Author: Nuria Barros
The FRONTSH1P project focuses mainly on helping the Łódzkie region (Poland) to transition to a greener and more sustainable economy. However, a key activity of the project is also to go a step further and build on the work done in Łódzkie so that other regions in Europe can learn from it.
When we talk about replication in FRONTSH1P, we mean taking the methods and lessons learned in Łódzkie in developing the Circular Economy Action Plan and transferring them to other European regions. The regions we will work with in the FRONTSH1P project are in Portugal, Italy, Greece and the Netherlands. We will analyse the context and needs of each region and develop adapted circular economy models that can serve as a catalyst for socio-economic growth.
Our ultimate goal is to create and replicate action plans that contribute to the decarbonisation and regeneration of areas in four other European territories and demonstrate new technologies in these areas. They will be a first step towards creating opportunities for economic growth, social inclusion, decarbonisation of production and consumption systems, improving the quality of life of citizens and reconnecting urban and rural areas.
To achieve this goal, we need to work closely with many of the project’s stakeholders, in particular the partners working on the development of the Circular Economy Action Plan for the Łódzkie region (WP2 – Regional Systemic Approach to the Circular Economy) and those working on the development of tools for the deployment of circular actions (WP7 – Impact Generation and Assessment). So, in total there are 17 partners involved in this work package!
This large team will go one step further and, after transferring the work done in Łódzkie to the four regions in our project, by informing other European regions about our good practices and ask for feedback (so stay tuned for that!).
Currently, the partners have started working on a model for the replication plan. Our mentor region, the Province of Friesland, together with Circulair Friesland, has already developed several action plans and we have started a process of learning about their experiences and results. This kind of guidance is very valuable for us, as it often provides different points of view on how to deal with innovation in regions. For example, we are starting to define our action plan using a bottom-up approach, i.e. we are first surveying early adopters about the needs of their organisations in relation to the circular economy, and then talking to the governmental organisations and higher levels, who will try to set specific targets and offer solutions. Therefore, we are currently in the process of identifying the relevant stakeholders and creating a common circular action plan, with a view to later setting the goals and actions to achieve them. We also plan to address other specific issues within our circular business models, such as the development of sustainable action plans, the identification of incentives and barriers of existing socio-economic policy instruments in each region, the selection of simulation tools for the circular economy and the definition of methods to strengthen the innovation capacity of the labour market.
Impact for Europe
Once the roadmaps for replication in the four European regions are developed, we will extract best practices so that other European regions can benefit from them. The results will be shared with policy makers, industry, other related projects and stakeholders to gather their feedback and later disseminated across Europe.
The results will also include information on financial support measures that enable SMEs to access various initiatives (e.g., SME Initial Public Offering Fund and the ESCALAR initiative).
Eight knowledge-sharing workshops will be organised in the four regions, focusing on system solutions, including one on training and required skills. The results of these workshops will feed into the final version of the Good Practices for Territorial Replication in Europe.