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The CircLean Open Innovation Workshops series on industrial symbiosis kicked off with its first event in Krakow, Poland 

On Thursday 28 April 2022, 100 stakeholders gathered in-person and online to participate in the first CircLean Open Innovation Workshop in Poland on industrial symbiosis. The event was held at the Ekospalarnia waste treatment plant in Krakow.  

The workshop was organised by the consortium led by Technopolis Group who is running the CircLean Secretariat on behalf of the European Commission, in cooperation with the Mineral and Energy Economy Research Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences (MEERI) and hosted by Krakowski Holding Komunalny SA (KHK). Ms. Joanna Kulczycka, Professor at the AGH University of Science and Technology and Head of Department of Strategic Research at MEERI Polish Academy of Sciences opened the event emphasising that industrial symbiosis is a business model with great potential. The representative from the European Commission (DG GROW), Mr. Anestis Filopoulos stressed the important contribution of industrial symbiosis in delivering the objectives of the European Green Deal by unlocking the potential of industrial symbiosis to contribute to climate neutrality and business competitiveness. He invited Polish and EU businesses to join the CircLean network, which offers concrete opportunities for cooperation and to engage in transactions of secondary raw materials and by-products across the EU.  

The CircLean network’s toolbox was presented including the Self-Assessment module, the Matching tool, and the communication toolkit.  

Dr. Agnieszka Sznyk from the Polish Circular Hotspot moderated a roundtable which saw the active participation from Prof. Andrzej Marcinkowski from the Łódź Technical University (Eco-park), Agnieszka Zdanowicz from the CKR Waste Management and Recycling Cluster, Prof. Marcin Furtak from the Cracow Technical University, Prof. Agnieszka Generowicz from the Cracow Technical University, President Leszek Rozdzenski from the Krakow Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Tomasz Rychły from Quality Austria.  The roundtable highlighted the following key points:  

  • There is a need to create cooperation platforms linking businesses with each other and with R&D institutions; 
  • Networking and matchmaking are integral elements of industrial symbiosis; 
  • In a situation where industrial symbiosis is entirely missing, it is reasonable to start with single synergies and then gradually build up a more complex system; 
  • As industrial symbiosis needs to be economically profitable there is a need to constantly demonstrate the benefits associated to its uptake to the private sector. 

The event also presented some inspirational good practices. Mr. Przemysław Machynia from the Woo agency presented about the Connection App, a new project from IATI and Green Energy Congress, which links business and science to create solutions in the field of circular economy. Mr. Jakub Bator from KHK presented the Ekospalarnia waste treatment plant, and Mr. Iakovos Yakoumis from Monolythos an example of recycling of spent automotive catalysts and challenges in industrial symbiosis in the framework of the Pheidias project.  


Hear from stakeholders Jakob Bator and Agnieszka Sznyk as they share their takeaways from the event.

The next CircLean Open Innovation Workshop will be held in Valencia in Spain on the 27th of May 2022.