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“Hubs for Circularity” moves forward to advance the EU’s research and innovation agenda

A year ago, the European Commission launched Hubs for Circularity (H4C), a flagship initiative to advance the research and innovation agenda of European industries towards the objectives of the Green Deal. Defined as first-of-a-kind, H4C is based on lighthouse demonstrator plants of commercial size, implementing industrial symbiosis or urban industrial symbiosis whose aim is to collectively achieve and demonstrate at scale, a leap towards circularity and carbon neutrality in the use of resources in a profitable way.

Two projects have been funded under the topic Twin Green and Digital Transition 2021: Hubs for Circularity European Community of Practice (ECoP) platform, H4C ECoP and H4C EUROPE. They will soon take the first steps to turn H4C into a reality and achieve numerous regional benefits, that should be of interest for CircLean’s stakeholders. These include, among others, optimising production systems through industrial-urban symbiosis resource efficiency improvement, facilitating social acceptance, overcoming barriers around the industrial-urban symbiosis concept.

Working hand in hand, these two projects will create a single European Community of Practice and enabling Knowledge Centre. They will set a community of stakeholders, a knowledge platform, and exchange structures that will help the existing and future hubs, management, and growth, by overcoming barriers to industrial symbiosis, and industrial-urban symbiosis. Both projects will provide a toolkit for the state-of-the-art assessment of industrial symbiosis, and industrial-urban symbiosis and perform an independent evaluation of the state of play in different regions.

While H4C ECOP will focus on regions and cities, H4C Europe will target industrial parks and industrial clusters. H4C Europe project will organize a continuous exchange of ideas and best practices, facilitating in-depth exchanges between experts. Through these exchanges, it will identify bottlenecks, evaluate the outcomes of related projects, and propose innovative approaches to overcome them. A first milestones has been achieved by the project consortium even before its start, as 10 existing Hubs committed to join as ECoP Founding Members.

The second project, H4C ECOP, wants to empower the process industries and regions to create Hubs4Circularity. The project aims to connect more than 100 process industry parks with promising H4C candidates, large corporates, universities and SME as solution providers. By creating awareness and fostering knowledge sharing between regions/cities and their industries, the H4C Platform will provide the tools and the evidence base for the approach to be adopted widely across Europe.

As H4C ECOP and H4C Europe pursue the joint vision to build the European Community of Practice connecting H4Cs on the level of knowledge management and services, they will follow the same development path and will share some of their outcomes. This ranges from mapping stakeholders to collecting tools, assessing high potential industrial-urban symbiosis regions and industrial clusters, or developing roadmaps and support to demo projects.

 If you are interested in learning more about H4C ECoP or H4C EUROPE, you can contact ACR+ (info@acrplus.org), a CircLean partner also part of the consortium of these two projects.

About the Project:

CircLean is an EU-funded project establishing an EU-wide, industry-led network to capture the benefits of industrial symbiosis (IS) to business and the economy. Read more about the project here.

The CircLean network offers the opportunity to engage in IS transactions with other companies. If you would like to become a member of the network, please read more here and get in touch with the CircLean Secretariat at circlean.project@technopolis-group.com.  

The next CircLean Open Innovation Workshop will be held in Ireland on the 28th of September 2022.