the desalinated water-energy nexus and exclusive use of renewable energies.

Specific objectives:

  • Define and execute a joint R+D desalination strategy in the Co-operation Space to articulate actions on necessary infrastructure and increase research capacities in this sector.
  • Increase scientific and innovative performance by jointly doing applied research and executing demonstrative solutions related to water desalination technologies, emerging processes and massive use of renewable energies.
  • Improve training and specialisation of research staff strengthening joint exchange, mobility and training in the Co-operation Space of new researchers and technicians.