The biggest annual Brussels-based event dedicated to cohesion policy, the EU Week of Regions and Cities that took place last week, has finished. The four main themes that were addressed during this 20th edition that are considering Green Transition, Territorial Cohesion, Digital Transition, and Youth Empowerment.

As part of the occasion, Veltha contributed by hosting a hybrid event with the narrative “How to Facilitate the Circular Economy Transition”

In partnership with “Stand Up for Europe” and EU-funded projects, at the event, presenters stressed how important the initiatives of circular economy projects are and shared cooperation experience with specifically designed digital tools to improve the safe, sustainable, and productive transition to circularity.

Luca Polidori, Secretary Generla, Veltha IVZW

The program started with a few words from the host Luca Polidori, Secretary General, Veltha IVZW, as an introduction to the event and then the stage spotlight focused on addressing the circular economy from a wide range of perspectives.

Stand Up for Europe, represented by Nicoletta Zibin, Secretary General opened the discussion with the introduction of a civil society-driven transition towards a circular economy. What are the steps that will strengthen Europe as we push for more communication, initiatives, awareness, respect, and active collaboration, are some key topics Nicoletta addressed in her speech.

Elena Angiolini as a Project Officer at HaDEA brought us closer to Europe’s digital decade and links with the circular economy. What are the visions of the Green Deal and 2030 Digital Decade and what are the goals for the 2030 Digital Decade were presented. Elena emphasized ongoing projects as well as already completed projects with good practices.

With HaDEA addressing good practices, the stage was opened for the H2020 DigiPrime project with the presenter of the project and DigiPrime Coordinator, Marcello Colledani. A digital circular economy platform that creates circular business models based on data-driven recovery and reuse of functions and materials. DigiPrime’s main objective is to develop a new concept of a circular economy digital platform to overcome current information asymmetries among value chain players to deploy new circular business models. Ongoing platform service based on data-driven recycling and reuse of post-product functions and materials in a cross-industry manner has shown the transformation of the current European industrial system into a new network of collaborative and sustainable value creation.

Eric Amaral Garcia, Project Officer at DG REGIO presented Interregional Innovation Investments (I3) Instrument. With a Policy Context of Straightening innovation in Europe’s regions and learning phase of pilots and smart thematic platforms, plus, a new European innovation agenda emphasis on regional innovation valleys across the EU. Eric drew attention to the key features of the I3 Project as well as the 2023 – 2024 work program and priorities.

Following, Marcello Colledani, Professor at Politecnico di Milano, once again took the spot, this time presenting the I3 DeremCo project. DeremCo’s goal is to develop and demonstrate at scale a cross-industry circular value chain for the recycling and reuse of engineering plastics into high-value-added products, especially for fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP), also known as “composites”. It was as well, shared with a public motivation, and Work Plan of DeremCo.

In the spirit of circular transition, Davide Delaiti, Project Officer at REA, addressed the topic of REA and H2020/HE funding to sustain CE in cities and regions, explaining REA key actors, contribution to CCRI, and The Green Deal call. The Circular Cities and Regions Initiative aims to increase synergy between projects and initiatives, give out relevant knowledge and make best practices more visible. Collaboration on CCRI and REA-DG RTD-CSO was addressed as well as many essential remarks considering projects and CDE.

Building on the previous presentation of REA, Sophia Zhu, Junior Project Engineer, STAM Europa, introduced H2020 Frontsh1p Project. The FRONT runner approach to systematic circular, holistic and integrated solutions for the new territorial circular economy paradigm. Sophia noted what are the key impacts by 2030 in the Lodzkie Region and what is the circular approach to a systematic solution of Wood Packaging, Food and Feed, Wastewater and Nutrients, and Urban industrial plastic/rubber waste.

Sara Bergamin, Policy Expert and Project Manager was presenting Interreg Europe REPLACE, a partnership between 8 regions (Lazio (LP), NEXA – La Réunion, Lodzkie, Crete, Fryslàn, HWWI – Hamburg, North-East Romania, CCDRC Centro) and Advisory partner, Veltha IVZW. The focus on cross-regional synergies and important outputs of the circular opportunities were addressed in the event. Sara brought to the attention of collaboration stakeholders to provide effective policy actions and communication together with the creation of a task force.

While mentioning policy actions, the next presenter dived into Policy Lab and initiatives for Regions. Nora Asling, Project Assistant at Veltha IVZW brought up the development process of the SCREEN Project and how Veltha brought Policy Lab as a new initiative for Regions. Digital Toolkit for Circular Regions as part of the initiative is bringing Barriers-Solutions Tool, Monitoring Tool (coming in 2023), Value Chains Identification Tool, Circular Benchmark Tool, and Material Flow Visualization. A subset of interoperable open-source web applications developed as part by DigiPrime as an adaptive solution for the digitization of the EU region and its transition to a circular economy. Digital Toolkit will be free to use until the End of the Pilot!

More about The Circular Benchmark Tool was presented by Bart Volkers, Manager and Consultant at ProActBlue, providing insights and inputs for a circular economy action plan is the main definition of the tool that saves time and resources. Built with 6 overarching indicators such as circular procurement, access to funding, circular society, value chain activation, good governance, and integrated policy framework allows this tool to be outstanding support for the regions in the circular economy transition.

With The Circular Benchmark Tool presentation finished, the event was followed by an interactive Q&A session with the audience.

If under any circumstances, you missed some information, and are interested in any part of the event, we are bringing you recordings and presentations that are free to re-watch and download!

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