From 2016 to 2018, Veltha has participated in the H2020 SCREEN project aimed at defining a coordinating and supporting action for a replicable systemic approach towards the transition to a circular economy in EU Regions within the context of the Smart Specialisation Strategy. The involvement in the H2020 SCREEN project has led Veltha to gain acknowledged experience in the creation and implementation of a methodology and a software tool enabling cross-sectoral and cross-regional circular economy value chain identification. Veltha has contributed to the design of the SCREEN Mapping tool and the definition of a KPI framework to interpret the collected data. The SCREEN methodology approach, based on four main steps – data-driven analysis, material-driven analysis, data synthesis and data implementation – represented a turning point that witnessed the progressive shift from value chains identification to real circular business opportunities. The tool is based on data gathering on existing industrial and innovation capabilities in the Region, considering Smart Specialisation Strategy areas. Veltha can provide expertise in defining a KPIs framework to interpret data and co-design solutions for their full exploitation, while supporting the definition of a circular value chains taxonomy with the aim of providing a common ground to map the regional stakeholders and define CE opportunities. In this regard, during the implementation of the project, Veltha acquired a clear understanding concerning the need to introduce a clear and transparent methodology to assess project’s circularity. Within the project, Veltha played a leading role in co-designing and delivering a set of assessment criteria to evaluate the project circularity, by taking into consideration both environmental and socio-economic dimensions. The assessment criteria now represent a useful complementing instrument for all those programme managers dealing with circular economy projects, in the framework of different kind of programmes such as ERDF, HORIZON, INTERREG, LIFE, as well as national and regional ones.
One of the major supportive efforts made by Veltha lies in matching the identified cross-sectoral value chain initiatives with existing regional financial instruments able to support their implementation. The existing gaps among funding instruments and cross-regional synergies were identified with a view to developing new cross-regional support instruments targeted to suit the CE initiatives involved. The adopted matching method has been primarily based on the following matching criteria: 1) targeted TRL of the considered initiative or cross-regional synergy matched with supported TRL of the funding instruments; 2) type of investment and funding item required by the initiative or cross-regional synergy matched with the eligible costs of the instruments; 3) type of proposer matched with type of beneficiary of the instruments; 4) objective of the initiative matched with the scope of the instrument. Veltha can provide extensive knowledge in the development of guidelines able to map the real needs of circular business initiatives and implement measures to support them. Veltha’s understanding of how existing and new regional instruments can support the implementation of the CE initiatives has been fundamental for the comprehensive expertise Veltha can now enjoy.
Building on their previous experience within the H2020 SCREEN project, Veltha can put their advanced expertise at the service of consolidating and blending together the fragmented resources in support of the circular business model innovation. The most relevant and visible result of the SCREEN project has been the proposal and discussion of a new support instrument targeted to the effective use of European Regional Development Funds to support the implementation of CE-based proposals submitted to the H2020 research funding programme that have passed the quality thresholds during the evaluation but have not been granted with funding. This proposal has been presented by the SCREEN Policy lab in different events on funding synergies and has been discussed within different DGs of the European Commission.