INTERREG IVC analysis report
Credits Experts for thematic capitalisation on eco-innovation Asel Doranova Asel Doranova is a researcher and consultant at Technopolis Group where she focuses on ecoinnovation, sustainability, and energy policies. She works extensively with the European Commission’s DG Environment, DG Regio, DG RTD as well as UNIDO & OECD on the topic of eco-innovations, green, and sustainable growth. Asel has a PhD in Economics and Policy studies of Technical Change, and Master’s degrees in Environmental Sciences & Policy and Development Studies.
Geert van der Veen Geert van der Veen is a director of Amsterdam office of Technopolis. He has more than 20 years of experience in the field of science and innovation policy and eco-innovation/sustainability. Over years, he has accumulated a wealth of experience though consulting international agencies, national governments, and regional authorities. Among his clients are the European Commission’s DG Environment, DG RTD, DG Enterprise as well as OECD, Government of Flanders, Finnish technology agency Tekes and the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Science.
Laura Roman Laura Roman is the regional innovation policy expert at the Technopolis Group. She is involved in management of the European Regional Innovation Monitor platform and contributed to the Regional Innovation Scoreboard Report for DG Enterprise & Industry. She is also a part of the EU Eco-Innovation Observatory team, where she works on a number of thematic and country reports and briefs. Laura has undergraduate degrees in Business Administration and Political Science and a Masters degree in Public Policy from the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, focusing on Economics, Welfare and Sustainability.
“The contents of this work reflect the views of the authors and do not necessarily represent the position of the INTERREG IVC programme. The authors are entirely responsible for the facts and accuracy of the data presented.”
Foreword: Capitalising on achievements Over the last seven years, with the goal of improving regional policies, more than 2 000 public institutions across Europe have been learning from each other through cooperative policy learning in 204 interregional projects supported by the INTERREG IVC territorial cooperation programme. The programme can now point to hundreds of examples of how a region or city has built on the experiences of their counterparts elsewhere to enhance their own policy and delivery strategies. A few examples: o
inspired by the approaches taken by the Welsh ECO Centre and an Educational Centre in the Dutch city of Sittard-Geleen, the Hungarian city of Vecsés developed educational activities on renewable energy and sustainability for its school children. after consulting the Spanish city of Paterna, the Latvian Daugavpils City Council was able to successfully modernise its soviet-era industrial parks, giving a major boost to business development. after consulting the Cypriot authorities, the Greek Region of Crete invested in water recycling and re-use schemes, applying the Cypriot models.
The policy learning enabled by the INTERREG IVC Programme is not just a paper exercise: it has helped, through 204 projects, almost 6 000 staff involved in regional policy to acquire new skills and capabilities, and it has led directly to the improvement of more than 400 policies. The programme was therefore determined to go a step further and share its tremendous wealth of policy experience and know-how even more widely. The programme therefore asked 12 teams of experts covering 12 different fields of policy to analyse the achievements of its projects and to report back on ‘what works’. This report, which focuses on Ecoinnovation, is the fruit of their work. It showcases a selection of tried-and-tested eco-innovation policies and practices that have been shared through the INTERREG IVC programme, and which will be of interest to all EU regions. Policymakers and practitioners interested in this topic – whether working on regional, national or European scales – will also find policy recommendations tailored to them. Cooperative policy learning makes sense. It makes sense because, in an era of tight budgetary constraints, local and regional authorities are seeking best value for money, and robust evidence can enhance the chances of policy success by eliminating the risks and costs of trial and error. To take forward the programme’s key strategic task of sharing policy know-how, the new programme for 2014-2020, INTERREG EUROPE, is developing ‘Policy Learning Platforms’ which will stimulate a process of continuous policy learning among all interested regional policy stakeholders around Europe.
Michel Lamblin Programme Director
Erwin Siweris Deputy Programme Director
Table of Contents Executive summary 1.
Introduction and Methodology
1.1 Objectives and research questions
1.2 Projects analysed in this exercise
1.3 Methodology and the report structure
2.1 Why eco-innovation matters?
2.2 Eco-innovation in EU strategies and policies
2.3 Eco-innovation in EU regional policies
3.1 Challenges in regions and solutions identified by INTERREG IVC projects
3.1.1 Regional challenges calling for eco-innovative solutions
3.1.2 Solutions and good practices promoted via interregional cooperation
3.1.3 Examples of good practices and solutions from regions
3.2 Barriers and Drivers in project implementation
3.3 Long-term project impact
3.4 Impacts of the INTERREG IVC projects in the target regions
3.4.1 Actual and expected impact of the projects
3.4.2 Dissemination of the project results: sharing the knowledge
3.5 INTERREG IVC eco-innovation projects contribution to EU2020 objectives
3.5.1 Contribution to Smart Growth
3.5.2 Contribution to Sustainable Growth
3.5.3 Contribution to Inclusive Growth
3.6 Contribution to regional policies
3.7 Learning from and benchmarking with other European initiatives
3.7.1 Learning from other EU Programmes and projects
3.7.2 Benchmarking with European state of the art good practices
3.8 EU added value of the INTERREG IVC programme
3.9 Lessons learnt in working with eco-innovation good practices
Key policy messages and conclusions
4.1 Policy recommendations to regional stakeholders
4.1.1 Recommendations to regional authorities
4.1.2 Recommendations to regional businesses and SMEs
4.1.3 Recommendation to cleantech clusters and incubators
4.1.4 Recommendation to knowledge organisations
4.1.5 Recommendation to Civil Society Organisations (CSOs)
4.2 Recommendations to projects in specific eco-innovation thematic areas
4.2.1 Promoting eco-innovative entrepreneurship and start-ups
4.2.2 Sustainable mobility and transport:
4.2.3 Sustainable construction
4.2.4 Sustainable energy
4.2.5 Corporate social responsibility
Annexe 1: Eco-innovation projects overview
Annexe 2: Eco-innovation project partners Map
Annexe 3: Eco-innovation project factsheets
Annexe 4: Glossary
Table of Figures Figure 1: Lot 3 Eco-innovation projects of the INTERREG IVC programme ........................................ 11 Figure 2: INTERREG IVC Lot 3 projects overview ................................................................................ 12 Figure 3: Types of organisations partnering in projects ........................................................................ 13 Figure 4: Eco-Innovation lot 3 project partners: geographic representation. ........................................ 13 Figure 5: Definition of eco-innovation .................................................................................................... 15 Figure 6: Concentration of ERDF funds by thematic priorities and types of regions in 2014-2020 ...... 18 Figure 7: Approaches to eco-innovation identified in the projects......................................................... 20 Figure 8: Good practices statistics across projects ............................................................................... 21 Figure 9: Three categories of good practices promoted by the projects ............................................... 21 Figure 10: Multi-dimensional framework for the categorisation of good practices ................................ 22 Figure 11: Prioritised good practices of the FRESH project .................................................................. 26 Figure 12: Summary of observed and expected contributions of INERREG IVC eco-innovation projects in addressing EU2020 goals. ................................................................................................................ 50 Figure 13: Mapping eco-innovation types based on their impact (scope of change and degree of change they can generate) ................................................................................................................................. 56 Figure 14: Different generations of eco-innovation supporting policies ................................................ 57
Automotive Benchmarking Club (West-Pannon region, Hungary)
National Environmental and Energy Management Agency
Assembly of the European Regions
French Agency for Normalisation
German Ministry of Environment
Building Research Establishment (BRE) Environmental Assessment Method
Cradle to Cradle
Copenhagen Cleantech Cluster
Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme
Centre for Innovation and Economic Development
Competitiveness & SME Equity & guarantees
Construction Products Regulation
Code for Sustainable Homes
Corporate Social Responsibility
Developing Sustainable Regions through Responsible SMEs
Danish Hydraulic Institute
Danish Technical University
Environmental Action Programme
European Eco-Innovation Platform
EU Eco-innovation Action Plan
European Clusters and Regions for Eco-innovation Network Plus
Energy Efficiency Action Plan
European Innovation Partnership
Energy Performance of Buildings Directive
European Research Area
European Regional Fund for Development
European Regions Research and Innovation Network
Environmental Technologies Action Plan
Environmental Technology Verification
Framework Programme for Research
European Observation Network, Territorial Development and Cohesion
Forwarding Regional Environmental Sustainable Hierarchies
Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland
Genuine Progress Indicator 4
Green Public Procurement
information and communication technologies
Investors in the Environment
National Institute for Industrial Property (France)
Joint Technical Secretariat
National Industrial Symbiosis Programme in UK
Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development
Original Equipment Manufacturers
Producer Services for European Sustainability and Competitiveness
research and development
Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals
RECOMMEND Regions using ECO-ManageMENt for eco-innovation Development RIP
Regional Implementation Plan
Regional Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation
Sustainable Consumption and Production Action Plan
Sustainable Energy Technology Plan
Small and Medium size Businesses
(Sustainable Design and Construction) Supplementary Planning Guidance
Technical Committee /ComitĂŠ EuropĂŠen de Normalisation (European Committee for Standardisation)
German Federal Environmental Agency
European exchange development.
Executive summary The present report presents the results of the capitalisation analysis of INTERREG projects in the field of eco-innovation. Eco-innovation is increasingly seen as an answer to the environmental and economic challenges that many countries are facing. It offers viable economic development opportunities and also promises to create jobs while at the same time preserving the environment. For these reasons eco-innovation is set to play one of the central roles in the EU’s new strategy for smart, sustainable, and inclusive growth, known as the ‘Europe 2020’’ strategy. The INTERREG IVC programme supports eco-innovation in regions by co-financing seven interregional cooperation projects, such as “Cleantech-incubation Europe” (CIE), “Forwarding regional environmental sustainable hierarchies” (FRESH), “Regions using ECO-ManageMENt for eco-innovation Development”" (RECOMMEND), European Clusters and Regions for Eco-Innovation Network Plus” (ECREIN+), ECOREGIONS, “Developing Sustainable Regions through Responsible SMEs” (DESUR), and finally “Producer Services for European Sustainability and Competitiveness” (PROSESC). These projects brought together 73 partners from 22 EU member states in order to improve ecoinnovation policies, including through demonstration projects, developing the science base and savoir faire, and mobilising a wide range of local stakeholders. The capitalisation analysis of these projects covered over 100 good practices identified by these projects. It reviews their outcomes, impacts, lessons learned, and benchmarks their approaches with the European ‘state-of-art’. Good practices Overall, three types of good practices can be identified:
Policy Good Practices, which relate to specific policy instruments (e.g. policies, programmes, strategies, initiatives, etc.)
Support tool Good Practices, which serve as an information tool for policy makers allowing them to have better understanding of the needs and performance of the region or its actors in eco-innovation related area (e.g. benchmarking instruments, the genuine progress indicator - GPI, technology atlas, etc.)
Technological Good Practices, including various technological solutions to an environmental challenge (e.g. low energy housing, biogas plant, etc.)
The analysis of the good practices has revealed that: -
Among the policy-related good practices, the large majority are non-financial support instruments. Good practices based on financial instruments are exclusively focused on grants, subsidies, and vouchers while tools such as guarantees, loans, fiscal incentives, or venture capital, are not addressed by the projects.
A majority of good practices have a supply-side focus and support networks, partnerships, clusters, education, training, and mobility. Demand-side eco-innovation support good practices are relatively scarce. The majority of these focus on setting regulations, standards, and one promotes sustainable public procurement.
Many good practices have a strong focus on eco-innovation, but there are a number of examples where good practices have a broader innovation focus.
Good practices focus on the themes of sustainable energy, sustainable construction, transport, cleantech incubation, and sustainable business themes.
Impact and contribution to EU2020 goals Despite their short duration the projects studied have managed to create positive impacts in their regions or have created a basis for the post-project dissemination of good practices and learning from the lessons of the project. Importantly, their activities and outcomes have been in line with the EU2020 goals of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.
The projects contributed to smart growth via
promoting green R&D activities in academia and companies (via grants, competitions, partnerships);
helping SMEs to introduce innovations via innovation voucher schemes, technical advisory support;
supporting green start-ups in incubators, improving the performance of cleantech clusters;
supporting development and dissemination of green and innovative technologies, products and services via demand and supply side policy measures.
The projects contributed to sustainable growth via
a wide range of “quick win” solutions promoted to help SMEs to save materials and energy via training and consulting, green auditing and eco-management;
a number of awareness raising good practices focus on resource efficiency, waste minimisation and changing the behaviour of producers and consumers;
developing eco-industries such as green energy, sustainable construction, electro mobility, waste and water recycling, manufacturing of green products, and promotion of green services sectors and life-cycle perspectives.
The projects also embraced inclusive growth via
promoting entrepreneurship leading to the creation of new businesses, new services and new jobs (including self-employment);
developing skills by providing technical support, training e.g. on eco-management, energy and resource efficiency or entrepreneurship;
facilitating learning and knowledge flow from more to less advanced regions of Europe.
Synergies and comparisons with other European initiatives Some of the projects were able to make links between their activities and other EU programmes and projects. In particular, project partners mentioned their involvement in exchange with projects implemented under the Europe INNOVA initiatives, INTERACT II, ESPON, INTERREG IVB, FP7, CIP, as well as other thematic projects of INTERREG IVC. By benchmarking against these programmes the strength of the INTERREG IVC eco-innovation projects was shown to be in their experience with policy tools. They promoted several good practices that can be seen as state-of-the-art in the European eco-innovation policy experience. These includes ecoinnovative RIS3 strategies in of Päijät Häme and Lubelskie regions (FRESH), adopting the genuine progress indicators for measuring the development in the region (FRESH), supporting green technology cluster development (CIE, RECOMMEND, PROSESC), facilitation of the development of the regional innovation plans (all regions of RECOMMEND) and climate action programmes (ECOREGIONS), and implementing new legislations and standards (FRESH, RECOMMEND). In general, the policy tools promoted by the projects studies are oriented more towards environmental technologies and eco-efficiency improvement (the first and second generation of policy measures), while systemic and transformative eco-innovations (third generation policy) are not yet the focus. Benchmarking with the European state-of-the-art practices in eco-innovation showed that the majority of eco-innovations promoted by the projects are incremental innovations, such as products, services and technologies. There are also a number of good practices that promote eco-innovation in value chains in order to decrease the environmental footprint across the life-cycle of products and processes. More ambitious eco-innovations such as those aimed at promoting service-based, circular economy, or new eco-innovative business models based on extended producer’s responsibility, or sustainable industrial or urban systems were outside the focus of the projects. The capitalisation analysis looked into the best European eco-innovative initiatives that contribute to the sustainable transformation with a long-term economic and environmental development vision. Examples that were considered come from other European territorial cooperation programmes and various projects supported by the ERDF. These included the best practices in:
promoting sustainable sub-regions, cities, neighbourhoods, via transformations in social and economic models, as well as in culture and traditions
developing competitive local industries by supporting clusters and business parks
improving eco-efficiencies and the circular economy via industrial eco-systems/symbioses1
promoting the circular economy via new sustainable business models
Policy recommendations for regional stakeholders The analysis also shows that in the promotion of sustainable development in regions via eco-innovation there are specific roles for regional government, the private sector, SMEs, knowledge organisations, clusters, incubators, and civil society organisations. The report therefore also presents evidence-based policy recommendations addressed for each group of these stakeholders. Recommendations for regional authorities:
Regional authorities should position themselves as the “change agent” (facilitator of change) in the regions change/transition towards sustainability.
When designing the strategic framework for eco-innovation policy, take account of the fact that ecoinnovation is not limited to specific industries and sectors.
Ensure the political commitment of the region to sustainability goals (e.g. adopting specific green targets and strategy).
Conduct a thorough analysis of key economic stakeholders, priority areas and policy targets; as well as analyse eco-innovation markets, drivers and barriers to eco-innovation.
To ensure the success of an eco-innovation strategy, involve a wide range of stakeholders in the policy planning process.
Do not focus on a single support measure; develop a policy portfolio and support both the supply and demand sides of eco-innovation.
Make strategic decisions in adopting good practices: while technical eco-innovation good practices demonstrate quick results, the impacts from policy good practices are likely to be more long-term and wider
When adopting new eco-innovative practices, consider the specific economic, regulatory, technological, innovation, and environmental profile of your region as well as the readiness and responsiveness of citizens.
Apply a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation framework to track the impact of the adopted eco-innovation practices.
Recommendations for regional businesses and SMEs:
Introducing eco-innovation and eco-efficiency measures in the company brings not only environmental benefits, but also results in increasing economic returns, improved image, and market advantage in the long run.
Careful strategic planning and assessment of new market opportunities will help companies to enter, anticipate needs and be competitive in growing markets for green products and services.
Consider bringing in technical support to help with the introduction of eco-innovations and ecoefficiency
Consider participating in available public support schemes and programmes promoting ecoinnovations in business
Take an active part in the development of regional strategies for eco-innovation and sustainability.
See also the Glossary in the Annex for the definition of industrial symbiosis.
Recommendations for cleantech clusters and incubators:
Foster triple helix cooperation, and capitalise on the incubator’s physical proximity to R&D facilities incorporating opportunities for concrete projects between the members of the incubators, the private sector, universities and the public sector.
Clusters should work together with incubators and support the entrepreneurial environment in the region.
Design cleantech incubator facilities to cater to different phases of the innovation process.
Recommendations for knowledge organisations:
Knowledge organisations should seek cooperation with authorities in designing eco-innovation policies and initiatives and helping to scope visions for the greening of regions, cities and communities and RIS3 development.
Facilitate or take an active role in project, programme and strategy implementation and the monitoring of activities, outcomes and impacts.
Cooperate with local SMEs and industries in developing and adopting good practices based on ecoinnovative solutions.
Recommendations for Civil Society organisations (CSOs): NGOs are in an ideal position to increase outreach and widen the impact of initiatives. It is therefore recommended that CSOs should
support eco-innovative or sustainable systems (e.g. recycling, eco-mobility and sustainable lifestyle), raise awareness of population and promote social innovations.
Create networks and mobilise local efforts for specific initiatives and projects.
Support the dissemination of eco-innovations, co-create and co-test new eco-innovations.
Participate in priority setting for eco-innovation initiative planning, as well as lobby for sustainable regulations and policy decisions.
Support local authorities in project planning, implementation and monitoring.
1. Introduction and Methodology Capitalisation is an increasingly important feature of European Territorial Cooperation Programmes (ETCs) and plays an essential role in exploiting the knowledge created by the projects funded by them. This report presents the capitalisation analysis of seven INTERREG IVC projects in the field of ecoinnovation. The report aims to help policymakers and practitioners to draw on the experiences of these projects and to develop effective eco-innovation policies and support instruments at regional, national and / or European levels.
1.1 Objectives and research questions The main objective of the INTERREG IVC programme's thematic capitalisation exercise is â€œto better exploit the knowledge resulting from projects working on a similar topic in particular for the benefit of local and regional authorities in Europeâ€?. The present capitalisation report analyses on-going and completed INTERREG IVC projects focusing on the field of eco-innovation. In order to reach the objective, the capitalisation exercise was designed to answer the following questions: 1. What are the common features / challenges / difficulties / successes among the projects of the same topic? 2. In particular, which are the similar or different solutions and good practices available in the partner regions that tackle the common challenges? How can these solutions, approaches and good practices add a competitive advantage in the involved regions? 3. Does one region have a particularly interesting or innovative practice or policy identified which would deserve to be made available to other regions in Europe? Is it easily transferable? What are the possibilities for up-scaling? 4. Has a project achieved a particular interesting result (e.g. in terms of good practices transferred or policies improved) which could be useful for the other projects in the same topic and more generally for other local/regional authorities dealing with that topic? What are the possibilities for up-scaling? 5. Do the participating regions identify core pre-requisites for a successful implementation of their regional policy in the domain tackled? How could these help the regions shape their policies and in particular their Smart Specialisation Strategies? 6. Which relevant state-of-the-art approaches from other EU (in particular ETC) Programmes and projects could be considered in order to validate the benchmark of the knowledge from INTERREG IVC? What is their learning effect on the still running INTERREG IVC projects? Are there possible synergies? 7. Based on the findings of the analysis, which results from the other capitalisation topics and even other ETC programmes (in particular URBACT, ESPON, and INTERACT) Capitalisation initiatives should be considered to enrich the conclusions and create mutual learning? 8. Can specific recommendations be provided to individual projects which may not be aware of important practices / policies or which may be less advanced and experienced than other projects. 9. Which are the unique features and the added value of the INTERREG IVC? How can INTERREG IVC projects contribute to the implementation of Europe 2020? Which links can be identified with the EU flagship initiatives in the thematic field analysed? 10. Which overall lessons learnt / policy recommendations can be drawn that could be useful for policymakers and practitioners at regional, national and/or European level? This consolidated report builds on the first year analysis by integrating updated information and findings from the projects and by addressing the above core questions. The exercise aims to analyse the INTERREG IVC programmeâ€™s contribution to the development of ecoinnovation in European regions and is intended to be of added-value for a wide range of programme stakeholders involved in the design and delivery of innovation, eco-innovation and sustainable growth support policies: 10
project leaders and partners;
European local, regional and national authorities;
and European policy and decision-makers.
It also seeks to give the INTERREG IVC programme bodies a clearer insight into achievements of the projects they finance, which may serve as an evidence base for strategic decision-making in the future.
1.2 Projects analysed in this exercise The eco-innovation capitalisation exercise covers seven projects addressing diverse dimensions of ecoinnovation ranging from cleantech incubation, to sustainable transport, to eco-management, to construction. The figure below presents the list of the analysed projects and their thematic focus. The detailed description of the projects can be found in Appendix 1. Figure 1: Lot 3 Eco-innovation projects of the INTERREG IVC programme
These seven projects involve a total of 73 partners from 22 EU Member States (see Figure 2 and Figure 4 below). The highest number of partners come from Italy, the UK, France and Finland. Among the project partners, there are 11 local public authorities, 22 regional public authorities and 2 national public authorities. The remaining 38 partners include universities, research organisations, associations and intermediary organisations.
Figure 2: INTERREG IVC Lot 3 projects overview Project
Priority and sub-theme
Type of project
Regional Initiative Project
Starting / end dates 01/01/2012 30/06/2014
1 487 632 €
# of partners 11
Country representation FI, FR, HU, IT, NL
Priority 1: Innovation and knowledge economy: Entrepreneurship & SMEs
Priority 1: Innovation and knowledge economy: Entrepreneurship & SMEs
Entrepreneurs & SME's working in the field of clean technology - Clean tech incubators Corporate Social Responsibility and its dimensions (economic, social and environmental)
1 136 410 €
Regional Initiative Project
1 160 627 €
1 474 214 €
BE, EL, ES, HE, IE, IT, LT, SI
Priority 1: Innovation and knowledge economy Innovation, Research & Technology Development
Governance of eco-innovation and green technologies private sector (in particular SMEs)
Regional Initiative Project
1 083 996 €
1 410 971 €
BE, DE, FI, FR, HU, IT, MT, NO, SE
Priority 1: Innovation and knowledge economy: Innovation, Research & Technology Development
Development of innovation and sustainable development
Regional Initiative Project
1 471 723 €
1 914 169 €
BG, DE, ES, FR, IT, PL, RO, SE, UK
Priority 1: Innovation and knowledge economy: Innovation, Research & Technology Development
Strengthening of sustainable value creation based on ecodesign/eco-innovation
Regional Initiative Project
1 625 377 €
2 138 224 €
FI, IE, IT, PL, RO, UK
Priority 1: Innovation and knowledge economy: Innovation, Research & Technology Developmen
Promotion of innovation for green transport
Regional Initiative Project
1 002 311 €
1 295 594 €
DE, ES, HU, IT, RO, SI, UK
Priority 1: Innovation and knowledge economy: Entrepreneurship & SMEs
Eco-innovation - Ecomanagement systems
Regional Initiative Project
1 162 975 €
1 442 593 €
AT, BG, CZ, EE, IT, PL, SI, UK
Figure 3: Types of organisations partnering in projects National Public Authority
Regional Public Authority
Local Public Authority 5
Body governed by public law 6
Figure 4: Eco-Innovation lot 3 project partners: geographic representation. Number of partners representing EU Member States Project
Kainuun Etu Ltd (FI) takes part in two projects: FRESH and ECOREGIONS, therefore counted here twice South West Regional Authority (IE) takes part in two projects: DESUR and FRESH, therefore counted here twice
1.3 Methodology and the report structure The methodology used for preparing the analysis for this report was based on the use of mixed methods in data collection and on different analytical tools. The main sources/tools were:
Desk research including review of progress reports, project website content, project publications (newsletters, presentations, reports, etc.), good practices database, and any other documentary sources
Survey among the project lead partners and partners
Two thematic workshops with project representatives4
Field visits to projects
Discussion with project lead partners and stakeholders during the meetings and over the phone
The report is presented in the following format: In Chapter 2 we discuss the policy context, including why eco-innovation matters and current EU and regional policy initiatives in the field. The analysis is presented in chapter 3, which includes several subsections. It starts with a presentation/analysis of the challenges confronting regions and solutions identified by the INTERREG IVC projects. Drivers and barriers to implementing the projects and project sustainability perspectives are presented in sections 3.2 and 3.3 respectively. In section 3.4 we discuss the impact of the projects in the target regions and possibilities for the dissemination of project results. In section 3.5 we analyse the impact of the projects on a wider level, specifically in the context of EU2020 objectives of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. We also discuss how projects link with the EU flagship initiatives. Section 3.6 discusses the contribution of the projects to regional policies including RIS3. Section 3.7 analyses the synergies of the projects with other European and regional, initiatives and with other capitalisation topics, as well as benchmarks the approaches adopted by them against the European state-of-art experience in promoting eco-innovations. Section 3.8 complements the earlier chapters with the discussion of the added value of the INTERREG IVC programme in the regions. The chapter concludes with lessons learnt in defining and implementation of eco-innovation good practices. Finally, in Chapter 4 we present recommendations for various groups of regional stakeholders, as well as for projects tackling different angels of eco-innovation.
The workshops were held in October 2012 and November 2013
2. Policy context 2.1 Why eco-innovation matters? Europe’s economy and citizens will have to confront a number of challenges in the decades to come. Many of these challenges are related to the environment and economic competitiveness. Both the environment and the economy matter, yet historically it has proved difficult to reconcile growth with protecting the environment. This is why, the European Union has set out a new strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, known as the Europe 2020 strategy (European Commission, 2010a). In this strategy, eco-innovation – in combining environmental and competitiveness challenges - plays a central role. Eco-industries and eco-innovation are an emerging market which, by offering the prospect of reconciling profitable investment, job creation and environmental sustainability, is increasingly attracting the interest of businesses and policymakers alike. This field has particular merit for public investment at a time of mounting economic and environmental pressures. Eco-innovation is not limited to a sector or a mere synonym for environmental technologies, goods or services, rather, it is cross-cutting. The pervasive nature of eco-innovation makes it challenging to capture its full scale and scope, as well as to measure it with existing statistical indicators. This characteristic also presents a challenge to policymakers, who are more familiar with clearly defined industry sectors. Figure 5: Definition of eco-innovation
The EU Eco-innovation Action Plan5 defines eco-innovation as, “any form of innovation resulting in or aiming at significant and demonstrable progress towards the goal of sustainable development, through reducing impacts on the environment, enhancing resilience to environmental pressures, or achieving a more efficient and responsible use of natural resources”. The Eco-Innovation Observatory (EIO) 6 defines eco-innovation as, “the introduction of any new or significantly improved product (good or service), process, organisational change or marketing solution that reduces the use of natural resources (including materials, energy, water and land) and decreases the release of harmful substances across the whole life-cycle”. EIO also recognises systemic eco-innovations, which can lead to systemic changes in both social (values, regulations, attitudes etc.) and technical (infrastructure, technology, tools, production processes etc.) spheres and, most importantly, in the relationships between them.
The past four decades have seen an unprecedented increase in fossil fuels use and resource extraction worldwide, which has increased pressure on the environment (Bringezu, Bleischwitz, 2011). This has, for example, generated the rising CO2 emissions that are causing climate change and it has resulted in the destruction of ecosystems and species and in threats to human health (Rogall, 2008). Today, we can identify cases where overuse has led to a crossing of planetary limits in terms of earth-system processes − such as in the cases of climate change and biodiversity (Rockstöm et al, 2009). Together with fast population and economic growth in developing countries, unsustainable production and consumption patterns, resource demand and thus extraction will increase considerably. Environmental pressures can therefore be expected to increase in parallel. Eco-innovation can contribute to reducing these environmental impacts as well as to a more efficient use of natural resources. Europe also faces challenges in terms of competitiveness and resources. With increasing demand for natural resources, uncertainties have arisen with regard to the future development of prices. In 2011, the Eurobarometer reported that 87% of European entrepreneurs expect a price increase for materials (Eurobarometer, 2011). Given the uneven distribution of resource deposits, Europe is dependent on the import of materials (Bleischwitz et al, 2009). Access to and efficient use of resources will therefore be
The EU Eco-innovation Action Plan text is available at http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:52011DC0899:EN:NOT 6 See the Eco-innovation Observatory (EIO) platform and resources at www.eco-innovation.eu. The methodological report provides a definition of the concepts and is available at www.eco-innovation.com/reports
an even more important objective in the future. Critical minerals such as Tantalum, Indium and others are essential for high-tech industries. European competitiveness is highly dependent on access to these resources.7 Eco-innovation offers a strategy for meeting both these challenges and by the same token to seize opportunities in new markets. There are several ways in which eco-innovation can address the challenges described above. These include:
Reduced resource inputs and procurement costs which allow companies to invest financial resources in other productive and innovative areas. The analysis of around 100 companies that implemented material efficiency measures reveals that typical investments pay off within 13 months.8
The more productive use of natural resources by at company level will result in an EU-wide increase of productivity.
Given that resource scarcities are likely to affect all countries globally, European businesses can enhance their strategic position on future markets for efficiency and “green” technologies. There are already 2.4 million jobs in eco-industries in Europe and demand for environmental technologies is increasing.
There is mounting evidence that eco-innovation in companies leads to improved capacity to capture new growth opportunities, as well as opportunities to strengthen companies’ image in the eyes of customers.
Developing and selling eco-innovative goods and services represents another broad type of economic opportunity. European eco-industries have already emerged as an important segment of the European economy, with an estimated annual turnover of €550 billion and 3.4 million people directly employed.9 The global market for environmental industries was worth €1.15 trillion in 2010, with the potential to grow to €2 trillion in 2020.10 In the longer term, boosting EU resource productivity by 30% by 2030 could increase GDP by nearly 1%, while creating over 2 million more jobs than in a business-as-usual scenario.11
Growing opportunities are expected in the market for systemic eco-innovations that reduce resource use across all aspects of the economy. 12 Examples are new business models based on the sharing of goods, new mobility schemes, product-service systems and sustainable industrial and urban symbiosis.13
All of the above points can contribute to improving Europe’s competitiveness as well as to using resources more efficiently and reducing environmental impacts. Thus, eco-innovations will be a key factor for a sustainable and competitive Europe in the future.
2.2 Eco-innovation in EU strategies and policies Eco-innovation has climbed the EU agenda over recent years, from the introduction of the Environmental Technologies Action Plan (ETAP) 14 in 2004, up to the recent approval of the Europe 2020 Strategy, which includes flagship initiatives focusing on innovation, resource efficiency and sustainable industries. At the end of 2011, the Eco-Innovation Action Plan (EcoAP)15 took over from ETAP and set out a new agenda for eco-innovation for the EC. The Action Plan includes targeted actions both with regard to the 7 This concern is reflected in EU actions on critical materials such as the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on Raw Materials. 8 The measures implemented with support from the German Material Efficiency Agency (DEMEAS). The analysis is presented in EIO (2012a), Eco-innovation in business: reducing cost and increasing profitability via material efficiency measures, EIO thematic brief N10. prepared by S. Fischer and M. O’Brien. Available on www.eco-innovation.com/reports 9 2012 figures; see http://ec.europa.eu/environment/enveco/jobs/pdf/jobs.pdf. 10 http://ec.europa.eu/environment/enveco/jobs/pdf/jobs.pdf. 11 http://ec.europa.eu/environment/ecoap/index_en.htm 12 EIO (2012). The Eco-Innovation Gap: An economic opportunity for business. Eco-Innovation Observatory. Funded by the European Commission, DG Environment, Brussels. 13
See Annex for definitions of “business models based on sharing of goods”, “new mobility schemes”, “product-service systems”, “industrial symbiosis”, “urban symbiosis.” 14 http://ec.europa.eu/environment/ecoap/about-action-plan/etap-previous-action-plan/index_en.htm 15 http://ec.europa.eu/environment/ecoap/index.htm
demand and supply side, on research and industry and on policy and financial instruments. In particular, it retains the priority areas of ETAP but also seeks to expand the focus from green technologies to all aspects of eco-innovation. The new Plan also tries to meet the challenges for jobs and economic growth in a resource-constrained world. The Commission has identified seven actions as key drivers for promoting eco-innovation: 1. using environmental policy and legislation as a driver to promote eco-innovation; 2. supporting demonstration projects and partnering to bring promising, smart and ambitious operational technologies to the market that have been suffering from low uptake; 3. developing new standards to boost eco-innovation; 4. mobilising financial instruments and support services for SMEs; 5. promoting international cooperation; 6. supporting the development of emerging skills, jobs and related training programmes to match labour market needs; 7. promoting eco-innovation through European Innovation Partnerships. A partnership-based approach between the private and public sectors and the European Commission supports the implementation of the EcoAP. A dedicated High-Level Working Group brings together the Member States to facilitate the exchange of information while providing stronger policy guidance at both EU and national levels. The Europe 2020 strategy16 includes a dedicated flagship initiative on “Resource Efficient Europe”17 (2011), which responds directly to the challenge of resource scarcity. Eco-innovation is also explicitly mentioned in the “Innovation Union” (2010)18 flagship initiative, which includes support to ecoinnovation among its strategic commitments for action. Another flagship initiative, “An Industrial Policy for the Globalisation Era” (2010),19 includes the issue of the sustainable supply and management of raw materials in the context of industrial processes. European Innovation Partnerships (EIPs) 20 are a new approach to EU research and innovation under the Innovation Union flagships. EIPs are challenge-driven, focusing on societal benefits and a rapid modernisation of the associated sectors and markets. The EIPs address such areas as Agriculture and Sustainable Production, Smart Cities and Communities, Water, Raw Materials and Active and Healthy Ageing. Sustainability and eco-innovations are explicitly or implicitly promoted in each partnership. Eco-innovation has been explicitly addressed in European support programmes such as the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP), the environmental research and Eco-Innovera scheme under the 7th Framework Programme for Research (FP7) 21, as well as the LIFE+ Programme22. Policy and governance support component however varies, depending on the budget allocated to each programme, the scope of the issues covered, the stakeholders addressed and the salience of eco-innovation as an issue. In addition, the exact understanding and scope of ecoinnovation differs among these programmes. The new Horizon 2020 programme23 has a simplifying approach to eco-innovation support by bringing the research and innovation programmes under one roof. Sustainable development will be an overarching objective of Horizon 2020. The dedicated funding for climate action and resource efficiency will be supplemented through the other specific objectives of Horizon 2020, entailing that at least 60% of the €80bn budget will be related to sustainable development.
http://ec.europa.eu/europe2020/index_en.htm http://ec.europa.eu/resource-efficient-europe/ 18 http://ec.europa.eu/research/innovation-union/index_en.cfm 19http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/policies/industrial-competitiveness/industrialpolicy/files/communication_on_industrial_policy_en.pdf 20 http://ec.europa.eu/research/innovation-union/index_en.cfm?pg=eip 21 http://ec.europa.eu/research/fp7/index_en.cfm A key issue in FP7 is to integrate competitiveness, innovation and sustainability into the research activities. 22 http://ec.europa.eu/environment/life/ Eco-innovation and environmental technologies are part of the Environment Policy and Governance component of LIFE+. 23 http://ec.europa.eu/research/horizon2020/index_en.cfm 17
2.3 Eco-innovation in EU regional policies The importance given to sustainable development and the fight against climate change is illustrated by the changes introduced with the legislative package framing the EU cohesion policy for 2014-2020. As part of its effort to focus resources on a smaller number of priorities, the European Commission proposed that Member States and regions concentrate resources on thematic priorities directly linked to the Europe 2020 objectives. This includes the shift towards a low-carbon economy; climate change adaptation, risk prevention and management, environmental protection and resource efficiency. In order to ensure that EU investments are concentrated on these priorities, the new framework establishes minimum allocations for a number of priority areas. In more developed and transitional regions, “at least 80% of ERDF resources at national level should be allocated to energy efficiency and renewables, innovation and SME support, of which at least 20% should be allocated to energy efficiency and renewables.”24 Less developed regions will have to devote at least 50% of ERDF resources to energy efficiency and renewables, innovation, and SME support (see Figure 6 below). Figure 6: Concentration of ERDF funds by thematic priorities and types of regions in 2014-2020
Source : http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/what/future/hlg_documents_en.cfm#7 Note: white segments of the chart represent allocations for the European Social fund (min 25%), safety net of previous allocations and EU co-financing for a wider range of activities.
In the coming years, EU Regional Policy will become one of the main EU policies fostering ecoinnovation as a response to the challenges of sustainable energy, climate change and the depletion of natural resources. It is expected to play a pivotal role in strengthening both the sustainability and competitiveness of European regions. Furthermore, the next programming period of the Cohesion Policy (2014-2020) will concentrate public investment on a limited number of growth-enhancing investment priorities. The availability of the Regional Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation (RIS3) will be a precondition for eligibility to regional funding. In light of the challenges posed by environmental degradation, climate change and resource scarcity, the EU Member States and regions are encouraged to integrate the sustainability objectives into their RIS3. Under the RIS3, smart growth, and sustainable growth are seen as ‘two sides of the same coin’, while eco-innovation will be at the heart of RIS3.25 Regions also need to use the innovation-orientated Thematic Objectives of the future regional policy to build a low-carbon economy and promote sustainable and smart growth.
European Commission (2011a) Cohesion Policy 2014-2020 Investing in growth and jobs. Available at: http://ec.europa.eu/inforegio 25 Technopolis & EC (2012) Connecting Smart and Sustainable Growth through Smart Specialisation – A Practical Guide for Managing Authorities, Link: http://s3platform.jrc.ec.europa.eu/documents/10157/0/greengrowth.pdf
3. Analysis 3.1 Challenges in regions and solutions identified by INTERREG IVC projects 3.1.1 Regional challenges calling for eco-innovative solutions There are many challenges that need eco-innovative solutions. The most common global environmental challenges are growing pressure on the environment, shrinking natural resources and increasing prices, aggravating climate change and concern over what heritage will be left for future generations are the. On the other hand most European regions are facing common economic challenges, which have become even more pressing as a result of the economic crisis. Regions are struggling to drive economic recovery and to secure jobs and stability for their economies. There is a growing understanding that running local and national economies on the basis of “business as usual” is not a sustainable option. Viable solutions that compromise neither our environment, nor the economic development are urgently being sought. Today, we can see an increasing number of interesting success stories in promoting eco-innovations in Europe. However, there are still considerable disparities in eco-innovation performance across EU regions. Many are facing operational and capability challenges preventing them from making the right choice of policy instruments and methods to implement workable strategies and plans. At the same time, this challenge offers a large window of opportunity for cross-regional learning. But to benefit from these opportunities the links and the exchange processes among regions need to be facilitated. The regions that have been involved in INTERREG IVC projects tackle these common challenges by addressing more specific challenges and objectives such as:
building the capabilities of regional authorities in decision-making and policy planning for ecoinnovations
strengthening the innovativeness and environmental performance of, as well as eco and socially responsible approaches in, SMEs and large companies alike
fostering regional research, innovation and economic capacities and environmental sustainability by supporting cleantech incubators and clusters
promoting innovation and dissemination of better green technologies, e.g. in the green energy, transport and sustainable construction sectors
strengthening sustainable value chains via promoting eco-design and eco-innovations
Different approaches to address eco-innovation challenges Although there is an eco-innovation focus in all the projects, the approaches to eco-innovation used vary significantly among and within them. As a result, the good practices identified in the projects also vary significantly. In Figure 7 below we provide an overview of the main types of focus developed by the projects. The figure does not seek to provide the basis for categorisation of the projects but instead aims to illustrate the diversity of approaches developed by them. It must be kept in mind that each of the points included are not mutually exclusive and projects have often included several of these dimensions in their design.
Technologies: Some projects explicitly aim at supporting the development and uptake of environmental technologies. The PROSESC project for example supported the development of electric-vehicle technologies, while ECOREGIONS and FRESH identified several good practices based on specific innovative technologies (e.g. heat pump, low impact building, biogas production, non-industrial waste biosizer, etc.).
Sectors: Although eco-innovation is not limited to any particular economic sector26, certain projects have decided to focus on particular sectors. Again, the PROCESC project focuses on the transport sector, while the FRESH project has chosen to focus on the construction sector by introducing eco-
Eco-innovation is a process that can take place at any point in the value chain and any sector in the economy
design principles and CIE identified cleantech as a broader sectoral area covering green, sustainable products, services, processes and technologies.
Policies: While all projects seek to influence the policy framework by introducing better policy measures or shaping regional strategies, some of them have a stronger focus on strengthening policies and the roles of regional policymakers in support of eco-innovation (e.g. ECREIN+, FRESH). Other projects focus on policies in selected areas, such as supporting cleantech incubation in CIE, eco-management and eco-design in RECOMMEND, cluster policies in PROSESC and corporate social responsibility policies in DESUR.
Capacity building: Some projects have been designed to facilitate the development of processes with regard to institutional capacity building at the regional level. The PROSESC project for example seeks to promote the “transfer of academic and expert know-how on cluster support to regional policymakers”, while ECREIN+ seeks to strengthen the capacities of regional policymakers to effectively design, implement and evaluate eco-innovation support policy instruments. RECOMMEND focuses on capacity building in eco-management and eco-design expertise in companies in its partner regions. The CIE project is explicitly designed to facilitate the incubation of young eco-innovating SMEs, which otherwise face difficulties in starting the business and entering the market.
Target groups: Some projects explicitly target certain populations/groups. DESUR and ECOREGIONS place a strong emphasis on supporting the uptake of eco-innovation among SMEs. The CIE project targets cleantech incubators and start-up SMEs nurtured within these incubators.
Figure 7: Approaches to eco-innovation identified in the projects
The diversity of approaches to eco-innovation that can be found within the selected INTERREG IVC projects also stems from the fact that the notion itself is rather broad and cross-cutting. Eco-innovation is also a young concept, which means that the use of the term in the policy-making sphere is in some cases rather vague. Projects often use terms like eco-innovation, eco-businesses, eco-technologies and green growth indiscriminately, which in some cases leads to a lack of clear-cut conceptual frameworks and scope.
3.1.2 Solutions and good practices promoted via interregional cooperation The seven projects analysed addressed the above mentioned challenges by organising cooperation among different regions for the purpose of mutual learning. Key in this process was the identification of best practices for eco-innovation coupled with the provision of peer support in learning and adopting best practices to a region wishing to â€˜importâ€™ an identified practice. By June 2014 out of the 94 good practices identified by the projects27, six had been transferred and 58 policies and policy instruments had been improved or developed. Some of them are being incorporated in regional development plans. Furthermore, a number of good practices are in a process of preparation for transfer to a different region.
Figure 8: Good practices statistics across projects Project
No. of good practices identified
No. of good practices successfully transferred
No. of policies and instruments improved or developed
CIE DESUR ECOREGIONS ECREIN + FRESH PROSESC RECOMMEND
13 14 1028 13 1529 12 17
2 0 1 0 2 1 0
6 7 10 12 8 7 8
Regional authorities and stakeholders can make use of a wide range of good practices in order to promote eco-innovation. This diversity is clearly illustrated when looking at the good practices identified by the projects. The good practices fall into three categories including project policy good practices, support tool/methodological good practices and technological good practices (see figure below).
Figure 9: Three categories of good practices promoted by the projects Eco-innovation Policy Good Practices
Eco-innovation Support tools Good Practices
Eco-innovative Technological Good Practices
successful examples of specific policy measures that directly or indirectly stimulate various types of eco-innovations
support tools, methods, guidelines that (indirectly) assist policymakers and ecoinnovators in making informed decision
including various technical ecoinnovative solutions, often a demonstration projects being disseminated
Grants, innovation vouchers, green standards for new buildings, green public procurement, RIS3 strategies, networking initiatives, incubators and clusters
benchmarking instruments, green technology atlas, the genuine progress indicator
Low energy/Zero emission building, new model of biogas plant, e-car battery recharging infrastructure
This number refers to the good practices reported to INTERREG IVC JTS. The actual number of identified good practices is 147 (see the following footnotes). 28 This number refers to the good practices reported to INTERREG IVC JTS by ECOREGION project. The actual number of identified good practices was 27. 29 This number refers to the good practices reported to INTERREG IVC JTS by FRESH project. The actual number of identified good practices was 51.
Measures promoting eco-innovation are primarily a mix of market-based and regulatory tools. However, there are several other dimensions that distinguish eco-innovation policy initiatives from each other. These include the funding mode, the specific relevance of the focus, the specific phase of the innovation chain and the thematic focus of the policy instrument being used. The following table presents the main criteria used to define how eco-innovation policy instruments can be classified. It is important to remember that the following criteria are not mutually exclusive, meaning that several may apply to a single policy instrument.
Figure 10: Multi-dimensional framework for the categorisation of good practices Criteria
Groups Non-financial support measures
Financial and nonfinancial measure
Supply-side and demand-side
Financial support measures: guarantees, loans, fiscal incentives, grants/subsidies/vouchers, venture capital Supply-side focus: equity/business support, support for R&D: basic research, support for R&D: applied research, support for R&D: development and demonstration; education, training and mobility; networks and partnerships Demand-side focus: regulations and standards; public procurement; guarantees and other support for additional risks of early buyers; export promotion activities; support for private demand Relevant for eco-innovation but eco-innovation is not specifically focused
Specific relevance for eco-innovation
Focused on eco-innovation but applicable in other areas of innovation Only possible in area of eco-innovation (e.g. a regulation) Generic
Focused on an environmental issue: resource efficiency, energy efficiency Focused on environmental management processes: eco-management, eco-design
Measurement/ benchmark instruments, eco-innovation strategies, eco-innovative solutions (product, process, technology), assessment tools
The overall trends across good practices analysed are the following:
Funding mode - financial VS non-financial: Among the policy-related good practices, the large majority are non-financial support instruments. Financial measures based good practices are exclusively focused on grants, subsidies and vouchers. Other types of financial support measures, such as guarantees, loans, fiscal incentives, or venture capital, are not addressed by the projects.
Supply VS demand side: A majority of good practices have a supply-side focus and support networks, partnerships, clusters, education, training and mobility. Demand-side eco-innovation support good practices are relatively scarce. The majority of these focus on adopting regulations, standards, and one promotes sustainable public procurement.
Eco-innovation VS generic focus: Many good practices have a strong focus on eco-innovation, but there are a number of examples where good practices have a broader innovation focus.
Thematic coverage: the most popular themes addressed by the good practices are sustainable energy, sustainable construction, transport, cleantech incubation and sustainable business.
3.1.3 Examples of good practices and solutions from regions The following section presents the most interesting good practices and solutions that have been identified or considered for dissemination to other regions during the analysis.
PROJECT: CLEANTECH INCUBATION EUROPE - CIE During 2012-2013 the project partners analysed the local situation and put forward cleantech cluster and incubator good practices. By mid-2014, 13 examples of good practices had been identified, and two have been prepared for transfer. The ones being transferred are the ‘Starup Sauna’ from Helsinki and the ‘YES!Delft’ incubator, a model developed in the Netherlands. The project is also looking into good practices for cleantech clusters and incubators that exist outside the geographic scope of the project. In particular, there is interest in the Copenhagen cleantech cluster (CCC), which is one of the most successful clusters globally, as well as, in the Danish cleantech cluster support policy in general.
StartUp Sauna pre-incubator programme, Finland
Contributor: City of Helsinki and GreenNet Finland Start-up Sauna, founded in 2010, is a non-profit organisation for start-ups and aspiring entrepreneurs in Northern and Eastern Europe and Russia. Its aim is to create a flourishing start-up ecosystem and a pay-it-forward culture in the regions in order to make it the best place for start-ups. In practice, Start-up Sauna consists of three different operations: 1) An internship programme for aspiring entrepreneurs to work at high-growth companies in Helsinki and in Silicon Valley. More than 60 interns have already been matched up through the programme. 2) An accelerator programme for early-stage start-ups from Northern Europe and Russia, where the companies are coached by experienced entrepreneurs and investors in an intense one-month programme in Helsinki. Ninety companies have graduated from the programme since 2010, with more than US$ 34 million of funding raised. 3) The Slush conference, which brings together the early-stage start-up ecosystem in the region to meet top-tier venture capitalists and media from around the world. In 2013, Slush gathered more than 7 000 attendees, 1 200 companies, over 100 international VC funds, 300 angel investors and 400 media representatives. Start-up Sauna is physically located in a co-working space on Aalto University’s campus in Espoo, Finland, where many events and Start-up Sauna programmes also take place. Run by its own foundation, Start-up Sauna is funded by Aalto University, Teknologiateollisuus, Sitra and Tekes, among others. Inspired by a visit to Start-up Sauna in Helsinki a pre-incubation programme called LaunchLab has been set up in Delft. The Incubator YES!Delft, used the interior design of Sauna as an inspiration in their own building, but also took over their concept of a pre-incubation programme to create and facilitate new start-ups. The pre-incubation programme is based on the Lean start-up concept. With the help of this pre-incubation facility, start-ups that are not ready yet to become SMEs are enrolled in a 12-week programme where they test their ideas with potential customers. In Helsinki, with minimal resources a very lively and inspiring environment has been created.
Yes!Delft incubator, the Netherlands Contributor: City of Delft and TUDelft YES!Delft is a high-tech entrepreneur centre with a mission to inspire students, professionals, and scientists to take their first steps on the path to becoming an entrepreneur and offers them the necessary support to turn their venture into a success. YES!Delft focuses on entrepreneurs with concrete ideas for technological, innovative products or processes with growth potential. It supports them in numerous ways:
By inspiring future entrepreneurs by explaining the potential benefits and opportunities of entrepreneurship.
By educating students and young entrepreneurs through high quality training programmes allowing them to lay down a solid foundation for their own company.
By incubating and helping promising companies to grow: Yes!Delft provides office space and a range of (technological) facilities, providing access to an interesting international network and optimal knowledge sharing conditions.
Over a hundred companies have already made a successful start through Yes!Delft. These companies have had an impact in numerous technological industries: medical technology, clean-tech, ICT, industrial applications and consumer products. Success stories from Yes!Delft include companies such as Epyon Power, Senz Umbrellas, Ephicas and Ampelmann Operations. Managers from Opportunity Peterborough visited Delft in order to see the YES!Delft incubator, the Delft BioProcess Facility, and RDM campus Innovation Dock. As a follow-up, Opportunity Peterborough has convinced the local stakeholders to include the incubation facilities in the funding priorities of the new local development strategy. The good practice transfer was encouraged by the high aspirations of the city of Peterborough, which is also aiming to become a smart city and won the UK national Future Cities competition. The policy environment is therefore conducive to incorporating the cleantech incubation good practices into the city development plans.
The Copenhagen cleantech cluster, Denmark (CCC) Contributor: the Delft University of Technology
Source: www.stateofgreen.com / Climate Consortium Denmark CCC was launched by Danish cleantech companies, research institutions, and public organisations with the vision to develop one of the world's leading and most renowned cleantech clusters, to create superior value for the cluster companies and research communities and to differentiate the cluster by tying cleantech technologies and communities together across sectors, value chains and borders. It is funded by the Capital Region of Denmark, the Danish region of Sjælland, and EU structural funds. The objectives of CCC are to (1) create continuous growth for existing cleantech companies, (2) support and assist new cleantech companies, and (3) attract more foreign cleantech companies to the region. CCC focuses on 4 major cleantech areas: wind energy, bio-energy, smart energy system integration, and fuel cell use and involves the cooperation of the following stakeholders:
Research institutions: the Danish Hydraulic Institute (DHI), the Risø Danish Technical University (DTU), the University of Copenhagen, the Copenhagen Resource Institute, the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS)
Industry: Siemens, Novozymes, Haldor Topsøe, Better Place, Vestas, Ernst & Young, Oland, SeasNVE, Deloitte, Dong Energy
Governmental institutions: Copenhagen Capacity, the Confederation of Danish Industry, Scion DTU, Symbion Science Park, EnergyMap.dk, Business Frederikssund, Municipality of Roskilde and Kalund-borg, Business Link
Non-governmental organisations (NGOs)
Within the CCC, there are three incubators: Vaeksthus/CompanyHouse (a national generalist incubator service to both technology and service start-ups in all industries), Symbion (which focuses on business support, coaching pre-seed, and seed investment programmes), and CAT Science (which plays a role in providing a seed fund to innovative start-ups).
PROJECT: FORWARDING REGIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABLE HIERARCHIES - FRESH The FRESH project was completed in 2013, with significant achievements. Better policies, organisational learning, and regional development insights came about through the identification of high quality good practices and the efforts made for their transfer or mainstreaming. It is interesting to see that this project, in comparison to the others analysed, had the largest number and the widest diversity of good practices, which ranged from policy measures, to technologies, governance/planning and information/learning tools and benchmarking instruments. The project resulted in the identification of 51 good practices30. Twelve of them were prioritised as better practices, some of which have been prepared for transfer between partners (see Figure 11 below). By early 2014 two good practices had been transferred, including the Genuine Progress Indicator and The Code for Sustainable Homes (see descriptions below).
of which 15 were reported to INTERREG IVC JTS, as presented in Figure 8
Figure 11: Prioritised good practices of the FRESH project
Source: FRESH project
Many of the identified good practices are interesting for partner regions (as well as potentially interesting to other EU regions) and some of them are relatively easily transferable due to the low cost of implementation and minimal learning needed for their uptake. Examples include the Genuine Progress Indicator, regional planning guidelines or sustainable public procurement regulations. Below we present good practices that may be of interest to other regions.
Genuine Progress Indicator, Finland Contributor: the Regional Council of Päijät Häme The Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) tries to capture the economic, social and environmental dimensions of well-being into one single measure through the deliberate pricing of environmental degradation, resource depletion and social aspects. It accounts for non-market services and benefits that are ignored in the traditional national accounting framework and compensates for negative externalities (types of expenditure with compensation or time loss) due to social inequality, working life and urbanisation. It is therefore a good measurement for sustainable value creation development. The GPI has been tested internationally since 1996. Two FRESH regions, the West region in Romania and the Veneto region in Italy, proceeded to test the feasibility of GPI at regional level. The testing proved challenging, but regions did succeed in adopting it. The outcomes were that the West region Romania has adopted a two-dimensional indicator and produced a report analysing its performance based on this indicator. The case of Veneto is very different to the case of Romania. Veneto has managed to introduce a 3-dimensional indicator, which has allowed them to be among the few EU regions to lead in GPI application.
Code for Sustainable Homes, United Kingdom Contributor: London Thames Gateway Development Corporation The Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH) is a standard for sustainable construction and an assessment method for housing projects. It was introduced in the UK in April 2007 as a voluntary national standard to improve the overall sustainability of new homes by laying down a single framework within which the home building industry can design and construct homes to higher environmental standards. In 2010, it became the mandatory standard. It measures the environmental impact and potential running costs against nine design categories (Energy & CO2 emissions, Water, Materials, Surface water run-off, Waste, Pollution, Health and wellbeing, Management and Ecology), rating the ‘whole home’ as a complete package. The CSH is a tool par excellence for the public sector. It has been retained as one of the cross-cutting good practices of FRESH, and several partner regions are introducing it in their region.
Sustainability oriented RIS3 strategy of Päijät Häme, Finland Contributor: Regional Council of Päijät Häme The regional innovation strategy for 2009-2015 (RIS2009) addresses how Päijät Häme, a medium-sized region in the EU will take on global competition and, for that purpose, how it organises collaboration in and across the innovation and regional development community. It is focused on sustainable development, uses related variety methods to orient innovation and builds on the local knowledge and expertise. The core objectives of the strategy are:
Strengthening regional spearheads: the Cleantech cluster, design and innovation;
Developing the approach and instruments to promote innovation and innovation-related business;
Organising and coordinating the education and research community to enable it to support the region in achieving its vision and strategic regional development objectives;
Defining the steps to improve the innovation environment and meeting the objectives of the region’s competitiveness and business strategy.
RIS2009 is the result of a very long process in Päijät Häme and reflects regional development priorities towards green solutions that had already been expressed in the early 1990s. It was selected as a good practice because of the combination of two factors: the strength of RIS2009 as a smart specialisation strategy with a special focus on sustainable development and, at the same time, its transferability. One 27
of the most important aspects of RIS2009 is that it builds on long-term knowledge base in the region. Second, it targets critical aspects of the regional innovation system and focuses on smart specialisation. Third, it orchestrates the involvement of development stakeholders and promotes a strong collaborative approach. Last but not least, it addresses globalisation and the international competitiveness of the region. One of the tangible results of the good practice is the MERA model demonstrating sustainable construction solutions for housing. Another important result is the positioning of Lahti region among the most innovative in Finland.
Sustainable Procurement Regulation, Finland Contributor: Kainuun Etu Ltd. and the Joint Authority of the Kainuu Region
Source: FRESH project
The Board of Directors of the Regional Council of Kainuu approved the new sustainable procurement regulation on 21st January 2013. The new regulation imports good practices from FRESH, namely provisions of the TC/CEN 350 regulating standards for sustainability of construction works31. By doing so it opens the door for the uptake of such advanced sustainable construction tools as the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM)32 and the Code for Sustainable Homes. It also facilitates development actions supporting the performance of the construction sector of Kainuu in the forthcoming Construction Products Regulation (CPR). This was also a result of cooperation and cross fertilisation with the SCINET33 (Sustainable Construction & Innovation through Procurement) project supported by the European Commissionâ€™s CIP programme under the Lead Market Initiative.
Regional Planning Guidelines, Ireland Contributor: Mid-West Regional Authority This good practice provides a methodology for creating evidence-based policy and decision-making consensus around potentially conflicting issues, such as land use, urban infrastructures (water, electricity, etc.) and so on. It has led to rationalised land use planning, ensuring the affordable cost of infrastructures, environmental protection and accessibility to services. This means it impacts positively on all three dimensions of sustainability: environmental, economic and social.
FLASH sustainability programme, UK Contributor: London Thames Gateway Development Corporation The FLASH programme, partially funded by the European Regional Development Fund, provides a range of business support services to London-based SMEs working in construction or other built environment industries, technologies, and professions. It has been designed to help these businesses to seize the commercial opportunities arising from the move towards a low-carbon economy. The built environment has an important role to play in meeting targets to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. This includes retrofitting existing buildings to perform more efficiently. This sector offers good economic and business opportunities. However, SMEs in the construction industry are often poorly 31
CEN/TC 350 is responsible for the development of voluntary methods for the assessment of the sustainability aspects of new and existing construction works and for standards for the environmental product declaration of construction products. The standards will describe a harmonised methodology for the assessment of the environmental performance of buildings and lifecycle cost performance of buildings as well as the quantifiable performance aspects of the health and comfort of buildings. 32 BREEAM (Building Research Establishment (BRE) Environmental Assessment Method) is an environmental assessment method and rating system for buildings. BREEAM sets the standard for best practice in sustainable building design, construction, and operation and has become one of the most comprehensive and widely recognised measures of a building's environmental performance. It encourages designers, clients, and others to think about low-carbon and low-impact design, minimising the energy demands created by a building before considering energy efficiency and low-carbon technologies. 33 http://www.sci-network.eu
trained and/or unable to afford training that would enable them to benefit from the opportunities afforded by housing retrofit programmes. The FLASH programme equips London SMEs with skills to capitalise on these opportunities through providing the technical and business support such as:
Networking meetings for SMEs with architects, surveyors, engineers, plumbers, electricians, builders as well as suppliers and installers of energy efficiency and renewable energy products, and financers. Through these networks, SMEs can also take part in site visits to new build and retrofit demonstrator projects.
Building innovation capacities by working with the School of Architecture and Construction and the Business School at the University of Greenwich. SMEs can obtain support to improve their operations and performance, develop innovation capacity and ultimately achieve business growth. This is done via practical, interactive workshops, networking opportunities, access to student and academic resources and innovation coaching.
Providing environmental improvement services to SMEs. The services help companies achieve reductions in energy, water, and materials use, thereby cutting carbon emissions and operational costs.
The programme assisted over 1 000 SMEs over three years via seminars, site visits and technical support. It is estimated that 100 new jobs have been created in SMEs.
Law 4/2007 fostering the creation of a sustainable construction market, Italy Contributor: Veneto Region Since the early 2000s, Veneto has developed legislation supporting the localisation of clusters in the region (Law 87/2003). In 2007 this approach was reinforced by the introduction of sustainable construction priorities via Law 4/2007. The creation and growth of the sustainable construction market, development of the competences and research in Veneto is one of the successes of the region. The objective of the Regional law 4/2007 is to promote the sustainability performance of construction simultaneously with the creation of a localised market. It effectively addresses the sustainable construction challenges through a combination of supply and demand measures that involve the whole supply chain of construction. Article 1 of Law 4/2007 defines the concept of 'sustainable' as compliance of design-based construction with the "compatibility of buildings with the environment and improvement of the requirements of quality of life." Article 2 defines the areas of sustainable construction: energy savings; use of renewable forms of energy; rainwater re-use; promotion of welfare, health and hygiene of the users; avoidance of polluting materials and components; promotion of materials recycling; and promotion of products manufactured with low energy consumption; The procurements provisions for construction materials set under the Law include low-impact features and being considered as “eco-bio”, addressing the re-use of materials and traditional products, whose features must correspond to sustainability specifications. The key aspect of the Law is that each construction project deserves funding support if it satisfies criteria that prove the sustainability of the operation. These criteria are: 1) external environmental quality; 2) resource consumption; 3) environmental weight; 4) indoor environmental quality; 5) service quality; 6) management quality; 7) transports. The Veneto Region organised open calls and awarded grants (€5 000 - €25 000) on a competitive basis. In 2007-2009 €3.5 million was dedicated to the winners of these competitions. Eligible candidates for the competitions were construction companies, architects / designers / engineers, housing cooperatives and private and public bodies involved in construction.
PROJECT: REGIONS USING ECO-MANAGEMENT FOR ECO-INNOVATION DEVELOPMENT RECOMMEND The RECOMMEND project has focused on the identification of policy good practices, which could be adopted by regional governments often in cooperation with local stakeholders. Below we present examples of the most interesting good practices. In the first year of the project’s implementation, the partners identified 15 good practices. The majority of good practices collected are grant schemes (8), four of which are green innovation voucher schemes. Other good practices are accreditation / certification schemes (3), eco-innovative clusters (2) as well as one voluntary agreement and one open scheme (operational programme). By early 2014 the project had progressed with identifying two more good practices and preparing five of them for transfer. However no transfer has been accomplished yet. The insights into their transferability have been noted in the good practice analysis report 34, which cautions that a “policy instrument cannot be transferred in its entirety into a different regional context; each good practice has to be broken down into its different constituents or aspects which then can be transferred and adopted to a new regional or local context”. Regions have confirmed this by pointing out that their good practices can be transferred, but attention has to be paid to a careful adaptation to the regional context. SBToolCZ, Czech Republic Contributor: Ekoport SBToolCZ is a demand-side eco-management instrument. It is based on the international SBTool (Sustainable Building Tool) developed by an International Initiative for Sustainable Built Environment (iiSBE). It has been developed by the Faculty of Civil Engineering (Czech Technical University) in Prague. It is a certification tool for the evaluation of construction quality in accordance with sustainable construction principles. It is proposed to architects, engineers, and building firms. The certification scheme acts as a marketing tool and as inspiration for new innovative solutions. The main aims are to eliminate buildings’ environmental impacts, to improve energy efficiency (in accordance with EU directive 2010/31/EU), to improve the interior environment in buildings, and ultimately to stimulate the demand for sustainable construction. Certification costs vary between € 200-2 000, depending on the scale of the project. Certification is carried out by authorised auditors. The administering agency is the Faculty of Civil Engineering at the Czech Technical University in Prague. There is also a National SBToolCZ Platform, which serves as a tool for investors, developers, designers, and professionals in the Czech Republic. It positively influences the quality of the Czech building industry and keeps it on top level of sustainable building trends.
Investors in the Environment, UK Contributor: Peterborough Environment City Trust and Opportunity Peterborough Investors in the Environment (IiE)35 is a demand-side measure; a not-for-profit environmental accreditation scheme, designed to help businesses to save money and reduce their impact on the environment. It is designed to fill a gap in the accreditation market, namely that ISO-14001 certification can be expensive and difficult for smaller businesses to obtain. IiE is applicable to all businesses and has its own Environmental Management System. The scheme helps to promote environmentally-friendly business through regular networking events and media exposure. Its start-up was initially supported by the Environment Capital Partnership, the Environment Agency and Peterborough City Council and other bodies, but IiE is now financially selfsustaining, as companies pay for their accreditation. The initial start-up funding was £12 500, made
through initial LPSA funding. Over 700 companies have pledged to seek accreditation, with 100 having done so already. There are three levels of accreditation: bronze, silver and green. Charges for accreditation vary (£150800) depending on the accreditation level desired and the number of employees. Initially accreditation was for SMEs, but is now open to any business looking to apply. The scheme has been franchised in Yorkshire and is being examined by other English regions. Ökomanagement Niederösterreich Eco-Managememnt Vouchers, Austria Contributor: Lower Austrian Regional Government Ökomanagement Niederösterreich is a demand side voucher scheme administered by the Lower Austrian Regional Government Department of Environmental Economics. It encourages enterprises and municipalities to begin the process of environmental management by providing them with access to environmental management systems and external expertise. The instrument, running since 1998, issues vouchers to cover 50% of the cost of one of 150 consultants registered with the Ökomanagement database. The remaining 50% of the cost is to be covered by the beneficiary company to show their commitment to environmental measures. Vouchers can act as the most non-bureaucratic way to motivate potential beneficiaries. By requiring environmental measures to be registered, the vouchers are counted towards the regions climate targets. In order to make the scheme as simple and administratively straightforward as possible, there are three different classifications of recipient. Classification determines the upper limit of funding that a company can receive:
Pioneer: small enterprises and small municipalities receive two days of funded project consultation at a maximum of €1 020;
Professional: medium enterprises, tourism enterprises, education centres and municipalities receive four days of funded consultation at a maximum of €1 700;
Champion: industrial firms, large municipalities and hospitals receive up to eight days of funded consultation, at a maximum of €3 060.
All companies that receive a voucher have access to environmental management systems and must implement one to three environmental measures. Champion companies are required to implement EMAS or ISO 14001. Funding is only paid to the expert after the environmental measures to be taken have been registered with the Ökomanagement database and following a half-day check that measures have been carried out. The scheme has been very successful, with a large number of participants, including 700 participants over the last four years. It operates on a budget of €900 000 per annum. Although similar systems are operational in all Austrian regions, it is only Lower Austria where the three-level voucher system is used.
National Innovation Fund of Bulgaria, Bulgaria Contributor: Union of Bulgarian Black Sea Local Authorities The National Innovation Fund is a supply side measure, providing financial support to innovative SMEs and promoting the implementation of scientific and applied research projects and feasibility studies, to be absorbed by new or improved products, processes and services. The instrument assigns funding based on the basis of the quality of the proposal, and in order to qualify, the projects must be transformative, upscalable, sustainable, and result in additional benefits to society, especially environmental benefits (energy saving, resource efficiency, emission reductions, etc.). The Fund came into operation in 2005, in accordance with the Council of the European Union’s Innovation Strategy of Bulgaria (8/8/2004). It is administered by the Bulgarian Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion Agency, a body under the Minister of the Economy. Its overall budget for the period 2009-2013 was €133m, working out at around €26 600 000 per year. This was by far the largest budget of any instrument surveyed, and reflects that it is a national scheme with broad target sectors. The funding rate was 50% of the cost of research projects, 25% of the costs of development projects and 50% of the costs of feasibility studies. The maximum grant for R&D was €255 623 and the duration
of implementation 12-36 months. Maximum funding for a feasibility study was €25 562 with a duration of implementation of 12 months. It has been a successful scheme, with 788 proposals submitted since its establishment, resulting in the signing of 319 contracts, amounting to a total of €47million in funding given. Applications for funding were assessed according to the following criteria:
Whether the project is aimed at reaching a new and significant scientific or technological achievement;
Whether it brings additional benefits to society (including environmental protection, energy efficiency, reduced emissions, etc.);
How the project will develop new products and services that can be commercialised;
If the new development leads to a change in production technology and product quality.
REMake Green Innovation Vouchers, Germany Contributor: the German Material Efficiency Agency (demea) REMake Green Innovation Vouchers are a two-stage voucher scheme (auditing and implementation) set up to give easy access to public funding for manufacturing SMEs looking to become more environmentally friendly and save resources. They are mostly a demand-side instrument, allowing SMEs to hire an external expert to assess resource use and waste production and then oversee the introduction of new technologies and services (technology transfer). Voucher schemes have met with success in a number of countries, and Germany ran a trial from September 1st 2010 to March 31st 2011, before launching the scheme fully on April 1st 2011. The rationale behind the vouchers is that SMEs have many innovative ideas but cannot always implement them due to a lack of technical or business expertise. This is particularly the case in manufacturing, where resource use is intensive. The voucher scheme has two funding rates: 67% of consulting fees for up to €15 000 and 50% for up to €30 000. The scheme is only open to SMEs (fewer than 250 employees and a turnover of less than €50m). REMake vouchers are administered by the German Material Efficiency Agency (demea) and have an approximate budget of €400 000 a year.
ITACA Protocol, Italy Contributor: Province of Ascoli Piceno The ITACA protocol is a demand side eco-management tool. ITACA (Institute for Innovation and Transparency in Procurement and for Environmental Compatibility) is a central government body that co-ordinates regional activity in public procurement. ITACA drew up a protocol for the evaluation of environmental sustainability to be adopted by regions in their building regulations. The protocol was created in response to Italian laws intended to educate the business world to adopt good practices for reducing greenhouse gases emissions, and to encourage technological solutions that can reduce energy consumption and increase efficiency. The protocol was created to ensure that comparisons could be drawn between regions. The protocol has been taken up in the Marche region as an energy and environmental certification tool. The protocol is made up of 70 criteria, though simplified versions are available. It aims to achieve sustainable land use, contribute to energy savings, encourage research and application of sustainable building technologies, and develop design solutions to meet different demands for quality of living.
Welsh Recycled Content Grant Scheme, United Kingdom Contributor: supported by the Welsh Government and run by the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP Cymru) The Welsh Recycled Content Grant Scheme is a supply-side measure funded by the Welsh government. It offers capital support to assist manufacturing SMEs to incorporate, or increase, the use of local recycled materials as an input material for manufacturing products, processes or packaging. The instrument is intended to provide support for technology adoption to help Wales meet its aim of a 70% recycling rate by 2025, with 0% going into landfill by 2050. Wales has a substantive manufacturing centre, with 99.2% of all businesses being SMEs. Of Wales’ 22 local authorities, 6 of them are classed as convergence areas by the European Regional Development Fund. It is these areas that are covered by the scheme. Funding for the project came from the Welsh Government and the European Regional Development Fund, giving an annual budget of £150 000 (€182 000). Grants covered up to 30% of total costs (up to £50 000) and were available for capital expenditure and some initial promotional costs to raise awareness of the benefits of recycling. Capital expenditure included costs of new production and packaging plant and equipment.
PROJECT: EUROPEAN CLUSTERS AND REGIONS FOR ECO-INNOVATION NETWORK PLUS - ECREIN+ The ECREIN+ project proposed 13 policy and technological good practices that might be of interest for many European regions. However, none of these practices has been transferred within the timeframe of the project. Five good practices represent financial support instruments, while the rest are non-financial. However, among the financial instruments, there is a predominance of grants/subsidies/vouchers, while other types of funding schemes such as guarantees, loans, fiscal incentives and venture capital are absent. Unsurprisingly, supply-side policy measure good practices far outnumber demand-side good practices. The only two good practices with a demand-side dimension are the Green Public Procurement initiatives implemented by the Lombardy region and the co-owned photovoltaic power plant in Uppsala. The remaining good practices all focus on earlier phases of innovation, such as support for R&D (basic, applied, development and demonstration); education, training and mobility, networks and partnerships. In terms of the scope and focus of the good practices, most of these focus directly on eco-innovation (vs. generic innovation instruments). In our view, the most interesting good practices include: the Inov’R research grant scheme from RhôneAlpes (France), Energy House from Uppsala region (Sweden), the Brokerage event on Environmental Technologies practiced in Andalusia, and the Green Public Procurement (GPP) scheme in Lombardia. The Innov’R applied research grant scheme, France Contributor: National Environmental and Energy Management Agency
The leading programme for eco-innovation support in Rhône-Alpes is Innov’R36, a joint initiative implemented by the Regional Council, the National Environmental and Energy Management Agency (ADEME), the National Institute for Industrial Property (INPI), the Caisse de Dépôts, the National Innovation Agency (Oseo), and the French Agency for Normalisation (AFNOR). The programme was first implemented in 2008. Its main objective is to bring all eco-innovation support stakeholders in the
region together in a one-stop-shop scheme for businesses seeking to implement eco-innovation projects. Innov’R is designed to support the implementation of applied R&D projects in the field of eco-innovation. The tool seeks to enhance the coherence of the multiple existing regional policy tools and to simplify the process of obtaining support for businesses. Innov’R is a supply-side measure that functions through an open call for projects targeting regional businesses or business clusters seeking to carry out an individual or collaborative eco-innovation project. It covers five fields including: energy; construction and sustainable land development; ecoinnovative processes, products or services; GHG emissions management; environmental measuring and evaluation. In June 2011, the Greater Lyon Council and the Greater Grenoble Council joined the initiative to create the ‘Innov’R verification’. This sub-label of Innov’R gives businesses the opportunity to test and verify the performance of recently developed technologies or products, in real-life conditions, within public administrations. This is meant to support and facilitate the entry of young products or technologies into the market.
Energy House, Sweden Contributor: Uppsala County Council The Energy House initiative arose due to the increased focus on and need for green solutions both from an environmental and business perspective and the difficulty experienced in bringing new ideas from their conceptualisation to market. Rooted in a long tradition of cooperation between the universities, industry, and the public sector, the initiative responds to both growing societal and industrial needs. The Energy House seeks to (1) establish and develop demanddriven initiatives to capitalise on research findings, minimise risks for early adopters and shorten ‘concept to market’ processes for new techniques and system solutions in the field of sustainable energy use and supply, and (2) to establish user-driven demonstrations and field-studies which can verify new solutions in real time and assist increased market up-take in SMEs. The Energy House initiative is steered and funded by the region's foundation (STUNS) for cooperation between the universities in Uppsala, the business sector, and the community. The main idea is to keep the customer perspective and see what benefits / needs the client and their customers could see in the future. Individual projects have been completed over the past few years, and a number of products and companies have now received clear benefits.
The Green Public Procurement (GPP) scheme in Lombardy, Italy Contributor: Lombardy Region The Lombardy Region has adopted Green Public Procurement (GPP) in order to integrate environmental requirements in the purchasing process of goods and services, extending this approach to regional public bodies and company system, with different targets:
prevention of environmental impacts through reducing the use of natural resources, waste production, GHG emissions, and by promoting energy efficiency;
rationalisation of public spending, reducing environmental externalities, and integrating references to the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) 37;
definition of environmental criteria for purchasing goods and to stimulate demand for sustainable goods and services;
application in areas of high spending and impact on well-being (foodcatering service, health).
See Glossary in Annex 4
Implementation of GPP was supported through several action lines:
Promotion of the approach through regional waste recovery legislation (recycled goods in tendering procedures for not less than 35% of the annual requirements of local authorities) and the prevention and reduction of anthropogenic emissions (supply of vehicles with low environmental impact and energy saving/energy efficiency for office machines, and computers in public bodies).
Centralisation of public tendering procedures at the Regional Procurement Agency (RPA), which will manage framework contracts on goods and services for public entities. RPA will use the eprocurement platform SinTel in open, restricted, and negotiated procedures.
Achievement of an agreement among the Chambers of Commerce, RPA, and Environmental Protection Agency in setting higher environmental standards for procured goods and services.
Development of a technical framework for GPP in the areas of office equipment and computers, vehicles, and mobility of the staff of organisations, supply of electricity to public buildings and in the organisation of communication events. Additionally, the GPP criteria are being defined for textiles (clothing, uniforms and other textiles), food and catering service and building (building materials, building/maintenance of roads).
Technical assistance activities for municipalities, regional parks, stakeholders, and trade associations to be provided in addition to the economic support for dissemination and training (International Forum “CompraVerde” and web site AcquistiVerdi.it).
The Brokerage Event on Environmental Technologies, Spain Contributor: Andalusia Region The Brokerage Event on Environmental Technologies is a one-day event financed by the organisers, sponsors and participants. It provides a platform to enable initial contacts between potential partners in the environmental technology community all over Europe. The event targets companies, research organisations and public administrations active in research and technology and working in fields related to environmental issues. The event’s main objective is to promote technology transfer and the exploitation of RTD results. Participants in the event have the opportunity to meet in a B2B format and discuss a range of issues such as:
Ideas for joint European Research Projects (with a focus on FP7 and CIP)
Licensing, production, and distribution agreements
Opportunities for R&D funding
Technology transfer and exploitation of research results
Applicants to the event follow a simple work plan: Step 1: Companies register and submit a cooperation profile (technology offer, technology request, research profile, commercial profile). Step 2: The company checks the catalogue and selects the profiles of its potential partners. Step 3: The company receives its preliminary individual meeting agenda, and has to confirm the meetings, and availability during the day of the Brokerage Event. Step 4: in the course of the one-day event companies register and meet their potential cooperation partners for bilateral discussion. The event focuses on innovations and recent developments in all environment-related fields, including: climate change and the quality of the environment, environmental chemistry, emerging pollutants, handling, monitoring and remediation of pollution, marine environment, nanomaterials, biodiversity, recovery and recycling, waste management, water pollution / treatment. An essential component of the brokerage event is the ‘Catalogue of technology profiles’ since this is the mechanism the participants use to find their potential partners. The catalogue contains the technology profiles of all the companies and research institutions participating at the event. The matching process requires participants to consult the Catalogue of profiles to identify suitable profiles. 35
Baden-Wuerttemberg Competence Atlas of Environmental Technology and Resource Efficiency, Germany Contributor: Ministry of the Environment of the State of Baden-Wuerttemberg The Competence Atlas of Environmental Technology and Resource Efficiency was created in response to the study carried out by McKinsey and the Institute for Applied Economic Research, based on a further survey that included 2 000 companies in Baden-W端rttemberg. Its main objectives are to collect and analyse data in order to recognise the strengths and deficits within the environmental technologies sector and to offer companies a platform on which to present their products and services, at both a national and international level. This is also designed to act as a way to enable companies to find new partners, to enter into new cooperative ventures or to form bidding consortiums, all of which would prove to be far more effective in international competition compared with one company standing alone. In addition, the competence atlas is also designed to make the process of searching for an appropriate service provider or supplier as easy as possible for the customer, while at the same time supporting local companies and placing them at the forefront as being the best the sector has to offer. The atlas provides clearly structured company profiles of products, processes, and services, the main foci of research and development, innovative successes, and experiences of activities abroad, all of which create a greater level of transparency in the field of green technologies.
PROJECT: ECOREGIONS Before the project was officially launched, the ECOREGIONS partners identified an initial set of 15 good practices that could be potentially exchanged among them. Identifying the good practices to transfer was actually carried out as part of the design of the project itself. As a result, the project started a step ahead of other projects in the field, thereby saving the time and effort the others had to put into identifying and capitalising on good practices. The project already possesses completed good practice sheets for each of these good practices, making it easier for partners to identify the good practices they are interested in importing. During the project implementation 12 more good practices have been identified. 10 good practices have been reported to INTERREG IVC JTS. Currently, one good practice has been transferred and 12 others are being prepared for transfer among partners. The project partners have expressed particular interest in the Energy Efficiency Network, the Portaferm small manure biogas plant in the Thuringia region in Germany and the Cremona Bio-energy factory (Italy). These examples are presented below along with other good practices with potentially high impact. Bio-energy factory, Italy Contributor: Cremona Chamber of Commerce
The Bioenergy Factory is governed by the public-private partnership members committee including Province of Cremona, Chamber of Commerce of Cremona, University Politecnico of Milan, Municipality of Cremona and ERSAF. The Bio-energy Factory fosters and optimises the use of available biomass, thus increasing the production of green energy without being detrimental to existing productive resources in favour of green technologies in Cremonia. The operation is structured around three areas: 36
research, services, and monitoring. This initiative is of particular relevance due to the strong involvement of civil society and other local stakeholders as well as the mobilisation of public and private capital used to set up the financing plan. The initiative is designed to:
Improve SME capacity to make use of green technologies;
Optimise the food chain within the province without converting lands for the production of biomatrices used for green energy;
Support companies to be effective in the removal of nitrogen from the digested material using innovative techniques so as to meet the current EU requirements on contamination from nitrates;
Create and promote a more effective green technology/economy culture that encompasses a significant change of behaviour for the civil society, companies, private and public bodies;
Create a mechanism to allow civil society to participate in the development of the initiative so as to guarantee long-term and innovation-driven growth (quadruple helix model) and to achieve a broad societal consensus on the use of green technologies;
Roll out green technologies widely to significantly contribute to achieving long-term sustainable development;
Assess the potential and suitability of new and/or alternative bio-matrices (prime, combined, processed) for green energy or processing.
Energy Efficiency Network Thuringia, Germany Contributor: State Development Corporation of Thuringia The Energy Efficiency Network Thuringia (ENT) aims at exchanging good practices to obtain and diffuse knowledge. Its overarching goal is to find solutions for improving the energy efficiency of production processes. The network supports businesses in their efforts to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions. Within a pilot phase, 15 businesses are monitoring their energy consumption. Furthermore, they are receiving support in detecting and improving their energy efficiency. Since the network activities include best-practice exchange, various methods for improvement are being discussed and presented in a common catalogue of measures. Currently, the networks’ businesses are implementing the measures they chose for reducing their energy consumption. This way, energy is less expensive, and CO2 emissions are reduced. The ENT network is coordinated by the Thuringian Energy and GreenTech Agency, which is part of the State Development Corporation of Thuringia. Portaferm – Small Manure Biogas Plant, Germany Contributor: State Development Corporation of Thuringia Thuringia can be classified as a rural area. Rural areas have the same demand for reducing energy costs as cities. But the options for producing energy from renewable sources are better because of the short distances involved in transporting biomass materials. The development of a decentralised © www.portaferm-biogas.de/ energy production combined with the use of biomass material is a good opportunity for small farms, for which the construction of a conventional biogas plant is not lucrative, to convert their liquid manure to electricity and heat at low cost, while additionally improving the fertilising properties of the manure. At the moment in Thuringia, large biogas plants are common. But they often do not meet the needs of the rural areas for electric power and heat. It was recognised that no adequate small biogas plants were available to buy. The association for renewable energy therefore decided to design and develop such a plant especially for farmers owning only a few farm animals so as to better serve their needs. The operation of a small biogas plant becomes economically more attractive if the heat produced by the conversion of the biogas to electricity (combined heat and power production) can be used outside the biogas plant.
Training programme for skilled employees of green SMEs, Hungary Contributors: ENEREA Észak-Alföld Regional Energy Agency of the North-Great Plain Region of Hungary It is quite common that SMEs lack awareness about the benefits of investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency, nor do they know how much money they can save through such investment. This training programme aims to address this awareness gap in the context of the North-Great Plain Region. ENEREA Nonprofit Llc. leads this programme in cooperation with the Chambers of Commerce and experts in renewable energy resources and energy efficiency. In order to attain the goals they organise tutorials among SMEs of the region. They invite five SMEs for a 2-hour training session. During these tutorials experts provide the basic information about renewables and energy efficiency, but emphasis is laid on understanding the problem of global climate change and energy resources. Furthermore, SMEs learn how much money they can save in their companies and homes as well. Every participant also receives written support materials. The programmes experts are also available for further questions by email. The programme outcomes are monitored and analysed at a later stage via the feedback system based on a survey among participants. The simplicity of the programme and its suitability for any region makes it a good for transfer and dissemination. Climate Action Programme, Norway Contributor: Hordaland County Council To reach the ambitious goals of greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction and energy efficiency, including the development of new energy resources, the Annual Climate Action Programme (ACAP) involves private and public enterprises and organisations throughout the county. Focused stakeholder partnerships are structured around subprojects covering a rage of different fields. Business and industry is one of eight target areas, as is Energy. In addition, the county’s Regional Development Programme specifically targets its grants and national funding on companies specialising in green/eco innovations. This includes, amongst others, projects on the development of new energy sources, offshore wind operations, clean maritime transport, and an industrial incubator on clean carbon technology. Hordaland County has formulated policies and measurements for public procurement that include environmental criteria. This is also one way of stimulating businesses to deliver more sustainable products. In Hordaland County by 2012 the ACAP included 65 sub-projects. The municipalities have designed their own Climate Action Plans and thus helped to implement actions at their own administrative / political level. The involvement of the municipalities has proven to be crucial for reaching businesses in all parts of the county. As a result of the actions, 25% of businesses have been environmentally certified by the end of 2013, and a number of green innovations in businesses have received funding through the Regional Development Programme. In cooperation with national and EU funding agreements / programmes, several clusters e.g. in the energy field have been established. Carbon Calculator, Malta Contributor: Malta Intelligent Energy Management Agency The Carbon Calculator was developed by Malta’s Intelligent Energy Management Agency (MIEMA) on behalf of the country’s Ministry for Resources and Rural Affairs. The objectives of the Carbon Calculator are to enable individuals and organisations to estimate the carbon footprint of their various activities, to count their carbon footprint via various measures, and to provide advice to individuals on how they can reduce their carbon footprint by modifying their behaviour and consumption patterns. The Carbon Calculator takes account of the use of the water and electricity, heating fuels, private and public transport, air travel, and domestic waste. The system it uses is flexible and the user can determine how much data to put into the system. The user does not need to enter all the data in one session, but the data entry can be suspended and resumed at a later time.
The system provides a detailed breakdown of the carbon dioxide emission resulting from each userâ€™s activity. This enables users who would like to reduce their carbon footprint to focus on the activities that produce the most carbon dioxide. It also provides a printable report of the data entered by the user as well as on the carbon dioxide generated. This enables users to maintain a record of their use over time and to see the results of actions they take to reduce their footprint. If needed it can provide detailed information on how the calculations are made.
PROJECT: DEVELOPING SUSTAINABLE REGIONS THROUGH RESPONSIBLE SMES - DESUR This project stands out for its promotion of practices on social responsibility in SMEs. The good practices identified by the project relate to responsible and sustainable innovation in SMEs and environmental management at company level. An important feature of all these good practices is the commitment of the companies towards protecting the environment. A lesson from DESUR is that, in order to successfully involve SMEs, the concept of CSR must not be made more complex than it already appears. Among the identified good practices a few could be an interesting reference to promote responsible innovation in SMEs.
Law of Corporate Social Responsibility in Extremadura, Spain Contributor: Extremadura Region The CSR Law in Extremadura (No 15/2010) represents the first legal procedure to regulate Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) at regional level in Spain, coming before even the State Law on Sustainable Economy. This good practice highlights the involvement of the Regional Government of Extremadura and its active role in putting in practice CSR initiatives within the own administration. As part of this new approach the Government of Extremadura created the Social Responsibility Council, which governs the procedure for certification of socially responsible companies. It is configured as a collegial institution, with an advisory and consultative mandate and seeks to advocate corporate social responsibility among SMEs and the self-employed, paying special attention to the uniqueness of SMEs.
Macroom E, Ireland Contributor: South West Region Macroom E is a dynamic community enterprise centre, dedicated to helping start-up & growing businesses in the Lee Valley region. Macroom E is an initiative of a number of public bodies including Cork County Council, South Cork Enterprise Board, Macroom Town Council, Lee Valley Enterprise Board, and Enterprise Ireland. Macroom E educates its client companies about the importance of sustainable value creation with a focus on incorporating environmental sustainability into the client companiesÂ´ operations. In keeping with its core mission of promoting best environmental practices, Macroom E runs a number of environmental projects such as Wastematchers, Eco Business Ireland Awards, and SMILE Resource Exchange. The Macroom E Enterprise Centre building can accommodate many types of businesses in a supportive & friendly atmosphere and the team at Macroom E will help all of the clients in the building to develop their business. The building offers a wide choice of office space ranging from hot desks and small offices to industrial units, the aim of this is to suit any requirements new or expanding companies may have. Macroom E has a number of shared facilities such as broadband internet, canteen, and reception available to all clients. These shared facilities encourage interaction between the centre staff and the entrepreneurs and between the entrepreneurs themselves. The result of this is that start-up and small businesses can grow in a supportive and dynamic working environment, with the added advantage of sharing information and knowledge with fellow entrepreneurs. The Enterprise Centre is housed in a modern building, which was designed with environmental sustainability in mind. It has a number of environmental features such as solar water heating system, mobility sensors and energy saving light bulbs, collection of rain water from the roof to be used as grey water for low-water toilets cisterns, high efficiency electrical equipment, wood-chip boiler and 39
geothermal system to provide heating, passive solar heating from a number of south facing windows, use of mirrored light tubes and roof lights with northern aspects to increase natural daylight and decrease the dependence on artificial lighting. Macroom E was a finalist in the 2004 Sustainable Energy Awards in the category of “Excellence in design & specification”.
Red Calea, Spain Contributor: FUNDECYT-PCTEX Red Calea is a professional group, motivated by and committed to the values inherent to agro-ecology. They offer different integrated services, all relating to agro-ecology. Their objective is to expand and strengthen the role of agro-ecology in rural areas, as a tool to achieve true sustainable development, from a local perspective and under the criteria of social ecology. The Red Calea team works with public administrations, enterprises, and social organisations through collaborative networks. Red Calea works in the following areas: Production and Commercialisation of Organic Food Engineering Area Advice and Training Area International Cooperation Area Experience gained in various countries around the world helped Red Calea’s to design customised farm models and services, which are well-suited for various geographic conditions. Whether it is temperate, tropical or arid environments, well-established working farms or highly degraded landscapes, the Red Calea’s experts can offer solutions to the problems in agriculture and rural areas. Interior design exhibition centre “Interjero erdvė”, Lithuania Contributor: Kaunas University of Technology “Interjero erdve” (in English: Interior space) is an interior design exhibition centre which displays high quality nonstandard products made by Lithuanian and foreign designers and manufacturers. “Interjero erdve” is a part of the enterprise JSC “Interjero elementai” which specialises in veneer services and production of furniture and interior components. “Interjero erdve” was established in 2011 to present the products of “Interjero elementai” and it, therefore, serves as a marketing tool. The showroom has not formalised its social/environmental activities; therefore, it has not obtained any quality or environment management certificates. However, many of its activities could be attributed to CSR actions: environmentally-friendly practices/eco-management, caring of workers’ health and safety, ensuring no discriminatory practices, non-economic incentives, initiatives towards the community (donations, sponsorships, corporate voluntary work, etc.) and others. In 2011, “Interjero erdve” started the project “Dide ja” with the aim to foster design – a branch of creative industries – and to develop the Lithuanian design market. The still on-going project seeks to unlock the potential of the dialogue between young Lithuanian designers’ creativity and Lithuanian manufacturers’ capabilities in order to create innovative local products. “Interjero erdve” is organising an event “Dizaino savaite” (“Design week”) in Kaunas city. It is dedicated to the dissemination of new design ideas and is performed in different spaces, including the universities, shops, markets, cafes, exhibition halls, and theatres. The director of “Interjero erdve” gives lectures to students without any material compensation in order to introduce them to the newest interior materials and to pass on knowledge.
Centre for Innovation and Economic Development of Forlì-Cesena, Italy Contributor: Emilia Romagna region The CISE - Centre for Innovation and Economic Development - Special Agency of the Chamber of Commerce of Forlì-Cesena was founded in 1996 to promote local economic development focusing on innovation as its main driver. Present areas of activity are sustainable development and green economy technologies, corporate social responsibility, responsible innovation, open-source IT technologies and support to innovative ideas. In supporting enterprises CISE provides them with:
tools to integrate CSR in their strategies and daily processes, from management to production to distribution;
reliable and cost-effective CSR monitoring systems;
means of effective communication of CSR-consistent behaviors.
Since 2000 CISE has been an accredited auditors’ training body and certification body for the SA8000 standard38. This experience has enabled CISE to design and develop actions to support the up-take of CSR by SMEs. In particular, CISE runs the Impresa Etica mark and system geared to SMEs to support them in continuously improving their CSR management. Impresa Etica is a flagship initiative of a protocol signed by public authorities, business associations and trade unions to support ethics in business. It works as a mark-awarding system based on a monitoring process shared by stakeholders involved in continuous monitoring via an on-line platform, as well as by certification professionals performing onsite audits on a sample of certified facilities.
PROJECT: PRODUCERS SERVICES FOR EUROPEAN SUSTAINABILITY AND COMPETITIVENESS PROSESC The PROSESC project was completed in 2013. The 12 good practices identified in the project relate mainly to the development and introduction of electric vehicles (EV) and to support for SMEs with innovation. Out of these one good practice has been transferred. The good practices related to electric vehicles focus on the creation of infrastructure networks and involving both the SMEs and larger companies in setting up these networks. To support this, regional authorities are promoting innovation by means of creating favourable framework conditions for successful implementation. Good practice examples include MOBEGA, an electric mobility system of Galicia, Mobigrid, building an EV corridor from Vigo to Porto, and Evalu8, building an EV network with 600 charging points across the East of England. Although the good practices in SME support measures relate to the car-manufacturing sector, they may be easily transferable to other sectors. These are Automotive Benchmarking Cluster, TecNet platforms promoting open innovation and Pilot innovation projects of the Hethel Engineering Centre in Norfolk.
The West-Pannon Automotive Benchmarking Club, Hungary Contributor: Pannon Novum West-transdanubian Regional Innovation Non-profit Ltd. The West-Pannon Automotive Benchmarking Club (ABMC) was founded in 2002 to help companies to develop and learn from each other. It is a new framework for business learning and functional innovation. Companies gather data on their performance each half year, then pass this information on to an independent service provider (cluster management), which validates and summarises the data with the help of an external expert. The results are circulated anonymously to each member (but only the same type of information as that which was provided by the member). After each semester, a visit to one of the participating companies is held to learn from the good practices and to analyse the results more deeply together with the members. Primary target groups are serial manufacturers in the automotive sector, including SMEs. Implementing the ABMC took 2-3 years.
SA8000 is an auditable certification standard that encourages organizations to develop, maintain, and apply socially acceptable practices in the workplace.
The ABMC has led to knowledge transfer, an improvement in the participating companies’ performance, the implementation of new processes and methods, as well as marketing and PR value for the awardwinning companies. The benchmark processes also included new services for cluster management and have, in addition, led to new supplier partnerships among participating partners. There are three critical success factors: the number of participating companies, agreement on measurement methods, and the continuity of the activities. Furthermore, it is important to study and analyse the outputs using several kinds of indicators. Specific problems may arise because of the fluctuation in the number of participating companies (because of crises, owner changes, etc.) and the gap between SMEs and multinationals. The role of the government is mainly one of initiating the practice and helping to build trust. This trust is further increased by an independent cluster manager with specific expertise in the sector. At present, all activities are financed by the participating companies themselves. Within the PROSESC project, this measure has successfully been transferred to the region around Timisoara in Romania.
TechNet Platforms For Open Innovation, Germany Contributor: the Stuttgart Region Economic Development Corporation The final car manufacturers (Original Equipment Manufacturers or OEMs) receive their products and modules from a certain number of specialised companies that have already been working together with the OEM in the automotive sector for a long time. Suppliers can bring in new ideas about technological novelties that can be integrated in vehicles. In this sense they are an important knowledge and innovation idea channel for car manufacturers. However, normally the supply processes within the automotive sector are quite closed and there is a limited number of suppliers that work with OEMs. The TechNet Platform for Ideas39 is an open innovation approach enabling smaller suppliers and companies from outside the car manufacturing sector to enter the supplier group by suggesting innovative technological developments. The process starts with obtaining a brief description of the car manufacturer’s fields of interest for further development. A cluster management organisation, as a neutral body, disseminates the news about these fields of interest amongst the cluster of local suppliers and other participating clusters outside the region and sector, thereby enabling the entry of new companies into the supplier group. In a second step, parties that are able to and interested in helping the car manufacturer send their proposals to solve a specific problem to the cluster management, which then – as a neutral party – hands the ideas onto to the OEM. This can be completely open or made anonymous through nondisclosure agreements. If the OEM finds an adequate solution among the propositions, the neutral body sets up the contact. The first car manufacturer in the Stuttgart Region used the approach through a call for four solutions for a future product and received many proposals. To date, several new co-operation projects have been established. Other companies have recognised the success and find the idea interesting and have prepared a call. Setting up the system took approximately 6 months.
Evalu8, UK Contributor: University of Hertfordshire The EValu8 project aims at securing a lead position for the East of England in the UK’s take-up of electric vehicles by installing and developing an interoperable networked recharging infrastructure which is essential for the uptake of the new technology. EValu8 intended to provide 600 double-headed recharging posts across the East of England, supporting an expected fleet of some 2 000 EVs and stretching over 7 500 square miles. The goal was that all residents and businesses based in the East of England are within 25 miles of a recharging post. The project has brought together academia, some disparate industry sectors and the SMEs group, all with a common focus on innovation: supporting the transition in the transport industry from purely fossilfuel consumption to a greater use of electricity. The initial part of the project was to build & install infrastructure. Evalu8 was supported by a Steering Group assembled from across industry, local authorities, energy suppliers and user groups. By mid2014 over three hundred charging points have been installed and some high profile launch events have been organised. The charging points are interoperable with neighbouring regions. The project has raised awareness of electric vehicles and has got SMEs talking about using electric vehicles. It has also made transport planners ask questions about electric vehicles. The initiative took 27 months and has not yet been transferred to other regions. In other regions, comparable ‘infrastructure’-driven initiatives have been introduced and experiences exchanged.
MOBEGA, Spain Contributor: Region of Galicia MOBEGA, an electric mobility plan, brings together both public and private resources to encourage the use of electric vehicles in Galicia. Rather than search for an elusive business model, the project is fostering regional R&D. The objectives are:
To foster cooperation between public and private stakeholders for further development of electric vehicle infrastructures and technologies
To improve the network of regional infrastructures for electric vehicle recharging
To disseminate and promote the use of electric vehicles among final users.
At the end of 2012 the government of Galicia (Junta de Galicia) constituted a board of members to develop a regional electro mobility plan to foster an integrated plan for infrastructures and the use of electric vehicles in the region. The board of members also includes the PSA Peugeot-Citroën Group, the Galician Automotive Industries Cluster (CEAGA), EnergyLab, Gas Natural Fenosa, Indra, and BlueMobility Systems. CEAGA drives the demonstration plan MOBEGA directed to promote the use of the electric vehicle in the main Galician cities cooperating with the Regional Government. BlueMobility Systems is the company that builds the infrastructure to recharge electric vehicles and manages a fleet of electric vehicles for rent. The MOBEGA Plan allows users to rent the cars for a reduced price to foster the use of electric vehicles. This initiative resulted in the construction of 7 Multifunctional Electro Stations for recharging (including fast charge -20 min. for 80% of battery) and renting electric vehicles and allocation of 28 electric cars for rent at a low market price.
Pilot Innovation Projects, UK Contributor: East England Region Through its facilitation work, the Hethel Engineering Centre (HEC) implements Pilot Innovation Projects (PIP’s) that bring together innovators and technologists to solve a market failure, or take a unique product or technology to market. The primary target group consists of innovators, engineering and manufacturing sector and technology developers. Typically, the businesses involved are not from the target sector, but have been identified as having transferable skills or technology that could be disruptive, or add value to the target sector. Through these networks, Joint Venture (JV’s) agreements are often made as well as partnership agreements for the created supply chain, with obvious benefits of sharing of best practice, knowledge base and technologies. Other stakeholders involved in PiP are the regional development agency, the European Social Fund and various academic research institutes. The objectives of the initiative are as follows:
Increase opportunities for Eastern Region business to diversify
Create more links to the knowledge base in Universities
Increase low-carbon technology drive
Develop business knowledge of businesses in sector
Improve cluster communication and promotion in region
The PiP’s came about from the recognition of a need to identify clusters of expertise and promote innovation. The PiP process often starts with the identification of a market failure for a new technology. From there, key companies with positive, forward facing business development strategies are identified and engaged. The initial approach is to determine whether their knowledge base can be redirected or developed to solve the market failure and if with working with other parties a greater project can be fulfilled. Groups succeed if the technology or area of interest is almost at market level, there is funding available to develop the project, or a unique technology that is being legislated to market. Groups fail due to lack of funds, core business takes priority, reduced meetings and participation, market failure met by other means. In many projects the key is an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) as the core driver, the other partners can then see an end product route. Though an option for a group is to spin-out or create the OEM through the creation of Joint Ventures. This initiative has already led to the development of 15 PiP projects, ranging from automotive technology through to the creation of an Off Shore Wind turbine supply chain comprising firms from marine, automotive, and aerospace sectors. These projects led to the new employment, sustained growth and new market segments.
3.2 Barriers and Drivers in project implementation 3.2.1 Barriers Our survey and analysis showed that there are several external barriers to project implementation. These barriers were related to the framework conditions or policy environment and the maturity and interest of the industry in the field of eco-innovation. Internal challenges related to project team capacity or coordination issues do not appear to be very significant, but were still encountered at the project management level.
The regional institutional context
The regional institutional context in which the projects were undertaken was considered to be a barrier to the achievement of regional impact in some cases. Some project partners were of the opinion that the projects could have potentially achieved a larger impact if the participating regions had a regional innovation strategy or were planning to have one, into which the findings of the projects could feed. As a consequence, in the case of the FRESH project for instance, the project partners revised their approach to the project strategy in order to cope with this barrier, and tailored the project activities to obtain as much impact as possible given the specific policy environment. Therefore, the FRESH partners tried to (a) maximise the organisational learning and focus the good practice transfer on partners that did not have innovation strategy, and (b) dedicate extra efforts to facilitate policy impact in the case of partners that had such strategy.
Understanding the concept of eco-innovation
Quite often, the project partners report that regional authorities and the regional business environment still lack sufficient knowledge and understanding of the concept of eco-innovation and the benefits of investing in this field. Wider engagement, awareness-raising, and learning processes need to take place in order to enhance the knowledge on eco-innovation at regional level. In addition, the project teams had to undergo an internal process to reach a common understanding of eco-innovation in the areas in which the projects were active (such as clean-tech, corporate social responsibility etc.), as some project partners had different perceptions of these fields, or different knowledge. Some project partners felt this was an internal challenge.
Project team capacity
Further internal challenge mentioned was related to communication among project partner organisations due to the language barriers. In addition, the team capacity for up-scaling the project was mentioned, as some participants were facing obstacles in terms of human resources availability in order to perform some project tasks and engage in wider up-scaling activities.
The economic crisis was mentioned as a deterrent for stronger political commitment from regional authorities. The volatile economic circumstances have also shifted the priorities of other regional stakeholders from environmental sustainability to economic recovery. In the case of project CIE, this led, for instance, to the Hungarian regional authority partner stepping out of the consortium of the project.
3.2.2 Drivers Several factors have served as success factors in project implementation.
Partner engagement and capacity
Full engagement of the project teams in interactions that were meaningful to their regional contexts was an important driver in every analysed project. In addition, operational factors such as the human resource capacity of the project partners are key enablers for successful implementation. It was seen in the PROSESC team in particular where the professionalism of the consortium partners and the different perspectives and experiences brought by the regional participants were key to successful project implementation. A very good and motivated project team was also the main driver within the every analysed project. In general projects benefited from having highly heterogeneous teams.
Soundness of the project ideas and outcomes
For the project ECOREGIONS, a significant motivator was the soundness of the project and the regional economic environment that is favourable to eco-innovations. This encouraged further engagement of the regional partners with the project activities, which was supported by their previous experience in the green economy sector. Similarly, for RECOMMEND, the feasibility of the project goals was considered key for the success. The most important factor for the peer review decision on the quality of the Regional Implementation Plans (outputs of the projects) is whether they could realistically be achieved.
Growing demand for innovation
In the globalised era of increased competition regions are increasingly understanding that they should invest in innovation. Discussion with the CIE project partners showed that they felt an urgent need to innovate and to build up their own cleantech incubation facilities. Furthermore, the willingness of other partners to share their insights and achievements in cleantech incubation also encouraged successful learning within the projects.
Exposure to the good practices via site visits
One further element that was considered important in motivating the work in regions is the participation of the regional project teams in site visits. This simple approach has proven to be quite powerful in inspiring and providing visiting partners with deeper understanding of how specific practices work. For example in case of CIE project, being aware of what is happening at a specific site enhanced the understanding of different cleantech incubation activities and gave visiting partners specific ideas for implementation in their own region.
Shared cultural values and trust
In the project FRESH, it was rather the shared cultural values, the cooperation attitudes, and the trust among project participants that drove the project further. The success of the project is about the motivation and dedication of the each individual team member. The project’s internal cooperation was based on the fact that the project participants were qualified people with comparable interests and shared goals.
Direct involvement of regional authorities
The direct involvement of regional authorities among project partners was an additional support that contributed to the project’s success and to the interregional and intraregional cooperation that has emerged.
Support from JTS of INTERREG IVC
Well run project management and good support from Joint Technical Secretariat were also considered important factors. Fluid communication among partners and the involvement of regional stakeholders in the project on all territorial scales were further drivers.
3.3 Long-term project impact
Testing the feasibility of eco-innovative practices before implementation
The project RECOMMEND’s method of reaching long-term impact is to ensure that the results of the project are realistic and their implementation is feasible. For this reason, the regional implementation plans, through which the project partners set out the means for pursuing eco-management practices in their regions, are assessed mainly on the basis of these criteria. In addition, the regional implementation plans are approved by the regional authorities responsible for implementing them.
Specifying the organisations that will pursue the project’s long-term objectives after its formal closure
The CIE project plans to achieve long-term impact through the cleantech incubation facilities established and strengthened in the regions as a result of the project.
Ensuring the commitment of regional policy makers
A common view among project partners is that long-term political commitment from regional policymakers is crucial for building on the project achievements in the future. This commitment often is secured when the regional government is part of the project team or is engaged as an active stakeholder 46
throughout the project. This will allow that the lessons learned from the cooperation are more likely to result in the improvement of existing policies or the uptake of new policy instruments and methodologies generated in the framework of the projects. In addition, raising the awareness of policymakers on the concrete benefits resulting from adoption of the policy recommendations can be a further factor that leads to long term impact of project results.
Existence of supportive regulations and policy initiatives
Project impact can also be reinforced with the help of policy initiatives at EU, national or regional level in the field in which the project is active. For instance, FRESH project succeeded in implementing their policy recommendations as these were in line with the ongoing work on the EU Construction Products Regulation (July 2013). Another example is the fact that a Finnish national sustainable development strategy that prioritises sustainable wooden construction was a supportive factor in achieving wider impact of the project in Finland.
Setting up sustainable networks
Networks are vectors through which project lessons can be taken forward. One of the means of the DESUR project to achieve long-term impact is to generate networks, which will continue using the project’s achievements and putting them into practice in the future.
Setting-up and attracting funding sources
As a result of work undertaken in the PROSESC project a regional funding scheme has been set up in the Stuttgart region. A number of PROSESC partners will also continue to work together in an FP7 research project, which will ensure long-term impact and scaling-up of the project’s achievements.
3.4 Impacts of the INTERREG IVC projects in the target regions 3.4.1 Actual and expected impact of the projects According to our analysis, the regional impacts achieved by the projects include the following: In line with one of the core aims of the Interreg IVC programme, the FRESH project’s good practices have been successfully integrated into regional policies. Examples are the Code for Sustainable Homes, TC/CEN350, revised public procurement regulation in Kainuu and the eco innovation component in Päijät Häme Regional strategy and the Regional Planning Guidelines of the Ireland’s Mid-West Regional Authority. Furthermore, the good practice transfer within FRESH has contributed to:
prioritising competitive sustainable development & resource efficiency in regional policies;
adopting evidence-based policy models especially related to sustainable growth and strengthening local potential that has global relevance;
promoting territorial (place based) planning reinforcing economic growth and overcoming development barriers through better policy-making, and
introducing measurability and verifiability as tools for consensus-building among stakeholders leading to final policy-making.
In the case of the PROSESC project, the long-term impact was secured by:
Bridging gaps between the creative industry and the automotive industry
Inclusion of the public through competitions
Setting up a new funding scheme
Formulation of a national roadmap for sustainable mobility in Slovenia
Production of a scientific article on the theme of Open Innovation and Sustainable Mobility40
M., and Bevis, K. (2012) ‘Networking innovation in the European car industry: does the open innovation model fit?’, paper was presented at the 13th International CINet Conference, 16th-18th September 2012 – Rome, Italy. The paper was selected as one-of-two runners up for the John Bessant Best Paper Award 2012.
The examples of the outcomes of PROSESC are: -
the setting up of the new funding scheme in the Stuttgart Region for sustainable mobility developments;
the initiation of a dialogue between policymakers and transport experts in the East of England region;
the launch of a benchmarking scheme for cluster companies in Romanian West Region.
The RECOMMEND team considers their most significant impact to be the adoption of Regional Implementation Plans by each of the nine partner regions. By early 2014, each partner region had already been working on the development and implementation of their Regional Implementation Plan. The main target of the project was to develop feasible actions, which would gain a firm acceptance in the target regions. In October 2013 the project partners conducted the first round of peer review sessions concerning the future RIPs. The assessment results were very positive, and the peer group gave the green light to all the RIP roadmaps. Furthermore, the impacts that have been or potentially will be observed under RECOMMEND are associated with the implementation of the good practices. The project provided good practices from the partner regions and beyond. Following the special seminar on how eco-innovation can be supported, all partners conducted an analysis and generated interesting and implementable ideas in their regions. With the support from the partners and international experts the project was able to open the doors in the regions for the future implementation of the good practices / new ideas. Specific examples include:
The successful eco-innovation voucher scheme functioning in Austria will be implemented in four partner regions.
Experience of energy utilities in Austria in contribution to the energy efficiency schemes became a model for learning for the Bulgarian partner (particularly in negotiating the deal with their utilities).
The successful e-mobility funding scheme from Estonia will be partly taken up in other regions.
The model of the successful cluster organisation demonstrated by the partner from the UK will be used in building the new Bionic Cluster in SIovenia.
The training on crowd funding for eco-innovation convinced some partners to use this new method for developing new financing schemes in their regions.
At the time of writing the DESUR project has just completed its activities. We have therefore based our assessment on the potential/expected impact analysis. According to the project partners DESUR will help to:
Understand difficulties that SMEs face in incorporating social responsibility and sustainable practices into their business model.
Identify best practices regarding responsible innovation in SMEs.
Improve regional policies and strategies to promote responsible innovation in SMEs.
Promote networks among project partners and local stakeholders to collaborate in achieving future regional/ national and European policy goals.
As a result of these achievements in the target regions, the project will contribute to increased SME competitiveness, create quality employment and foster a higher awareness about eco-innovation. It is also expected to help bridge the knowledge gap in sustainability policies for SMEs between experienced and less advanced regions. Our analysis showed the ECOREGIONS project has strengthened cooperation between regional stakeholders in the development of the green economy and capacity of the regional stakeholders to improve strategies and the quality of the initiatives in the field. In this regard, new actions have been planned and implemented which helped SMEs to improve their competitiveness and innovating capacity. Examples of such support activities include innovative sets of training for SMEs and improvement of the exploitation of the biomass energy potential for small users. 48
In the case of the CIE project, it is still early to talk about the wider impact on the regional level. The currently observed outcomes of the CIE project are stated to be the following: Regional partners have learnt about the best practices and what works and what does not. They have exchanged insights about what possibilities they have, how to support cleantech incubators and by doing this, support the green economic growth of their region. Furthermore, partner regions have gained insight into the different strategies of how to work with the relevant actors in their region on successfully establishing cleantech incubators. 3.4.2 Dissemination of the project results: sharing the knowledge Initiatives are needed to disseminate the project results and conclusions not only within the partner regions, but also to all interested external stakeholders and other regions. This can be a process that helps regional partners to include the lessons learned from their participation in INTERREG IVC projects into their regional policies, by communicating the possible benefits of the identified good practices to regional policymakers and other stakeholders. The dissemination activities can contribute to finding opportunities to scale-up the projects and achieve wider impacts. This is why they are best integrated into projects themselves and related to their goals. We can give several examples of concrete dissemination approaches applied in the eco-innovation projects analysed for the present report. These include steps to communicate project results in events, through the participation in relevant networks, as well as through the production of different publications:
Communicating the project results beyond project completion
Achieving a wide impact requires that the project members use relevant communication channels. For instance, the project FRESH, which was finalised during 2013, is continuing disseminating its good practices for wider impact. In particular, they have been included in the INTERREG IVC database of good practices and presented in the Eco-innovation Action Plan newsletter issued by the European Commission. Communicating the project results in specialised events in front of audiences of regional or European stakeholders who may be interested in learning from them is a good dissemination strategy for wider impact. For instance, in the PROSESC project, it is expected that project partners will continue to promote the results, as the outcomes of the papers produced within the project will be presented at further conferences. In the case of the FRESH project outcomes, the project partners are continuing to transfer the MERA concept. MERA was introduced at the INTERREG IVC Good Practice fair in November 2011 and also in the Energy Fair ENERGETICS, in Lubelskie in November 2011.
Creating networks to take the project results forward
An example from the UK PROSESC project partner is that the result of the project also consisted in establishing the dialogue between policymakers and transport experts in the UK. Thanks to the work of the project, regular meetings take place between the regional stakeholders on the topic. Also for the PROSESC project, in the German region of Stuttgart, the project promoted cooperation between the creative and the automotive industry in Stuttgart, which is also expected to continue.
Project outputs such as guidebooks and good practice manuals can be lasting resources for all regions
The involvement of regional partners in a process of co-production of materials that present the results of the exchange of good practices and lessons learned can prove to not only to be a successful learning tool for the partners, but also provide a resource for regions and stakeholders beyond the respective project participants. Materials such as guidebooks or manuals can be highly valuable resources, as they will contain examples of good practice initiatives and recommendations on ‘do’s and don’ts for policy implementation in particular regional contexts, which are based on actual experiences and observed positive or negative effects. For instance, the project CIE provides guidelines for setting up cleantech incubation facilities in regions that express the need. The project is designing the handbook for cleantech incubation that can be used by regional policymakers to understand the process better and find inspiration in good practices. In the RECOMMEND project, the good practices identified are considered to provide ideas for solutions that are in demand across Europe, such as voucher schemes for energy projects, as well as crowdfunding. The good practices are presented in sections of the RECOMMEND project website. 49
One of the objectives of the DESUR project is the dissemination of good practices, findings, and recommendations beyond its duration and geographical scope, which is why the project aims to achieve wider impact by involving a broad selection of regional stakeholders in the activities of the project and by disseminating the knowledge gained through: networking sessions; conferences; newsletters; the benchmarking study on “Good practices in SMEs’ sustainability policies developed by the regions”; and the “Guide of Good Practices and Recommendations on the design of policies to promote ecoinnovation in the SME”.
3.5 INTERREG IVC eco-innovation projects contribution to EU2020 objectives The European Union has adopted the EU2020 growth strategy that aims at promoting the triple objective of Smart, Sustainable and Inclusive growth. These objectives are addressed via 7 flagship initiatives covering various topical issues. Eco-innovation can potentially contribute to reaching each of the three growth objectives and play a role in several flagship initiatives. Many of the eco-innovation oriented good practices identified within the INTERREG IVC projects are relevant for the EU2020 goals. While in many cases the actual impact is still unknown, the potential to promote these goals in the regional level is very promising. The following subsection presents details of the concrete contributions to the EU2020 strategy as seen by the project partners. The figure below summarises these observations.
Figure 12: Summary of observed and expected contributions of INERREG IVC eco-innovation projects in addressing EU2020 goals.
Promoting green R&D activities in academia and companies (via grants, competitions, partnerships) Helping SMEs to introduce innovations via innovation voucher schemes, technical advisory support Supporting green startups in incubators Improving performance of cleantech clusters Supporting green and innovative technologies, products and services via demand and supply side policy measures
Wide range of “quick win” solutions are promoted that help SMEs to save materials and energy via training and consulting, green auditing and ecomanagement A number of awareness raising good practices are focused on resources saving, waste minimisation and changing behaviour of producers and consumers Life-cycle perspective is becoming an important baseline for innovations, eco-design, as well as in the regional strategies ad plans
Development of ecoindustries such as green energy, sustainable construction, electro mobility, waste and water recycling, manufacturing of green products, promotion of green services sectors
Promoting entrepreneurship development leading to creation of new business, start-ups, new services and new jobs (including self-employment) Skills development by providing technical support, training e.g. ecomanagement, energy and resource efficiency, entrepreneurship Facilitating learning and knowledge flow from more to less advanced regions of Europe
3.5.1 Contribution to Smart Growth The contribution to Smart Growth is understood as promoting research and innovation, creating new products/services that generate growth and jobs, as well as education. The analysis of the project activities, their tasks and objectives, suggest several examples of how their activities can contribute to smart growth. For example, the contribution the CIE project is in its support to improving the activities of existing incubators and in the setting up of new cleantech incubators or cleantech incubation programmes in target regions. They also try to link the more advanced practices with the clusters in regions that lack up-to-date knowledge in cleantech incubation. Best practices being transferred in this project stimulate innovation, particularly around manufacturing and engineering of cleantech solutions, and help to establish better collaboration and education environment. The partners are using this knowledge to build their own skills and incubation facilities in their regions. The FRESH project has been promoting innovation and smart specialisation by educating their partners about successful good practices on Smart Specialisation Strategies from the P채ij채t H채me and Lubelskie regions. This approach of putting innovation and smart specialisation at the core of the regional strategies is very powerful as it ensures a better and more long-term commitment from authorities and stakeholders and generates sustainable impact. The RECOMMEND project has a clear focus on promotion of innovation and eco-innovation for which the partners have selected a set of diverse innovation support policy measures and initiatives. Each of these initiatives contribute to improving knowledge and innovation capabilities of regional public and private organisations, spur product and process innovation and support creativity. These policy good practices provide direct financial and technical support to innovative SMEs. They also promote the implementation of scientific and applied research projects and feasibility studies on new or improved products, processes and services. The examples of such policy instruments are: Bulgarian and Estonian Innovation funding schemes, Welsh Recycled Content Grant Scheme, Norwegian GreenConServe Service Innovation Vouchers, Cluster support schemes in UK and Denmark On the other hand, the demand side tools such as eco-management certification (e.g. SBToolCZ, ITACA Protocol) create an indirect incentive for companies and organisations to innovate and invest in their capacities in order to ensure their competitiveness and eco-efficiency. All these policy instruments directly or indirectly contribute to the creation of new knowledge, and business skills, and the development of expertise in eco-management and eco-innovations, which are necessary for the development and growth of sustainable regional economies. Similarly, in the case of the ECREIN+ and ECOREGIONS projects smart growth and innovation goals can also be linked to their good practices focusing on policy measures supporting innovations such as innovation and knowledge exchange platforms, R&D grant schemes, green public procurements schemes, and investing in the innovative technologies and capacities of potential innovators. The PROSESC project has contributed to smart growth and innovation via promoting exchange of knowledge between innovators, the implementation successful eco-innovation voucher schemes, as well as the promotion of R&D on new products and technologies in the field of electric vehicles, networks and batteries. For example, the Bionic cluster primarily promotes such innovative products, while MOBEGA, Evalu8 and Mobigrid focus on implementing infrastructure networks requiring advanced knowledge and expertise and highly skilled staff for maintenance. In the case of the DESUR project we could expect their contribution to smart growth via good practices promoting responsible and sustainable innovation in SMEs. Among the issues to consider for the promotion of responsible innovation are the development of new products and services, fostering talent management and lifelong learning practices in SMEs. 3.5.2 Contribution to Sustainable Growth Sustainable growth is understood as economic growth that has environmental benefits or avoids environmental degradation. In this respect, there is a strong link with eco-innovation. Eco-innovation is an important element or driver of sustainable growth. Sustainable growth in EU2020 is expected to be achieved through building low-carbon and resource efficient economies, promoting green technologies, sustainable consumption and production, and building SMEs and industry competitiveness. 51
In this regard all the eco-innovation projects analysed in this report can be seen as relevant and their objectives are in line with the sustainable growth goal. All projects have shown strong (actual or potential) contribution in this aspect. More specifically, the CIE project related analysis shows that the opportunities cleantech incubators offer for regional economic development are high. This view is also shared by the attendants of project seminars and the readers of the project’s handbook. Although the project team does not necessarily directly work with specific SMEs, they do work with the public/private/academic sector supporting the sustainable growth of businesses providing environmental solutions. Therefore, the effect on sustainable growth has and will be positive. The focus of the FRESH project is the sustainable construction sector, which encompasses a wider range of sustainability-oriented changes, practices, patterns in one of the most important economic sectors of Europe. Sustainable construction is closely linked with and reinforces the sustainable energy sector. It has a big potential for the creation of green jobs and economic growth in regions. In the case of the PROSESC project we also see its contribution in very concrete good practices. For example, promoting E-mobility is designed to help regions to develop a new green transport sector and to contribute to climate change mitigation. Another example the project brings is how energy utilities in Austria contributed to the energy efficiency schemes and helped the Bulgarian partner to negotiate a deal with their utilities. The DESUR project demonstrated its contribution via the promotion of good practices on responsible and sustainable innovation in SMEs that are based on the adoption of innovative processes, environmentally friendly practices or a more efficient resource usage. Increasing awareness about environment protection and sustainable development is a part of the actions to promote responsible innovation in SMEs. The sustainability concept in this project also includes a social responsibility component in addition to environmental, economic, and competitiveness dimensions. The project has showed that the enhanced competitiveness in SMEs through the adoption of CSR actions is related to improving relationships with their stakeholders (customers, suppliers, public authorities, etc.), and the community where they are located. This competitiveness stems from the effect of an improved business reputation, attracting, retaining and maintaining a motivated workforce, and making energy savings. The RECOMMEND, ECREIN+ and ECOREGIONS projects offer a number of good practices that address resource efficiency, such as advisory services on “quick win” solutions that help SMEs and companies to save materials and energy, via training and consulting, green auditing and ecomanagement. A few practices focused on awareness raising among companies and the general public about resources savings, waste minimisation, and changing producer and consumer behaviours. One important observation is that the life-cycle perspective, which is very important in securing resource efficiency, is becoming an important baseline for innovations, and for eco-design, as well as in the regional strategies and plans that have been focus of many good practices defined across all seven projects. Sustainable industrial development is also widely addressed. It can be seen through a large number of good practice examples in specific eco-industries: green energy, sustainable construction, electromobility, waste and water recycling, the manufacturing of green products and the promotion of green services sectors. 3.5.3 Contribution to Inclusive Growth As defined in EU2020 strategy, Inclusive Growth can be achieved by creating more and better jobs for all – men/women/younger/older people –, and ensuring that the benefits of growth reach less advanced EU regions. We noted that these aspects have been taken on board in the projects as well, which we demonstrate in the examples below. Our analysis of the FRESH project showed that one of the key principles of FRESH sustainable construction solutions is how to make sustainable construction affordable. If green / good products are not widely affordable, if they remain only luxury items, there is no chance that sustainable construction as a sector will be successful and will become a mainstream growth and job creator. That is the reason that one of the project slogans is “greener, better, cheaper”. CIE project initiatives promoted job creation (via the incubation of business and entrepreneurship) without any discrimination of gender, age, faith or origin. What counted was the knowledge and expertise i.e. knowing how to turn green technology into business. The project addressed challenges related to 52
skills in engineering, manufacturing, and cleantech. It has helped businesses to open up new avenues for growth, and individuals to create their own businesses or to use their skills to support existing businesses. We have seen that the high rate of participation of eastern European regions, which are still ‘lagging’ in many economic sectors, contributed to their inclusion in the European competitiveness-building process and also to their economic growth. For example, the benchmarking initiative promoted in the good practices of the RECOMMEND project has given the Romanian automotive cluster an opportunity to become competitive internationally thanks to improved innovation processes. Within the PROSESC project, the set-up of the e-mobility scheme in Hungaries Pannon Region is giving a boost for tourism in the regions. In general, the analysis showed that the entire PROSESC project is about the transfer of know-how. But it was a learning process for all and not only from partners in old member states to partners in new member states. We learned that the DESUR project’s focus on responsible innovation led to the furthering of equal opportunities, to ensuring a complete absence of discriminatory practices, and a closer relationship within the SME community. The project also extensively promotes the exchange of knowledge, experiences and good practices, exporting them from the more advanced regions to the less advanced ones. Furthermore, the social capital understood as the connection among organisations and citizens, was an important aspect of CSR promoted by the project. The project has shown that those SMEs performing CSR actions are much closer to local communities and become a model for other companies and a reference in the wider public.
3.6 Contribution to regional policies The projects have approached the process of embedding their results into the regional eco-innovation landscape through the integration of the project results into the regional development policies or regional innovation strategies, such as RIS3. As showcased in the 2013 INTERREG IVC capitalisation analysis report on eco-innovation, there are several projects, such as FRESH and ECOREGIONS, which worked with regional stakeholders to prioritise specific areas of eco-innovation with dedicated support measures in the regional innovation strategies including RIS3. For instance, the ECOREGIONS project considerably contributed to the Regional Innovation Strategy in Lombardy through the existing mechanisms, particularly through the 2010 - 2015 Programme Agreement between the Government of the Lombardy Region and the Regional System of the Chambers of Commerce. An important success factor was that the regional governments had the capacity to design RIS and implement them. In projects such as FRESH, the different regional contexts led to a differentiated embeddedness of the project results in the region, as project partners in Romania, for instance, did not have a RIS development process in place before the project started. Projects that were still ongoing such as CIE, DESUR and RECOMMEND could already define the routes by which their outcomes can be integrated into regional policies.
CIE: Linking the ongoing good practice sharing from the INTERREG IVC exercise to ongoing institutional strategies and regional policy developments
The CIE project has the potential to contribute to regional development policies through its handbook on how to establish cleantech incubators, which it could supply to regional governments in the participating partner regions. As mentioned in the case of the regional CIE project partner from Peterborough, UK, the region’s participation in the project directly led to the establishment of incubation facilities in the city of Peterborough, a region where there had previously been no such infrastructure. The timing of project – in the same period as Peterborough’s strategy preparation process – as well as the active engagement of regional and national stakeholders throughout the project, were positive factors.
DESUR: Linking project results to ongoing regulatory and policy changes
The lead partner of DESUR, FUNDECYT-PCTEX, assisted the Regional Government of Extremadura in the development of the region’s Research and Innovation Strategy for Smart Specialisation (RIS3). In this process, certain outputs of the DESUR project have been useful for designing policies and instruments to promote innovation in the region and to enhance the competitiveness of its SMEs. More concretely, the regional project partner made links between the outcomes of DESUR and the implementation of the CSR law in Extremadura and the Regional Observatory of CSR. Moreover,
FUNDECYT-PCTEX supports the University of Extremadura in developing studies on CSR practices in SMEs and association of SMEs, running summer courses, and participating in European projects related to the project’s main areas of activity.
RECOMMEND: Offering a peer review space for developing tools to improve regional policies and conceiving regional implementation plans
From the beginning, the RECOMMEND project partners were engaged in activities that were directly linked to developing new approaches to improving regional eco-innovation support tools. This direct link was achieved by having each partner region design and initiate a regional implementation plan as a means to developing an instrument to improve specific regional policies, based on the good practices identified during the project. The final RECOMMEND project meetings became spaces for peer review of each partners’ regional implementation plans and for mutual feedback and further idea generation. For instance, partners from the Czech Republic and Bulgaria presented their plans for setting-up new eco-management voucher schemes in their regions based on the examples of the Lower Austrian region. In addition, the Lower Austrian regional authority presented their plans to have a more systemic approach to their eco-management support tools and integrate several instruments into a platform. While this project is still ongoing, and it is still too early to know how the final versions of the regional implementation plans will be carried out in each partner region, the RECOMMEND project has the merit of having put in place processes for adopting new eco-innovation support tools in the partner regions or refreshing their current support measures.
3.7 Learning from and benchmarking with other European initiatives 3.7.1 Learning from other EU Programmes and projects The observed learning effect of these projects is described below. Some of the projects were able to make links between their activities and other EU programmes and projects. In particular, the project partners mentioned the involvement in exchanges with projects implemented under the Europe INNOVA initiatives, INTERACT II, ESPON, INTERREG IVB projects, as well as FP7 projects. The FRESH project partner, the regional council of Kainuu, was involved in the ESPON project (SEMIGRA). Although the thematic focus of the project was different, the partners from Kainuu brought to FRESH the knowledge and methodology of the Genuine Progress Indicator, which resulted in transfer of this methodology in three other regions. The FRESH project also had mutually beneficial links with STinno – Sustainable Innovation and Treatment in Industrial Waste Water Clusters – financed by the FP7 Regions of Knowledge programme. The STInno project strengthened the international activities of regional clusters working on their regional innovation systems, creating value-added networks, platforms for technology solutions developers, and through facilitating the exchange on industrial wastewater treatment know-how. The FRESH project’s synergies with the STinno project were operationalised through the sharing and benchmarking of good practices in relation to the regional triple helix approach. In addition, the results of the FRESH project have been studied by the Regional Council of Päijät-Häme and Lahti Science and Business Park Ltd, in particular on the possibilities of the regional public stakeholders to support and strengthen regional innovation strategies and financial instruments, as well as the regional SME clusters. This knowledge was shared with the STinno project, especially since parts of the study focused on fostering innovations in wastewater treatment. The FRESH project also benefited from a process of “cross fertilisation” of ideas with the SCINET project on sustainable procurement approaches for promoting innovation in the construction sector (which is supported by the European Commission’s CIP programme under the Lead Market Initiative). One of the RECOMMEND project partners, Opportunity Peterborough, is also involved in the project EcoCLUP, which is a Europe INNOVA network initiative. This has allowed for cross-fertilisation of the good practices identified in both projects aiming to improve local support measures in Peterborough. The PROSESC project partially builds on the BeLCAR project which was financed by Europe INNOVA Initiative, and which addressed the clustering phenomenon in the automotive industry from different angles.
The projects have all been engaging in exchanges with other INTERREG IVC projects. The exchanges were mostly of a thematic nature, in which the project partners gained further insights into areas closely related to the topic of their project. In other cases, such as the DESUR project, the contacts to other INTERREG IVC projects are leading to starting further projects in an area connected to the ecoinnovation. Some of the interactions happened because the project partners are or have been also involved in other INTERREG IVC funded projects, which facilitated the exchange of results. For instance, the CIE project could name several further initiatives in which its project partners are involved. Thus, Opportunity Peterborough drew inspiration from all the INTERREG IVC projects to find solutions to support SMEs, incubators, and eco-innovation in the Peterborough economic strategy. Following the INNOFUN project dealing with helping innovators to access finance, Opportunity Peterborough used the knowledge gained to add support and insight into the Future Cities Demonstrator project in Peterborough. For both the projects RECOMMEND and CIE, the participation in interregional projects brought lessons in terms of mobilising the regional stakeholder network to implement findings of the INTERREG IVC projects in the region. Maintaining the network through the constant interaction of the regional implementation groups is very useful for transferring eco-innovative good practices to the regions. The FRESH project interacted substantially with the Cradle-to-Cradle Network project (C2CN). The specific design and technological solutions proposed by the partners Päijät Häme (i.e. MERA) and Veneto (i.e. Treviso homes) have a potential for further development. PROSESC indicated that the project partners focused their exchanges with other INTERREG projects more on sharing knowledge on project management arrangements. The PROSESC project is based on earlier cooperation projects: the Network of Automotive Regions (co-financed by INTERREG IIIC). With its strong focus on the automotive sector the project itself does not seem to have a generic synergy with other INTERREG IVC projects. The RECOMMEND team has also been informally exchanging with the FRESH project team on ecodesign under the sustainable construction theme. The networking developed within DESUR project has facilitated contact between FUNDECYT-PCTEX and some other projects/partners involved in INTERREG IVC to exchange information, participate in workshops, etc. Among these projects/partners the following are worth highlighting: the COGITA project, the RECOMMEND project, and the organisation European Centre for Women and Technology. As a result of these contacts, several new project proposals have been submitted to other European programmes:
The R-ICT project, submitted to ICT Policy Support Programme, which aims to ensure coherent and consistent coordination of CSR issues in the ICT sector, in order to encourage and enable enterprises across the EU to apply and promote CSR. This would be enabled through strategic partnerships with relevant stakeholders, based on good practices that show the societal benefits that can be delivered by ICT. R-ICT project has already been approved and will be implemented together with CISE, partner of COGITA, and other partners from DESUR (Province of Bologna and Kaunas University of Technology) among others.
The EqualSME project, submitted to the PROGRESS Programme, aims at fostering gender equality in European SMEs by improving the application of policies regarding Gender Balance in Economic Decision Making Positions (GBAL) in less developed regions. This project has been submitted together with the European Centre for Women and Technology – ECWT and other partners from DESUR (Pannon Business Network and Kaunas University of Technology) among others.
3.7.2 Benchmarking with European state of the art good practices Incremental versus transformative eco-innovations: where is the focus of the INTERREG IVC projects? In general we observe that not all good practices promoted by INTERREG IVC projects can be considered as state-of-the-art in policy making or eco-innovation technology. Many of them suggest very practical, yet not original, medium-impact practices, e.g. biogas plants, energy efficiency support funds, switching from fossils to bioenergy, low impact housing, demonstration projects, training programmes. Figure 13 below presents the mapping of eco-innovation categories based on their impact potential for impact. Currently, the majority of eco-innovations promoted through the seven analysed INTERREG IVC projects are incremental innovations such as products, services, or technologies (see Figure 13). 55
The value of these good practices should not be underestimated, but it is about time for regions to start investing in more systemic eco-innovations41 that can help regions to refocus their economic development models and create wider transformative and long-term impact on environmental and economic sustainability. There are also a number of good practices that promote eco-innovation of value chains. In other words, they try to decrease the environmental footprint of products across the life-cycle. Examples include sustainable construction codes, such as Code for Sustainable Home, CEN 350, SBToolCZ, ITACA protocol, etc. identified by the FRESH and RECOMMEND projects. Figure 13: Mapping eco-innovation types based on their impact (scope of change and degree of change they can generate)
Scope of ecoinnovations addressed by the INTERREG IVC projects analysed (lot3)
Based on: Eco-innovation Observatory, 2012 and Miedzinski, 2012
The projects did not cover the support tools promoting service-based or circular economy and new eco-innovative business models (such as the ones based on extended producerâ€™s responsibility), as well as the complex eco-innovative systems such as industrial ecology/symbiosis and sustainable neighbourhood cities and alternative mobility systems42. Such transformative system eco-innovations have been rather rare, either due to lack of incentives, or their complex nature, or technological and cultural lock-ins. However, recently, the interest of the policy community in system eco-innovations has started to emerge.
see also Glossary in the Annex for the definition of Systemic eco-innovations Although PROSESC addressed the sustainable transport and mobility topics, it focused on the electric car industries and emobility infrastructure, rather than on policies promoting alternative low/zero carbon mobility systems such as optimised public transportation, bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, car-sharing schemes, etc.
Policy good practices as a strength of INTERREG IVC projects Despite the moderate ambitions in the scope of eco-innovations, it is important to highlight that the INTERREG IVC eco-innovation projects promoted a large number of good practices for eco-innovation policy. The policy lessons that these projects offer are significant. The advantage of policy good practices is that they provide a much wider and more long-term benefit in the region. In contrast, technology based good practices (e.g. technological facilities, green energy generation units, or passive houses) while having a quick and easy to measure local impact, would need a substantial investment if transferred to other regions, and would require a multiple replication in order to achieve a wider impact. Policy strategies, regulations, policy support measures, and new regional development models can reach out to or influence many – if not all – SMEs, individual entrepreneurs, knowledge organisations and civil society organisations in the region, providing incentives to shift from the business-as-usual to more sustainable practices. The INTERREG IVC projects promoted several of such good practices, including: -
eco-innovative RIS3 strategies in of Päijät Häme and Lubelskie regions (FRESH),
facilitation of the regional innovation plans (all regions in RECOMMEND) and climate action programmes (ECOREGIONS)
supporting green technology cluster development (CIE, RECOMMEND, PROSESC),
implementing new legislations and standards (FRESH, RECOMMEND),
adopting the Genuine Progress Indicator for measuring the development in the region (FRESH).
These good practices can be considered as very advanced and some as European best practices in eco-innovation policy. The eco-innovation policies can be classified into three generations (see Figure 14 below): 1st generation: policies that promote environmental technologies; 2nd generation: policies that promote eco-efficiencies; 3rd generation: policies whose goal is systemic change The impact of these policy generations varies, with the third being the most far reaching and long-term one. Figure 14: Different generations of eco-innovation supporting policies Policy generations 1st generation: Environmental technologies
2nd generation: Eco-efficiency
3rd generation: Systemic eco-innovation
Main objectives - ENV: protect the natural environment by reducing pollution and waste streams from production - ECON: increase competitiveness and create jobs in eco-industries through production and diffusion of environmental technologies - ENV: protect the natural environment by reducing or preventing the use of resources and energy in production and consumption - ECON: increase competitiveness and economic growth by decreasing material and energy costs of companies in all relevant sectors - ENV: improve the relationship between human activity and eco-systems by reconfiguring production and consumption patterns, improving quality of life. - ECON: increase sustainable competitiveness and economic development by transforming markets, creating new economic/business sectors
Type of eco-innovation supported Mainly incremental technological and process eco-innovations.
Technological and organisational eco-innovations that address improvements along the value chain
Transformative (and radical) system eco-innovations focused on e.g. re‐ designing cities, industrial ecology, new business models providing alternative solutions to traditional activities (e.g. product service systems)
Note: ENV = environmental and ECON = economic
Source: EIO 2012
The review of the pool of policy measures suggested by the INTERREG IVC eco-innovation projects has shown that they are oriented more towards the first and second generation of policy measures. This is as expected, as the third generation eco-innovation policies promoting systemic and transformative eco-innovations are not widely applied yet because many governments are still lacking capacities to correctly design and implement such policies (EIO 2014). Nevertheless, the European regional and national policy practice can offer state-of-the-art policy support approaches, including the third generation policies, which could provide useful lessons and examples to follow for the INTERREG IVC eco-innovation project partners (presented in the following section).
EU state of the art practices as examples to look into. Our analysis of other EU programmes and projects, including the European Territorial Co-operation (ETC) initiatives, as well as other thematic projects of INTERREG IVC, has provided a number of examples of state-of-the-art approaches that could validate the benchmark of the knowledge from the projects that we have analysed. Below, we present the practices and projects that demonstrate the best eco-innovative experiences in Europe in facilitation of the sustainable transformation of the regions with a long-term economic and environmental development vision. Among the most high-impact transformative examples are:
Promoting sustainable sub-regions, cities, neighbourhoods, via transformations in social, economic, cultural and ecological practices
Development of competitive local industries based on cooperative innovation driven green clusters and business parks
Improving eco-efficiencies and developing the circular economy via industrial ecosystems/symbioses43
Promoting the circular economy through new sustainable business models
Other approaches that are also very effective in promoting eco-innovation can include innovative policy support measures, smart regulations and strategies. Transforming cities, neighbourhoods, and sub-regions is one of the high-impact systemic ecoinnovations because it promotes sustainable change on many levels: technical (e.g. green energy sources), infrastructural (e.g. cycling pads, greywater reuse systems), organisational (eco-efficiency practices), behavioural (e.g. car sharing instead of owning) and marketing (organic and fair trade shops). The governments promoting such transformative developments use a complex mix of demand and supply policy measures framed under a long-term strategic plan. There are a number of projects running in different European Territorial Cooperation (ETC) and other programmes promoting such best practice that could provide many insights for other regions. For example:
The ECOCIUDAD project supported under the South East Europe Transnational Cooperation Programme aims at creating a culture of "eco-cities" in the European and North African regions on both sides of the Strait of Gibraltar. This project can offer knowledge on how to develop liveable and green cities in economically disadvantaged regions, how to involve and benefit from various stakeholders (NGOs, business, citizens) and what policies to achieve the objective of environmental sustainability in urban development. The USEACT project supported by the URBACT programme promotes urban sustainable environmental actions. It focuses on defining sustainable economic opportunities without the consumption of further land and natural spaces. Thanks to new planning and partnership approaches the project leads to boosting greener construction and maintenance sectors, cutting back on further infrastructure and management costs, reducing energy consumption and emissions, saving green spaces around the cities, and improving urban life quality. The GRABS and CLUE projects supported by INTERREG IVC offer innovative measures for building eco-towns. Through their good practices both projects have demonstrated how to improve regional policy making and governance for building low-carbon economies, as well as how to increase the capacity of local stakeholders for the selection and implementation of new solutions.
see also Glossary in the Annex for the definition of industrial symbiosis
Sustainable and competitive local industries and sectors are the backbone of the regional economy. Building green, eco-innovative industries offer double (ecological and environmental) benefits to the regions. However, establishing successful industries is not an overnight task. A number of the European regions (e.g. Styria, Venlo, Lahti, and Copenhagen) have succeeded in becoming international leaders in cleantech and eco-efficiency by making systematic planned efforts in their longterm vision. The most prominent results and lessons in this area for other regions are offered by the following projects:
Venlo (the Netherlands) is the pioneer region in putting the “Cradle-to-cradle” (C2C) concept in the core of its economic development. It has also been sharing its experience with other regions through the projects called “C2C BIZZ”, “C2C Islands” (INTERREG IVB), and “C2C Network” (INTERREG IVC). In contrast to the concept of “Cradle to Grave” that illustrates the traditional resource-to-waste lifestyle, “Cradle to Cradle” seeks to create systems that are resource, energy and water efficient and essentially waste-free. Venlo’s experience is a success story because it successfully incorporated the C2C philosophy into several pillars of its regional development, including manufacturing, services, agriculture and construction sectors, local R&D programmes, university and school education, as well as in applying policy measures (e.g. public procurement, product certification, information policies). Its prestigious business spark called GreenPark is increasingly attracting eco-innovative businesses, while Venlo is now regarded internationally as the C2C capital. The EcoWorld cluster in Styria region (Austria) is another success story that can be a model for many other regions that are trying to build competitiveness while remaining ecologically sustainable. EcoWorld is one of the world’s leading green technology clusters, with around 200 companies and research centres actively working in the cluster on the environmental engineering solutions of tomorrow. The Styria region has been sharing its knowledge through the EcoClup project, a Europe INNOVA network initiative. Very practical good practices for fostering clusters and business parks (but with a wider focus than eco-innovation) are presented by the ESIMeC project supported by the URBACT programme. ESIMeC aims at helping regions to build economic and innovation competitiveness in small towns via regeneration and supporting business. One of the good practices is the Basing View business park initiative of Basingstoke town which aims to make the town a first class business destination. It is envisaged that the initiative has the potential to double the current number of jobs in the business park to around 10 000.
Industrial ecosystem/symbiosis is a well-proven and viable approach to building the circular ‘zerowaste’ economy within the boundaries of a region or beyond and it is an example of high-impact systemic eco-innovation. Potentially, every European region can benefit (economically and ecologically) from adopting this approach as it is upscalable, flexible, and adoptable to any industry. Only a very few regions have implemented this approach so far, thus there is a considerable potential to be tapped across the EU. The most practical and easily adoptable good practice in promoting industrial symbiosis is the UK National Industrial Symbiosis Programme (NISP). NISP is one of the international best practices in increasing material and cost-efficiency and waste prevention through mutually beneficial relationships among industrial players. NISP has its dedicated sub-programmes in the regions, and a number of methods of working with small and large companies. It is also active in supporting governments in designing eco-innovation policies that stimulate efficient use and re-use of materials, waste, water, and energy. Thanks to the ERDF support under the 20072013 Competitiveness programme NISP implemented the North-East Industrial Symbiosis SME Support Programme where it generated learning between UK regions. The format and the content of NISP is applicable to various regional conditions and industries. Promoting the circular economy via sustainable business models is an approach that has only recently started drawing attention in the policy domain. Achieving a dramatic reduction in environmental impact while maintaining economic growth requires dramatic changes in the ways economies work. Shifting to a circular economy can help to achieve these changes via improving resource efficiency and closing material loops. New business models based on product sharing (e.g. car-sharing, rental service) and product-service maintaining rather than product selling (known as “product-service systems”44) promise substantial material saving opportunities. At the same time they create new economic activities.
see the definition of “product-service systems” in the Glossary in the Annex
Such new business models are not widely spread yet, but they are emerging often with support of the local governments. One of the examples is car-sharing schemes that are emerging in some regions.
CARE-North+ project supported by INTERREG NSR IV develops a comprehensive, strategic, and practical approach to urban and regional transport/accessibility that is also climate friendly and an alternative to current practices. Among several of its good practices, the Bremen’s carsharing action plan received the European Sustainable Energy Award in 2013. This good practice could be of interest not only to PROSESC partners who work in the sustainable transport theme, but also to many other regions.
A further analysis of other programmes shows that there are a number of other good practices that are potentially of interest to the regions involved in INTERREG IVC eco-innovation projects. The practices include innovative policy support measures, smart regulations, and strategies that are effective in promoting eco-innovations. The examples include the following:
FaRInn - Facilitating Responsible Innovation in South and East European (SEE) countries is a project within the ETC programme for transnational cooperation in SEE. The main objective of FaRInn is to enhance framework conditions and pave the way for a ‘responsible innovation’ model, which respects the principles of sustainability, social responsibility and better quality of life.
Within the Innovation focus area of the INTERREG IVB Baltic Sea programme – the SPIN project (Sustainable production through innovation SMEs) can be highlighted as an interesting practice. The project itself is an interesting example of an eco-innovation knowledge and action platform. It identifies and disseminates information about eco-innovation, provides direct support to SMEs (matchmaking of demand and supply), and develops & tests tools, instruments, and schemes that facilitate the application of eco-innovations.
The RE-SEETies project implemented within the INTERREG IVB South East Europe programme offers a useful contribution to the field of improving resource and energy efficiency in urban communities. The project tackles 2 key areas of resource efficiency, i.e. energy and waste, in an integrated manner. It offers a pool of easy to adopt methods (e.g. awareness raising among consumers to boost energy saving, waste recycling/re-use, efficient landfill utilisation, and more coordinated & efficient exploitation of renewable energy sources) that in combination can create many improvements.
The GreenITNet project supported by the INTERREG IVC programme offers up-to-date and practical measures for the incorporation of a green IT policy framework using, for example, Geoinformation systems and an open data approach in city planning, energy efficient buildings, and sustainable mobility schemes, etc. ICT is inevitably becoming an important element in all areas, but especially in eco-innovation activities. Timely information about possibilities offered by ICT is therefore very important for any eco-innovation initiative.
The ECO-INNOVA project funded by the transnational Atlantic Area Programme (under the ETC) has created a useful online infrastructure -“ECO-INNOVA Toolbox”- in order to inform, advise, foster and promote eco-innovation in SMEs within four regions of the Atlantic Area Programme. This tool can be seen as a good practice example, as it is comprehensive, intuitive in use and contains very structured and practical information for SMEs. It is also accessible worldwide.
Furthermore: one of the best collections of policy good practices from the EU and beyond has been produced by the ECOPOL project (funded by the CIP programme). It demonstrates over 200 policy instruments promoting both demand for and the supply of eco-innovations. All policy good practices have been tested and the online repository tool offers lessons learned and recommendations on the application of each policy measure.
3.8 EU added value of the INTERREG IVC programme The European policy framework in support of eco-innovation is rather dense. This is due to the adoption of an increasing number of policy initiatives exclusively aimed at stimulating the development of ecoinnovation but also because there are a number of ‘connected’ initiatives (e.g. industry, climate, environment and energy) that are also of relevance to the field. Most of the European Programmes supporting eco-innovation, such as the Horizon 2020, the 7th RTD Framework Programme, the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP), the Programme Marco Polo, the ACP-EU Energy Facility or the GEEREF are focused on the research and development of new products and services, or the development of new infrastructure. In addition, other Programmes, such as LIFE+, do not specifically promote experience exchange between regions, so that is a solid reason to consider that the interregional cooperation that INTERREG IVC Programme offers added value, generating a working environment rich in experiences, knowledge, and perspectives to be shared and bridging competitiveness and convergence between European regions. Furthermore, the collaboration among the EU regions participating in INTERREG IVC programme facilitates the transfer and implementation of good practices and fosters a more proactive attitude in regions, motivating them to exchange information and knowledge. All this forms a mutually beneficial system of giving and receiving, which is a unique feature of the programme. In comparison with other European programmes the advantages of INTERREG IVC are the opportunity to involve regional policy bodies and stakeholders, and to diversify and strengthen networks among project partners and the local stakeholders. All these also contribute to the implementation of good practices and the widening of the impact of projects’ results. While seeing INTERREG IVC’s advantages, the DESUR project team suggests taking into account the differences among European programmes (discussed above) and to work towards a closer interaction between the INTERREG IVC programme and other thematic programmes. This will help to identify complementarities and improve the effectiveness of regional policies and instruments supporting ecoinnovation, such as working together with:
the Programme Marco Polo in the field of transport good practices; LIFE+ in air quality, biodiversity, industry, recycling, resource efficiency, sustainable consumption and production, and waste, etc.; GEEREF in energy efficiency and renewable energy; European Water Initiative, and; other programmes that can provide information on better ways for designing policies and instruments.
CIE project partners see the value added of the programme in creating a network with significant and unique know-how in the field of cleantech, incubation, and cleantech incubation. The advantage of having such a network is in its international base and availability of the best European expertise and models. This would not have been possible without opportunities offered by INTERREG IVC programme. In the assessment of the partners, the ECOREGIONS project brings the EU added value in terms of providing the platform for building up expertise in innovative tools, policy measures, and practices, as well as in creating long-term networks among regions. INTERREG IVC is, in their opinion, one of the most effective programmes of the EU in these regards. The advantages of the programme according to the FRESH project are the following: The identification of good practices and the encouragement for policy mainstreaming is unique to INTERREG IVC and in that sense complements the B-strand of INTERREG. The good practice transfer can be done within INTERREG’s B-strand and also Cluster initiatives within the COSME programme. In terms of policy themes, such as eco-innovation, an IVC project can act in complement to the standard type of ecoinnovation calls. It can do so by creating a policy framework on the regional level and an empowering background for other eco-innovation support programmes. At the same FRESH partners note that the programme requirement for transfer / mainstreaming good practices is missing and left to the good-will of the partner regions. According to the assessment of the PROSESC project, the INTEREG IVC programme was unique because it helped to improve the regional policymaking measures for sustainable road transport, stimulated an additional inter-regional transfer of know-how to policy-makers, and established a network of regional and local policymakers and development authorities to promote innovation in road transport.
The focus on policy learning and European level exchange makes the programme unique in comparison to other programmes in the field of transport. Overall, the European Territorial Cooperation and specifically the INTERREG IVC programme, has a specific added value at European level.
Firstly, the collaboration under the INTERREG IVC contains a significant territorial dimension, which is generally absent in many other European programmes. There are disparities in terms of eco-innovation performance and eco-innovation policy-making experience level among EU regions. Therefore, there are numerous opportunities for interregional learning that are being addressed by the INTERREG IVC programme.
Secondly, while the cooperation dimension in many EU eco-innovation focused programmes is widely promoted, there is a limited focus on interregional cooperation and exchange. Instead, the focus is mainly on cooperation and networking among specific research organisations, businesses and innovation intermediaries, regardless of the territories they come from. INTERREG IVC adds value by promoting interregional cooperation among innovation players, as well as linking this cooperation with regional development objectives.
Thirdly, the interregional collaboration promoted by INTERREG IVC allows regions to explore and exchange knowledge on innovation from policy and governance perspectives. This makes it distinct from other programmes focusing on an industrial or research perspective. The lack of information regarding the potential benefits of eco-innovation may prevent eco-innovation from being prioritised in the regional policy agenda. At the same time, regions looking to promote eco-innovation lack policy and governance expertise in this area. Currently, the main strategy is one of experimentation and pioneering in promoting eco-innovation, but learning from another experience could be a more efficient approach.
In addition, the INTERREG IVC approach to knowledge-sharing appears to have a strong dimension for capacity building. Participants generally acquire skills and knowledge through to their involvement in projects, which they can then put to use in their daily activities. Finally, the cooperation promoted by INTERREG IVC allows regions to carry out a mutual learning process with other regions with similar interests and priorities. It is specific enough to attract the interest of stakeholders on a particular issue, while allowing for flexibility to adapt good practices to different territorial realities.
3.9 Lessons learnt in working with eco-innovation good practices Our analysis of the projects has enabled us to draw a number of lessons regarding the identification and transfer of good practices45 in the field of eco-innovation:
The long-term commitment of regional government to the sustainability goals ensures the success of the transfer and implementation of eco-innovation good practices. For example, in regions with binding green targets, sustainability strategy or policy documents, the region’s leaders will have an intrinsic interest in novel policy and technical good practices as they can contribute to attaining their strategic goals.
Achieving a shared understanding of the eco-innovation concept between the partners transferring good practices can lead to better project results. It is important to bring partners to a shared understanding of eco-innovation and how initiatives in the field of eco-innovation can be used to support their region.
Having a partner region with extensive experience in supporting eco-innovation has been found by the project partners to be a major asset in transferring good practices, as the more experienced partner can guide the rest of the partners to select good practices. As a basic pre-requisite for success, the project design should make sure that the good practices are clearly presented, and that experts in the specific needed sectors are involved in the good practice transfer.
It is worth highlighting at this point that the ‘methodological’ dimension of good practice exchange among selected projects was not a core objective of the exercise; all the information regarding the exchange of experience processes are the subject of a study on the exchange of experience process undertaken by the INTERREG IVC programme (http://www.interreg4c.eu/).
We have identified three broad types of good practice – technical, policy and support tools. Technical and support tool good practices require less coordination and long-term commitment to be successfully transferred. However, the impacts in terms of eco-innovation outcomes are likely to be lower than those of a policy good practice. In addition, when transferring a technical good practice, it is important for partner regions to also ensure the transfer of the know-how necessary to ensure the successful operation of the technical solution.
Due to the cross-cutting nature of eco-innovation, importing eco-innovation-related good practices requires additional efforts to involve a wide range of partners in the exchange process.
Eco-innovation can be supported via generic innovation support instruments. However, tailoring it to eco-innovation needs and objectives will ensure more effective results.
Eco-innovation is riskier and generally more expensive than traditional innovation. Greener products and services are still not mainstream and cannot fully compete with mainstream products and services in terms of cost. Special support measures and framework conditions therefore need to be fostered.
4. Key policy messages and conclusions 4.1 Policy recommendations to regional stakeholders 4.1.1 Recommendations to regional authorities
Regional authorities should position themselves as the “change agent” (facilitator of change) in the transition towards sustainability and should secure political backing for their sustainability goals (e.g. adopting specific green targets and strategy).
Eco-innovations are central to the promotion of sustainable and smart growth in regions. Including ecoinnovation as one of the main pillars of the regional strategy for smart specialisation (RIS3) is one of the key conditions to developing an integrated approach, capable of generating systemic impacts at the regional level. Doing this will also require establishing a long-term vision and the development of a model for sustainable and smart regions. The good practice from Päijät Häme (a partner in the FRESH project) in RIS3, as well as the climate action programmes from Hordaland (ECOREGIONS), have demonstrated that regional authorities are well positioned to facilitate transformative changes by supporting various eco-innovations and involving different stakeholders in the development and implementation ecoinnovative strategies. Furthermore, the Europe’s best eco-innovation practices, such as the Styria ecocluster or the Venlo Cradle to Cradle strategy should be looked into as models to learn from.
To ensure the success of eco-innovation strategy, conduct a thorough analysis of key economic stakeholders, priority areas, and policy targets; as well as analyse eco-innovation markets, and drivers and barriers to eco-innovation. It is also important to involve a wide range of stakeholders in the policy planning process.
When planning eco-innovation strategies and activities, we recommend that regional leaders conduct a robust analysis of the state of play in their region in regards to eco-innovations. This includes identifying key economic stakeholders, priority sectors, and policy targets as well as measuring eco-innovation markets. This also involves identifying existing and emerging drivers and barriers to eco-innovation. In order to do so, regions may rely on tools such as directories and databases, foresight and prospective studies, assessing the performance and needs of the companies and SMEs, analysing the sustainability, the environmental performance and the footprint of major industries in the region. In this process the regional leaders must involve a wide range of stakeholders. These include local municipalities, businesses and industries, research institutes, cluster organisations and universities, NGOs, citizens, Living Labs, user groups and regional or local innovation or development agencies. One of the interesting models for stakeholder dialogue comes from CIE. Inspired by the experience of INCOMPASS (INTERREG IVC project), the “Regional Implementation Groups” model served as a great tool for involving various regional stakeholders in planning and supporting of regional development activities under the CIE project.
Do not focus on a single support measure; develop a policy portfolio and support both the supply and demand sides of eco-innovation
In order to achieve far-reaching results in promoting eco-innovations, regions should develop a comprehensive policy mix that includes both supply and demand side measures. Regions should make innovative use of the policy instruments at their disposal. For example, they should create demand for eco-innovative products and services using the green public procurement and directly support ecoinnovation in SMEs through providing subsidies, advisory, and technical support. The systemic approach of Venlo region (C2C region) is exemplary since it promotes the circular economy through a set of policy measures including business capacity building and certification in “Cradle to Cradle” (C2C) approach, applying C2C focused green public procurement, promoting C2C education at local universities and schools, and wider public awareness raising.
Make strategic decisions in adopting and transferring good practices
While technical eco-innovation good practices (e.g. biogas technology, zero-emission home) demonstrate quick results, the impacts from policy good practices are likely to be more long-term and wider. One of the main lessons of the FRESH project was that regions should focus more on promoting policy good practices as they provide incentives and support to local eco-innovators, they are long-term which secure stable signal for SMEs to eco-innovate. In contrast to this the technology good practices when transferred need costly technical adaptations and diffusion. At the same time, the common lesson
that every project agrees on is that specific measures and new practices should be designed within a bottom-up approach, rather than being imposed from the top down.
When adopting new eco-innovative practices, consider the specific economic, regulatory, technological, innovation, and environmental profile of ‘recipient’ regions as well as the readiness and responsiveness of the citizens.
Regions can usefully build on good practices from other EU regions and countries, taking into account both their successes and failures. From the analysis of the INTERREG IVC eco-innovation projects, a number of policy initiatives have been identified, addressing issues such as: eco-innovation assessment and planning, regional eco-innovation strategies, demand side policies including procurement, ecoinnovation incubation and clusters, eco-innovation funding, and eco (innovation) management in SMEs. However, it is crucial to take into account the specific economic, regulatory, technological, innovation, and environmental profiles of ‘recipient’ regions when exchanging good practices as they may respond differently to the various incentives and barriers to eco-innovation.
Apply a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation framework to track the impact of the adopted eco-innovation practices.
Finally, when planning eco-innovation focused projects and programmes, regions should apply a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation framework with a well-defined and measurable set of indicators that will monitor progress in activities, outputs, and results. The questionnaire developed within the ECREIN+ project has proved to be a reliable tool in this regard. It is important to understand that the wide variety of eco-innovative solutions and the projects and programmes that promote ecoinnovation each require tailored monitoring and evaluation systems and indicators to measure their progress. 4.1.2 Recommendations to regional businesses and SMEs
Introducing eco-innovation and eco-efficiency measures in the company brings not only environmental benefits, but also results in increasing economic returns, improved image, and market advantage in the long run.
There is a wealth of evidence of the economic profitability of eco-innovative activities and resource and energy efficiency measures. Businesses and SMEs should carefully analyse each stage of their activities and identify eco-efficiency measures. In most cases such measures are low-cost and generate quick payback. One of the many successful examples has been demonstrated by the good practices from Lower Austria (RECOMMEND): the region has implemented the Ökomanagement Niederösterreich Eco-Management Vouchers scheme that helps to build capacity of SMEs in ecoefficiency. This measure resulted in significant economic returns for SMEs, along with reduced emissions, water use, and waste.
Careful strategic planning and assessment of new market opportunities will help companies to enter, anticipate needs, and be competitive in growing markets for green products and services.
Green product and service markets are rapidly developing and will continue to grow in Europe and worldwide. SMEs and companies should not miss upcoming opportunities and should act strategically in capturing new market niches. DESUR presents a number of good practice examples of companies that improved their business prospects and competitiveness by shifting to delivering sustainable services and products. Inchydoney Island Lodge and Spa Hotel in Spain is an example of successful business in environmentally sustainable construction and business operation. EUROLIMPIEZAS is a company in cleaning services active in Extramadura. It became a preferred service provider due to the socially and environmentally responsible approach they use in the work. The Coop Adriatica’s (Bologna) sustainable business approach was inspired by the demand of consumers to better protect their purchasing power and to obtain guarantees on the quality and safety of products. It is now the most important retailer and one of nine largest cooperatives in Italy.
Consider bringing in technical support to help with the introduction of eco-innovations and eco-efficiency by participating in available public support schemes and programmes
Governmental and support agencies, as well as national and regional support programmes offer a growing number of supply side support measures, such as, for example, innovation vouchers, training, efficiency audits, etc. that help businesses to improve their eco-innovativeness and eco-efficiency. Examples of such support schemes includes the Austrian Ökomanagement Niederösterreich Eco65
Management Vouchers, Pilot Innovation Projects (East England), Red Calea (Extramadura), Macroom E (South West region Ireland), Green SMEs training (Hungary), the Rhône-Alpes Innov’R applied research grant scheme and others.
Take an active part in the development of regional strategies for eco-innovation and sustainability.
This will help to inform policymakers about challenges faced by businesses and SMEs and to design better support measures. At the same time, it is important that companies also take responsibility and subscribe to the sustainability targets and work together with the regional authorities in attaining those. For instance, the DESUR project partners that are the most experienced in working with SMEs have learned that, for the development and success of a regional initiatives, the early involvement of local businesses, especially the ones with common needs and common objectives, play a critical role. 4.1.3 Recommendation to cleantech clusters and incubators The CIE project collected evidence of how the top performing cleantech clusters in Europe manage to achieve important results. Their findings, which are published in a “Policy Handbook for Cleantech Incubation” can be useful to a wider array of regions. Some of the recommendations that the project partners drew for their own regions include:
Foster triple helix cooperation, and capitalise on the incubator’s physical proximity to R&D facilities incorporating opportunities for concrete projects between the members of the incubators, the private sector, universities or the public sector.
Clusters should work together with incubators and support the entrepreneurial environment in the region.
Design cleantech incubator facilities to cater to different phases of the innovation process. Good practices include a range of types of incubator and demonstrator. Some are offering a fasttrack space for testing and adopting the lean start-up concept in the case of early-stage business ideas. Other demonstrators offer the opportunity of testing their prototypes in real-life settings for start-ups that are more advanced in the innovation chain.
4.1.4 Recommendation to knowledge organisations One of the most positive experiences of the FRESH, DESUR, and CIE project teams in identification and the transfer of good practices were due to direct involvement of the universities and research organisations in the project activities. These organisations brought diverse knowledge about ecoinnovations and helped with a systematic, methodological approach in analysis of past experiences and potential actions. This experience could be a good practice for other regional cooperation projects, particularly in the following practical aspects:
Knowledge organisations should seek cooperation with authorities in designing ecoinnovation initiatives and helping to scope visions for the greening of regions, cities, and communities and RIS3 development.
Research organisations and universities have a wealth of knowledge and a deep understanding about the eco-innovation related technical, policy and business knowledge. Through academic discourse they are familiar with the various case studies of success and failure of eco-innovation strategies. Their expertise in foresight and strategic vision building is highly valuable for scoping the vision for the greening of region and RIS3 development.
Facilitate or take an active role in project, programme, and strategy implementation and the monitoring of activities, outcomes, and impacts
Academic and methodological knowledge at the universities and research organisations will be helpful in establishing a thorough monitoring system and measuring the impact of regional programmes and projects.
Cooperate with local SMEs and industries in developing and adopting good practices based on eco-innovative solutions
Joining resources and knowledge will generate benefits for both academic organisations and businesses. It will help academics to co-finance their research activities and link their activities to reallife application and help businesses to exploit the knowledge and creativity available at the universities. 4.1.5 Recommendation to Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) Eco-innovation is about changing people’s lifestyles and consumption patterns, as well as producing more positive interaction with the local ecosystems. The experiences of DESUR and RECOMMEND have demonstrated that in this respect NGOs, associations, community organisations, user groups, and social enterprises can play a very important role. It is therefore recommended that the regional ecoinnovation initiatives should involve civil society organisations. In particular, they are in the best position to increase outreach and widen the impact of initiatives. It is therefore recommended that CSOs should:
Support eco-innovative or sustainable systems (e.g. recycling, eco-mobility and sustainable lifestyle), raise awareness of population, and promote social innovations;
Create networks and mobilise local efforts for specific initiatives and projects;
Support the dissemination of eco-innovations, co-creating, and co-testing of new ecoinnovations by users;
Participate in priority setting for eco-innovation initiatives in the planning process, and lobby for sustainable regulations and policy measures;
Support local authorities in project planning, implementation, and monitoring.
4.2 Recommendations to projects in specific eco-innovation thematic areas 4.2.1 Promoting eco-innovative entrepreneurship and start-ups: In promoting green entrepreneurship, it is very important to provide support, such as capacity building in the early stages of business development. Capacity building support could be provided through different means, such as Innovation and eco-efficiency voucher schemes (RECOMMEND, CIE), grants/subsidies (ECREIN+, RECOMMEND), idea sharing platforms for SMEs (PROSESC), scienceindustry collaboration platforms (PROSESC) or supporting incubators and clusters (CIE, RECOMMEND, PROSESC). 4.2.2 Sustainable mobility and transport: There are two approaches that regions can apply to support sustainable mobility: one being promoting greener transportation, such as electric cars, and the other being changing mobility practices, for example, shifting from using individual cars to shared car systems, improved public transportation, and incorporating cycling into transport systems. The PROSESC project shows successful experience in the promotion of electric cars and e-mobility support infrastructure via pilot testing projects on e-mobility networks. While other regions are invited to adopt this experience, one needs to bear in mind the technological complexity of such projects, which require substantial financial investment. In contrast to that, initiatives encouraging people to drive individual cars less and use public transport and cycling more are recommended for the region. Inspiring lessons can came from the good practices on creating sustainable cities mentioned in this report that have been implemented in other projects (e.g. “eco-town” in ECOCIUDAD), as well as from Sustainable transport projects supported by INTERREG IVC (e.g. intermodal systems between public transport and cycling infrastructure and the “car2go’ sharing system in Ulm). Reducing the cost of public transport could encourage people to use their cars less and use public transport instead. An example from Estonia 46 where free public transport has been introduced, is a bold experimental step in this field, which other regions could usefully monitor.
This good practice is not part of the analysed projects but it is a well-known unique pilot case in Europe.
4.2.3 Sustainable construction Sustainable construction is the area that has one of the greatest potentials in creating positive environmental impact (energy consumption and carbon emissions reduction). The FRESH and RECOMMEND projects have tried exploiting this potential and generated lessons learned. Transferring standards for sustainable construction attracted the interest of the stakeholders in a number of regions (e.g. the FRESH project). However, the transfer of such regulatory instruments needs the involvement of national and regional regulatory bodies. Project partners therefore need to establish a close link with such bodies and actively involve them in the project. In construction and office space building, it is also important to maintain cooperation with the diverse regional players because this will help in more efficient planning and use of the resources (FRESH, RECOMMEND). Several inspiring examples of green/carbon neutral buildings presented in good practices identified by the FRESH, CIE, and DESUR projects could be used as a model for new office buildings. Another interesting example is offered by the Venlo region (the C2C project), which constructed a city hall and a few other buildings using the â€œcradle to cradleâ€? approach. 4.2.4 Sustainable energy When promoting and transferring innovations in sustainable energy in regions and when making decisions about specialisation in sustainable energy areas, it is important to give thorough consideration to climatic conditions, as often technologies developed in other climatic zones perform differently when they are applied in new locations (e.g. sustainable homes in FRESH projects, heat pumps and bio-gas in ECOREGIONS). It is also particularly important to assess the technical potential for renewable energy, as every region has different natural endowments in terms of sun, wind, hydro, agricultural residues/biomass, etc. 4.2.5 Corporate social responsibility In the DESUR project the experience of the Government of Extremadura (Spain) and South West Regional Authority (Ireland) in dissemination of social corporate responsibility practices could be of interest for other regions. A long-term positive impact is generated through relatively simple support measures on improving CSR capacity at local companies. For example, creating a special body for governing the procedures for certification of socially responsible companies (e.g. the Social Responsibility Council in Extramadura) or providing space and advisory services for SMEs and entrepreneurs (e.g. Macroom E good practice).
5. Annexes Annexe 1: Eco-innovation projects overview Project acronym
Clean Tech Incubation Europe
Entrepreneurs & SME's working in the field of clean technology - Clean tech incubators
Developing Sustainable Regions through Responsible SMEs
Corporate Social Responsibility and its dimensions (economic, social and environmental)
Governance of eco-innovation and green technologies private sector (in particular SMEs)
European Clusters and Regions for EcoInnovation Network Plus
Forwarding Regional Environmental Hierarchies
Strengthening of sustainable value creation based on ecodesign/ecoinnovation
Producer Services for European Sustainability and Competitiveness
Promotion of innovation for green transport
Regions using ECO-ManageMENt for ecoinnovation Development
Eco-innovation - Eco-management systems
Number of partners
Country the LP48
ERDF funding (€)
Total budget (€)
Type of project
1 303 328
1 102 584
1 392 019
1 021 885
1 482 814
1 234 417
1 602 310
1 529 642
2 010 313
1 002 311
1 295 594
1 089 997
1 352 265
7 975 527
10 438 643
* Projects (RIP) do not always result in the transfer of good practices, but they always have to identify good practices with view to improving policies.
Representing 22 Member states + Norway LP: Lead Partner 49 RIP: Regional Initiative Project 48
Indicators - as of end 2013 Outputs
Project acronym CIE DESUR ECOREGIONS ECREIN + FRESH PROSESC RECOMMEND
No. of regional / local policies and instruments addressed
No. of good practices identified by Regional Initiative Projects
No. of regional / local policies and instruments improved or developed
No. of good practices successfully transferred within Regional Initiative Projects
No. of staff members with increased capacity (awareness / knowledge / skills) resulting from the exchange of experience at interregional events
6 7 10 12 8 7 8
13 14 10 13 15 12 17
0 0 0 0 3 3 0
2 0 1 0 2 1 0
7 0 0 15 46 18 51
End date 31/12/2014 30/09/2014 30/09/2014 31/12/2012 28/02/2013 31/12/2012 31/12/2014
Partner legal status
Public Authorities Governance level
Local Public Authority Regional Public Authority National Public Authority
Bodies governed by public law*
* Bodies governed by public law: e.g. Regional and local development agencies, Public universities etc.
Number of partner per country 10
Annexe 2: Eco-innovation project partners Map
Annexe 3: Eco-innovation project factsheets
Entrepreneurs & SME's working in the field of clean technology - Clean tech incubators
CIE Cleantech Incubation Europe PROJECT DETAILS Priority: Innovation and the knowledge economy Theme: Entrepreneurship and SMEs TYPE OF INTERVENTION Type of intervention: Regional Initiative Project Duration: 01/01/2012 - 31/12/2014 Website: www.cleantechincubation.eu BUDGET Total budget: EUR 1 303 328 ERDF contribution: EUR 994 691.49
Delft University of Technology, Delft
City of Delft, Delft
I3P - Innovative Companies Incubator of the Politecnico of Torino, Torino
Municipality of Turin, Turin
City of Helsinki, Economic and Planning Centre, Business Development, Helsinki
Green Net Finland, Vantaa
Peterborough City Council, Peterborough
Szent Istvan University, Gรถdรถllล
School of Engineers, Palaiseau
French local authority, subdivision of the Essonne region, Evry
Lead partner: Delft University of Technology Mekelweg 2 2628 CD, Delft THE NETHERLANDS
Overview of the project and its main objectives The CIE project started in 2012 and will run until the end of June 2014. The project has eleven partners including the Delft University of Technology (the Netherlands, Lead Partner), City of Delft (the Netherlands), I3P - Innovative Companies Incubator of the Politecnico of Torino (Italy), Municipality of Turin (Italy), City of Helsinki, Economic and Planning Centre, Business Development (Finland), Green Net Finland (Finland), Peterborough City Council (UK), Szent Istvan University (Hungary), School of Engineers (France), the French local authority, subdivision of the Essone region (France) and Novagreen (France). The partner selection was carried out is such a way that each region is represented by the local/regional authority as well as an organisation that addresses research and innovation issues. The main objective of CIE is to stimulate and accelerate growth in the cleantech sector by supporting entrepreneurs and SMEs working in this sector. This is being achieved by:
researching policies and procedures designed to encourage cleantech incubation;
facilitating the exchange of best practice, policy development and experiences with policymakers and cleantech incubator authorities;
helping authorities to choose suitable policy interventions tailored to their own local and regional situation;
enabling complementary policies designed to provide a positive business climate.
The project target groups are regional and local authorities, cleantech incubators and research institutions dealing with green and sustainable products, services and processes. During the project’s life-cycle, each CIE partner will host a seminar to bring together key players of the target group. At the seminars, local best practice will be shared. They will also include a site visit to a successful business incubator. The project’s main output will be a handbook entitled ‘Cleantech Incubation: Policy and Practices’, which will showcase the good practices gained from partner countries and from 13 cleantech incubators monitored during the project. Main eco-innovation issues tackled The thematic focus of the project is the cleantech sector, which covers green, sustainable products, services and processes, the incubation of cleantech activities and cleantech start-ups. Eco-innovation issues are addressed in terms of cleantech incubation and cleantech clusters. The project does not explicitly tackle eco-innovation, however its focus on cleantech clusters is very much linked to the field of eco-innovation. Furthermore, by focusing on incubators, it addresses the very important issue of research into the market translation of eco-innovative R&D ideas.
Strengthening of sustainable value creation based on eco design/eco innovation
FRESH Forwarding Regional Environmental Sustainable Hierarchies PROJECT DETAILS Priority: Innovation and the knowledge economy Theme: Innovation, research and technology development
TYPE OF INTERVENTION Type of intervention: Regional Initiative Project Duration: 01/01/2010 - 28/02/2013 Website: freshproject.eu BUDGET Total budget: EUR 2 010 312 ERDF contribution: EUR 1 529 642.21
Kainuun Etu ltd, Kajaani
Joint Authority of Kainuu Region, Kajaani
Regional Council of Päijät Häme, Lahti
Lappeenranta University of Technology, Lahti Unit, Lahti
Mid-West Regional Authority, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary
South West Regional Authority, Ballincollig
University of Limerick, Limerick
Veneto Region - Industry and Handicraft Department, Venice
University of Padova Engineering, Padova
London Thames Gateway Development Corporation, London
Regional Development Timisoara
Lubelskie Voivodeship, Lublin
Lead partner: Kainuun Etu ltd Lönnrotinkatu 1 87100, Kajaani FINLAND
Department of Industrial
Overview of the project and its main objectives 75
The FRESH project ran from January 2010 till March 2013. The partners of the project were Kainuun Etu Oy (Finland, Lead Partner), the Joint Authority of the Kainuu Region (Finland), the Regional Council of Päijät Häme (Finland), the Lappeenranta University of Technology, the Lahti School of Innovation (Finland), the Mid-West Regional Authority (Ireland), the Southwest Regional Authority (Ireland), the University of Limerick (Ireland), the Veneto Region (Italy), the University of Padova (Italy), the London Thames Gateway Development Corporation (UK), the Regional Development Agency – the West Region (Romania) and Lubeslkie Voivodeship (Poland). The overall objective of the FRESH project was to strengthen development based on sustainable value creation at regional level and to contribute to the implementation of the EU’s Environmental Technologies Action Plan. Project outcomes included the identification of good practices in the partners’ regions and beyond, helping to change the regional development plan in four regions: Kainuu – FI, Lubelskie – PL, Veneto – IT and the West Region – RO and the regional innovation strategy of three regions: Lubelskie – PL, Päijät Häme – FI and the West Region – RO, as well as raising awareness about the construction sector’s potential for innovation and growth, taking account of sustainable construction trends at global level, bridging local construction practices with global performance potential based on EC standards and approaches and strengthening this side of demand-led innovation in the field. Main eco-innovation issues tackled The FRESH team had a very integrated approach to defining its thematic focus, which was ‘sustainable construction’. It concentrated on improving the conditions for eco-innovation in the regions and has built its good practice collection around 11 policy themes: How to include sustainable value creation-based development in regional development objectives and development priorities Measurements of sustainable value creation-based development at regional level Industry-specific measurements of sustainable value creation (sustainable construction case) Eco-innovation strategies and solutions Comprehensive eco-innovation assessment tools Comprehensive eco-innovation planning tools Knowledge competences SME involvement Educating consumers Sustainable innovation sessions Funding tools/Sustainable procurement The project target group is regional and local authorities, research and construction industry representative institutions.
Eco-innovation - Eco-management systems
rECOmmend Regions using ECO-ManageMENt for eco-innovation Development PROJECT DETAILS Priority: Innovation and the knowledge economy Theme: Entrepreneurship and SMEs
TYPE OF INTERVENTION Type of intervention: Regional Initiative Project Duration: 01/01/2012 - 31/12/2014 Website: www.recommendproject.eu/ BUDGET Total budget: EUR 1 352 265 ERDF contribution: EUR 1 089 996.68
Lower Austrian Regional government office Department of environmental and energy economics, St. Pรถlten
Kujawsko-Pomorskie Voivodeship, Torun
Energy Efficiency Agency, Sofia
Local energy agency Spodnje Podravje Ptuj, Ptuj
Tartu Regional Energy Agency, Tartu
Province of Ascoli Piceno, Ascoli Piceno
Lower Austrian Regional government office
UK Centre for Economic and Environmental Development (UK CEED), Peterborough
Department of environmental and energy economics
Opportunity Peterborough, Peterborough
Union of Bulgarian Black Sea Local Authorities, Varna
Landhausplatz 1, Haus 16 3109, St. Pรถlten AUSTRIA
Overview of the project and its main objectives The RECOMMEND project started in January 2012 and will run until the end of 2014. The project has nine partners including: the Lower Austrian Regional Government Office, the Department of Environmental and Energy Economics (Austria, project Lead Partner); the Union of Bulgarian Black Sea Local Authorities (Bulgaria); Ekoport (Czech Republic); the Tartu Regional Energy Agency (Estonia); the Province of Ascoli Piceno (Italy); Kujawsko-Pomorskie Voivodeship (Poland); the Local Energy Agency Spodnje Podravje (Slovenia); Opportunity Peterborough (United Kingdom) and the UK Centre for Economic and Environmental Development (United Kingdom). Three of these partners are public authorities responsible for businesses development and the environment. The remaining six have a direct influence on regional policies aimed at promoting ecoefficiency through eco-management. The main objective of RECOMMEND is to improve the environmental sustainability dimension of regional economic policies. More specifically, the project addresses the following:
Promoting the development and use eco-innovation supporting instruments and funding schemes plus the application of eco-management systems as an instrument for corporate eco-innovation; Providing businesses and public authorities with information on co-management systems Creating and interlinking the ‘regional frameworks of eco-management and eco-innovation’; Increasing the visibility of the contributions made by regional economies to the solution of ecological challenges at the European level.
The project's target groups are regional public authorities and local businesses/SMEs. The main outputs of the RECOMMEND project will be:
8 Regional Implementation Plans (RIP). Each RIP will describe a ready-to-implement policy instrument aimed at fostering eco-management and/or eco-innovation in the respective region. Each RIP will also include the political commitment of the relevant regional and national stakeholders for the implementation of the described policy instrument. Policy recommendations for regional authorities on how to support eco-management and ecoinnovation in SMEs
Main eco-innovation issues tackled The projects’ thematic focus is eco-management and eco-innovation. More specifically, the project has addressed the dissemination of the best eco-management practices and schemes in SMEs, including eco-awareness, eco-efficient production and eco-design. Precise recommendations and instruments, such as funding schemes, will be developed during the lifetime of the project. These will offer regional authorities and public intermediaries a set of proposals and ideas on how they can promote eco-management as a lever for enhancing eco-innovation in their region. Furthermore, they will receive guidance on how they can convince SMEs and their suppliers of the benefits of corporate eco-awareness and eco-efficient production, as well as how to support SMEs to implement eco-management systems.
Development of innovation and sustainable development
ECREIN + European Clusters and Regions for Eco-Innovation Network Plus PROJECT DETAILS Priority: Innovation and the knowledge economy Theme: Innovation, development
TYPE OF INTERVENTION Type of intervention: Regional Initiative Project Duration: 01/01/2010 - 31/12/2012 Website: www.ecreinplus.eu BUDGET Total budget: EUR 1 602 310 ERDF contribution: EUR 1 234 416.69
Regional Council of Rhone-Alpes, Lyon Cedex 02
REGIONAL MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES AND ENVIRONMENT, Sevilla
Assembly of European Regions (AER), Strasbourg
Ministry of the Environment of the State of BadenWuerttemberg, Stuttgart
Chamber of Commerce and Industry - Stara Zagora, Stara Zagora
RandD General Directorate of the Government of Galicia, Santiago de Compostela
Ile-de-France Region, Paris
Lombardy Region, Milan
MALOPOLSKA REGION (Marshal Office of the Malopolska Region), KRAKรW
Romanian Municipalities Association, Bucuresti
Uppsala Regional Council, Uppsala
Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, Coventry
Lead partner: Regional Council of Rhone-Alpes DCESE, 1 esplanade Franรงois Mitterrand CS 20033 69269, Lyon Cedex 02 FRANCE
Overview of the project and its main objectives The ECREIN+ project started in January 2010 and ended in early 2013. This project extended the ECREINetwork project, which started in 2006 under the Environmental Technologies Action Plan. ECREIN+ was led by the Rhône-Alpes Region (FR), in collaboration with 10 partners from eight European Union countries, including: the Regional Ministry of Environment of Andalusia (ES), the Ministry of Environment of the State of Baden Wurttemberg (DE), the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Stara Zagora (BL), the R&D General Directorate of the Government of Galicia (ES), the Ile de France Region (FR), the Lombardy Region (IT), the Malopolska Region (PL), the Association of Romanian Municipalities (RO), the Uppsala Regional Council (SE), the Coventry, the Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce (UK) and the Assembly of the European Regions (AER). The main objective of the project was to create and share knowledge on good practice regional policy instruments in the field of eco-innovation and eco-businesses. This objective was defined based on the common need to:
Clarify existing policy support (i.e. policy initiatives aimed at promoting eco-innovation)
Improve knowledge of the market to better adapt policies to needs
Improve coherence between policies led by the different government agencies or departments in each region
Set up coordination between the various regional stakeholders involved in eco-innovation (stakeholders from the public and private sectors, banks, investors, and entrepreneurs) In light of the issues identified, partners organised their work around three objectives:
Improve knowledge of the market so as to ascertain which stakeholders the regions are working with
Study the regional policies and tools aimed at supporting eco-innovation so as to ascertain how regions are working with them
Study the assessment of the eco-innovation instruments so as to ascertain the effectiveness of the instruments used by regions in support of eco-innovation
The project’s main distinctive characteristic, compared to other projects analysed, was in its exclusive focus on developing eco-innovation policy. This means that the exchange of knowledge and experiences focused on specific regional policy instruments, rather than, for example, innovative technical solutions to environmental issues. Main eco-innovation issues tackled One of the specific features of the ECREIN+ project was that it does not focus on any particular issue or type of policy instrument for supporting eco-innovation. Instead, the project covered a wide range of eco-innovation issues including:
Defining target populations for regional policy interventions, measuring markets;
Promoting green public procurement and other demand-side policies;
Financing eco-innovation in businesses and particularly SMEs (financial instruments to support eco-innovation) and other supply-side policies;
Developing of eco-parks;
Measuring the effectiveness of eco-innovation support tools;
Supporting of 'public-private’ partnerships and multi-level cooperation in the governance of ecoinnovation support schemes; This generic approach to eco-innovation however did represent a challenge for the project, leading to the adoption of quite a wide scope of the objectives the project had set out to achieve, as well as to the types of good practices it identified.
Governance of eco innovation and green technologies private sector (in particular SMEs)
ECOREGIONS PROJECT DETAILS Priority: Innovation and the knowledge economy Theme: Innovation, development
TYPE OF INTERVENTION Type of intervention: Regional Initiative Project Duration: 01/01/2012 - 30/09/2014 Website: www.ecoregionsproject.eu. BUDGET Total budget: EUR 1 482 815 ERDF contribution: EUR 1 021 884.99
Picardie Region, Amiens
Region of Jamtland, Östersund
ENEREA Eszak-Alfold Regional Energy Agency Nonprofit Llc., Nyiregyhaza
District Office Bamberg, Bamberg
Hordaland County Council, BERGEN
Kainuun Etu Ltd, Kajaani
Regional Council of Limousin, LIMOGES
Cremona chamber of commerce, Cremona
State Development Corporation of Thuringia, Erfurt
Malta Intelligent Energy Management Agency, PAOLA
ERRIN – European Regions Innovation Network, Brussels
Lead partner: Picardie Region 11 Mail Albert 1er 80000, Amiens FRANCE
Overview of the project and its main objectives The ECOREGIONS project started in January 2012 and will run until September 2014. ECOREGIONS was launched by members of the RUR@CT network aimed at sharing experiences among rural regions of Europe. It is led by the Picardie Regional Council (Lead Partner, FR) in cooperation with ten partners which include the Picardie Region (FR), the Region of Jamtland (SE), ENEREA Eszak-Alfold Regional Energy Agency Nonprofit Llc. (HU), the District Office Bamberg, Hordaland County Council (NO) , Kainuun Elu (FI), the Regional Council of Limousin (FR), the Cremona Chamber of Commerce (IT), the State Development Corporation of Thuringia (DE), the Malta Intelligent Energy Management Agency (MT) and the European Regions Research and Innovation Network (ERRIN). The overarching objective of the ECOREGIONS project is to “improve the effectiveness of local and regional development policies in the areas of eco-innovation and more specifically green technologies”. This is achieved through the exchange, sharing and transfer of policy experience and good practices in the field, with a view to contributing to the economic modernisation and increased competitiveness of the European territories concerned. The project places a particular emphasis on the support directed to SMEs. Main eco-innovation issues tackled As is the case with the ECREIN+ project (cf. 0), ECOREGIONS was not designed to focus on any particular issue or dimension of eco-innovation. Instead, it develops a rather generic approach to ecoinnovation. However, the analysis of the selected good practices does reveal an emphasis placed on specific issues. These are increasing the capacities of SMEs to adopt sustainable practices (e.g. ecomanagement and implementing energy efficiency measures) and developing renewable energy resources and energy efficiency solutions (e.g. biogas plants and low energy housing). The selected good practices to be transferred among partners can be divided into two fields: eco-innovation support instruments (e.g. cluster-building) and green technologies (technical solutions to specific environmental issues, e.g. biogas plants). The analysis of the good practices selected by the project illustrates the diversity of the eco-innovation issues addressed:
Capacity building of SMEs in the fields of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency
Production of renewable energy using biomass
Strategy building in the field of climate action
Development of cleantech clusters
Eco-management in SMEs
Improving market access for new environmental technologies
Corporate Social environmental)
DESUR Developing Sustainable Regions through Responsible SMEs PROJECT DETAILS Priority: Innovation and the knowledge economy Theme: Entrepreneurship and SMEs TYPE OF INTERVENTION Type of intervention: Regional Initiative Project Duration: 01/01/2012 - 30/09/2014 Website: www.desur.eu BUDGET Total budget: EUR 1 392 020 ERDF contribution: EUR 1 102 583.66
Lead partner: Foundation for the Development of Science and Technology in Extremadura C/ Montesinos, 28 6002, Badajoz, SPAIN
Foundation for the Development of Science and Technology in Extremadura, Badajoz
South West Regional Authority, Ballincollig, Co. Cork
Region of Western Macedonia, European Programmes Office, Kozani
Province of Bologna, Bologna
Kaunas University of Technology, Kaunas
Municipality of Forest/Vorst- Brussels-Capital region, Brussels
Pannon Business Network Association, GyĹ‘r
Labour fund Zasavje, foundation for active employment policy, Zagorje ob Savi
Overview of the project and its main objectives The DESUR project helps businesses to grow in a more sustainable and innovative way by improving regional policies to promote responsible innovation and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in SMEs. Since most companies are SMEs, the inactivity of SMEs in adopting such practices is a barrier to the sustainable development in a region. The regions partnering in DESUR are coordinated by FUNDECYT, the science and technology support agency in the region of Extremadura (ES). Other participants are the South West Regional Authority (IE); the Region of Western Macedonia (EL); the Province of Bologna (Italy); the Kaunas University of Technology (LT); the Pannon Business Network association (HU) and Labour Fund Zasavje (SI). The main objective of DESUR is to share knowledge across regions to improve policies, instruments and methodologies aimed at promoting responsible innovation in SMEs so as to contribute to increasing sustainability in the participating regions. The other objectives are to:
Exchange knowledge on best practices between the partner regions to replicate the successful models. Bridge the knowledge gap in development of sustainability policies for SMEs between the experienced and the less advanced regions. Train staff members to promote business eco-innovations, particularly aimed at SMEs. Capitalise on the knowledge available in public policies for environmental and human sustainability in SMEs by integrating it in a single concept of SME eco-innovation.50 Identify, understand and classify the needs of SMEs with respect to sustainability, in order to allow for improvement in the policies. Learn to use public resources effectively and efficiently in promoting sustainability. Disseminate the results so as to enable learning beyond the duration of the project and beyond the geographical scope of the regions involved. Contribute to achieving the European and national targets in the future design of policies for sustainable development of SMEs in the regions involved. Foster collaboration and knowledge sharing (networking) between partners for the duration of the project and beyond. The main focus is on the bilateral exchange between partners during study visits and staff exchanges. Main eco-innovation issues tackled The regions participating in DESUR have been suffering from the economic crisis, and their economies all largely consist of SMEs. The SMEs of the partner regions are faced with the challenge of boosting competitiveness through productivity growth, in which innovation, new skills, and sustainability are important components. In this respect, CSR is a definite and decisive way to integrate these factors into the companies' strategies and policies. Many of the micro and small firms involved in the DESUR project did not think that the term CSR was applicable to their business and not only to large companies that better fit the ‘corporate’ aspect of CSR. They often only see it as an additional cost and not as an opportunity. “What emerged, in particular, picking over DESUR partners' reports, is an insufficient development of an entrepreneurial culture of CSR and, above all, SMEs hardly understand the competitive surplus that might result from activating a sustainable corporate strategy and an effective internal and external stakeholders' involvement 51”. In the project, the focus is not directly on eco-innovation but on CSR within SMEs, which is very broad, ranging from community involvement (donations, sponsorships, corporate voluntary work, etc.), workers health & safety and codes of conduct to work safety certification, ethical codes, etc. CSR however may be inductive to eco-innovation projects within these SMEs. The SMEs themselves see CSR in the area of eco-innovation as a tool for the reduction of energy consumption and waste.
This concept is defined as any innovation resulting in the prevention or the reduction of environmental impacts, impacts on the natural environment as well as social and economic impacts 51 DESUR – Promoting Corporate Social Responsibility Trends in the Region of Extremadura, 2013
Promotion of innovation for green transport
PRoSeSC Producer Services for European Sustainability and Competitiveness PROJECT DETAILS Priority: Innovation and the knowledge economy Theme: Innovation, research and technology development
TYPE OF INTERVENTION Type of intervention: Regional Initiative Project Duration: 01/01/2010 - 31/12/2012 Website: www.prosesc.org BUDGET Total budget: EUR 1 295 594 ERDF contribution: EUR 1 002 311.2
Lead partner: Stuttgart Region Economic Development Corporation FriedrichstraĂ&#x;e 10 70174, Stuttgart, GERMANY
Stuttgart Region Economic Development Corporation, Stuttgart
University of Hertfordshire, HATFIELD
Government Office of Climate Change, Ljubljana
Ministry of Economy and Industry. Government of Galicia, Santiago de Compostela
Pannon Novum West-transdanubian Regional Innovation Non-profit Ltd., Szombathely
Province of Turin, Torino
Norfolk County Council, Norwich
Regional Development Agency - West Region, Timisoara
Galician Innovation Agency. Ministry of Economy and Industry. Xunta de Galicia, Santiago de Compostela
Overview of the project and its main objectives
PROSESC project is a project from the second INTERREG IVC call for proposals, therefore already finished. Seven European regions with strong automotive sectors cooperated to exchange information on support strategies and policies regarding environmental sustainability and the competitiveness of road transport. The project leader was the Stuttgart Region Economic Development Corporation (DE). Partners were Pannon Novum West-transdanubian Regional Innovation Non-profit Ltd. (HU); the Hungarian Vehicle Engineering Cluster - HVEC (HU, Associate regional partner); the province of Turin (IT; the Regional Development Agency for the West Region (RO); the Government Office of Climate Change (SI); the Galician innovation agency of the Ministry of Economy and Industry (ES); the Galician Automotive Cluster CEAGA (ES, associate regional partner); Norfolk County Council, UK) and the University of Hertfordshire (UK). The focus of the project was on the knowledge-intensive producer services sector of the automotive industry and, more specifically, the type of services that are integral to the development and production of means of sustainable road transport (from two-wheelers to e-vehicles and fuel-cell buses). The services targeted by PROSESC covered a broad span of areas: product-design, R&D, engineering and IT-services, and even specialised logistics. The businesses concerned (often SMEs) deliver a complex ecosystem of enabling services that accelerate the absorption rate of innovative technologies by the automotive sector. The conclusion of the project is that sustainability and electric transport offer opportunities for renewal of the still very important car manufacturing industry in Europe. Increased technology transfer between research organisations, SMEs and large manufacturers is important for grasping this opportunity. At present, however, the innovation process is not very open. Main eco-innovation issues tackled The issues with respect to eco-innovation included the electrification of personal vehicles powered by batteries or by hydrogen and better use of info-mobility technologies (e.g. technological assistance to driving and traffic management) so as to increase transport energy efficiency. New technologies are a means to decrease the environmental pressure of personal mobility as well as an opportunity for the revival of the European car manufacturing industry
Annexe 4: Glossary Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a tool for the systematic evaluation of the environmental aspects of a product or service system through all stages of its life cycle. LCA provides an adequate instrument for environmental decision support. Reliable LCA performance is crucial to achieve a life-cycle economy. The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), a world-wide federation of national standards bodies, has standardised this framework within the series ISO 14040 on LCA. Business models based on sharing of goods rely on offering services based on the offering temporary access rights to goods. This changes the pricing model of the goods, which can have an effect on reducing consumption. The Business Innovation Observatory provides a case study on how the “sharing economy” can be supported. 52 A good practice is defined in the context of the INTERREG IVC programme as an initiative (e.g. methodologies, projects, processes, techniques) undertaken in one of the programmes thematic priorities which has already proved successful and which has the potential to be transferred to a different geographic area. Proved successful is where the good practice has already provided tangible and measurable results in achieving a specific objective. Sustainable mobility schemes include the promotion of car sharing, cycling, improved public transportation, and electric transport systems. Systemic eco-innovation is destined at fundamental and lasting system-wide changes at both the societal level (e.g. societal values and attitudes) and at the technical level (infrastructure, technology, tools, production processes etc), in order to achieve low carbon economies and sustainable development.53 Product-service systems is a business model in which a firm can offer a bundle of products and services. Ownership of products is not transferred to customers, but remains with the producer. This type of model can be part of a firm’s environmental management strategy, as it encourages the efficient Industrial symbiosis is a model for sharing of services, utility, and by-product resources among industries in order to add value, reduce costs and improve the environment. This type of schemes have the potential to increase resource efficiency and turn waste, including food waste and carbon dioxide (CO2), into a resource at a cross-sectoral and regional level. Urban symbiosis implies promoting resource efficiency at urban level by adopting the industrial symbiosis approach in cities.
See DG Enterprise, 2013:“The Sharing Economy”, Business Innovation Observatory http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/policies/innovation/policy/business-innovation-observatory/files/case-studies/12-sheaccessibility-based-business-models-for-peer-to-peer-markets_en.pdf 53 See Eco-Innovation Observatory, 2013: “Systemic eco-innovation. A Policy Brief”, http://www.ecoinnovation.eu/images/stories/Reports/brief_n16_systemic%20ei.pdf
INTERREG IVC Thematic Capitalisation
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