Applying Systems Innovations across Europe – SCREEN

Published on the 11th of April 2017

SCREEN – short for Synergic Circular Economy across European Regions – is a project that brings together 11 regions from nine European countries to accelerate their transition to the circular economy.

Metabolic is using its experience of working in urban and regional economies to develop new replicable models for these regions, as well as guidance over how they can collaborate on new initiatives that will scale up their circular opportunities.

Supporting the transition towards a circular economy is one of the policy priorities of the EU. However, currently there are a number of challenges in how to connect European funding to regions to foster circular innovation and enterprise. SCREEN was formed to bridge this gap and help advance circular economy practices at scale. It recognises the potential of regions to create new circular economy value chains with critical mass. Furthermore, the replicable nature of SCREEN means many other regions – both across Europe and beyond – will be able to benefit from this pioneering approach.

To help advance SCREEN, Metabolic will provide a methodology and research protocol for examining the circular economy potential of the key economic sectors within each region. This will allow each region to analyse the flows across these sectors, and to map key stakeholders, related economic regulations and policies. Depending on the country and region, these economic sectors may include anything from manufacturing to agriculture or hospitality.

Metabolic is working with the Dutch province of Fryslân to apply this approach and to form a working example for the other regions. At the end of June the methodology, as well as the Friesland results, will be shared with all participating regions. Each will then use the methodology to conduct their own analysis, leading to new or redesigned value chains in support of the circular economy.

In the final stage of the project, occurring this autumn, Metabolic will examine the full suite of completed regional analyses and use them to develop strategies for collaboration between the regions. This will involve providing recommendations for R&D, new business models, and knowledge exchanges based on shared ambitions or expertise in such things as investments or technological developments.

Metabolic Senior Consultant Gerard Roemers comments on the project:

“The ultimate goal is to stimulate intra-regional collaborations around the circular economy, by systematically investigating the possible connections and complementarities between different sectors and value chains. By doing this we allow regions to scale up their work and, by being part of this consortium, they can more easily access essential stimulus funding through the Horizon 2020 programme and the European Structural and Investment Funds. There is great work already happening at the regional level but knowledge of each other’s strengths and the available resources and services is often limited, and developing joint strategies can help better realise individual and combined potentials.

“We are very excited to have been given the opportunity to build on our established experience of creating circular regions. Through this project we can build on the methodologies we have developed in Dutch regions such as Fryslân and Nijmegen and take it further with all of the partners of SCREEN.”

The list of SCREEN regions can be found here and includes areas in Italy, Spain, Portugal, Poland, Greece, France, UK, Netherlands, and Finland. Metabolic will collaborate with all of these regions but will also work particularly closely with the province of Fryslân, as well as the Center for Water Technology Expertise (CEW).

More information on SCREEN can be found here. The project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No730313.

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