Forschungs- & Entwicklungsinformationsdienst der Gemeinschaft - CORDIS

FP7

COOLSWEEP Berichtzusammenfassung

Project ID: 319893
Gefördert unter: FP7-REGIONS
Land: Norway

Final Report Summary - COOLSWEEP (Coordinating and Leveraging regional knowledge for initiating a Sustainable and optimised EU Waste to Energy Programme)

Executive Summary:
The fundamental purpose of the COOLSWEEP project has been to identify and deliver innovative coordination activities to streamline and harmonise regional initiatives within the waste-to-energy sector at the transnational level. The partnership who has carried out the tasks consists of five research driven triple-helix clusters, two universities and one expert analysis team, and represent the regions of Oslo/Akershus (Norway), Lombardy (Italy), Basque Country (Spain), Styria (Austria) and Denmark. The project consortium set out some very ambitious goals for the COOLSWEEP project, and resulting from the many coordination and cooperation activities during the entire project period, a bold set of targeted impacts were achieved.
Following are some key figures to highlight the results from the COOLSWEEP project;
*30 new regional and 13 new cross-regional partnerships are initiated.
*A total of € 35,363,748 is applied for and € 23,365,300 obtained by new cross-regional partnership projects.
*11 new companies have signed a formal agreement and a new cluster initiative is successfully formed in Latvia as a waste-to-energy department in an existing cluster.
*19 regional SMEs physically involved (travelling) in international activities, and a total of 122 companies taking part in international coaching and training workshops organised in the regions.
*22 researchers are involved in new cross-regional partnerships.
*39 articles and web pages mentioning the COOLSWEEP project are published.
*153 new stakeholders have become members in the cluster organisations.

The COOLSWEEP project has delivered an extensive amount of events focused on dissemination, active participation and exchange of knowledge through bilateral meetings, workshops, seminars and conferences. Several of these events were carried out on the regional levels – targeting the local triple-helix stakeholders, which has given a great impact on the regional levels. Other events were international, involving participants from all the participating countries and comprise; one research and technology expert meeting, two B2B matchmaking sessions, two Trade Missions to America and Asia, and three large conferences. The activity level has been tremendously high in the COOLSWEEP project.

Through a smart specialization strategy on waste-to-energy the partners have become more aware of their strengths and on how to use this in future development. A thorough mapping of stakeholders, driving forces, push and pull factors, new business cases and a SWOT-analysis for each of the six regions was an important part of the first phase of the project. The results were used as key input for the development of a trans-cluster strategy; the COOLSWEEP Joint Action Plan. Alongside this; six regional Cluster Action Plans were developed to harmonize with the international strategy.

The following four areas are the key priorities in the Joint Action Plan:
• Supporting internationalisation of SMEs
• Encountering future waste streams with innovative technologies for sorting and separation
• Using the full potential of waste-to-energy incineration processes
• Bio-waste to value – Producing high value products from organic waste feedstock in the framework of a circular economy

The Joint Action Plan is prepared in a manner that gives wide opportunities for different types of stakeholders to get involved in activities, even during the post-project period. Therefore, both research, private sector and the regional authorities that comprise the triple-helix within the partner regions will benefit from developments resulted from the project. The results so far confirm the potential in increased cross-cluster collaboration and boosting competitiveness of the partner regions. There has been a great interest in building partnerships regionally and transnationally, and synergies with existing strategies, initiatives and local authorities on the regional levels have been very well exploited.

The COOLSWEEP project has been an excellent opportunity to obtain and share knowledge; Cross-cluster collaboration really is the way forward. The COOLSWEEP clusters are currently working on several international projects, both within waste management, and as well within other fields of the cleantech sector. The inter-regional collaboration certainly does not end with the end of the project.

Project Context and Objectives:
COOLSWEEP is a 3-year project running from January 2013 to December 2015. The project is funded by the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) under the area Regions of Knowledge (RoK).

The COOLSWEEP project brings together five European triple-helix clusters to identify and deliver innovative coordination activities on the transnational level that streamline and harmonise initiatives made in the field of waste-to-energy. The cluster organisations; LE2C, ACLIMA, EcoWorldStyria, CLEAN and OREEC, represent the regions of Lombardy (Italy), Basque Country (Spain), Styria (Austria), Denmark and Oslo Region (Norway). As well, two Universities; Riga Technical University and Montan University Leoben and one research & analysis team (Danish Business authority/FORA) are important partners in the consortium.

The triple-helix model, involving business entities, public sector and research entities, is increasingly seen as a conceptual framework for regional development through its spiral model of innovation.
Through COOLSWEEP, the creation of world-class clusters is supported by applying a smart specialisation strategy; identification of the regions specific competitive advantages and best assets within the field of waste-to-energy. This will help the regions to prioritise their development efforts according to areas of strength, which in turn will help the regional businesses to internationalise and compete in the global economy. This will foster sustainable business development and innovative research through new, effective collaborations.

The perception of waste and how the world treats waste is changing. Waste is increasingly seen as a resource which can be recovered, reused and recycled, and due to the increasing global population, urbanization, resource scarcity and recycling schemes; the waste-to-energy sector is in constant growth and presents an immense business potential.

The COOLSWEEP partners agree that the emerging field of waste-to-energy is a potential trigger for economic development in their regions and they have engaged in the establishment of a coordinated smart specialisation strategy for this field. Each COOLSWEEP region contributes with their specific strengths and the diversity and expertise of the regions constitute the basis of exciting complementarities and synergies. With this as a starting point, the COOLSWEEP project will facilitate increased dialogue and knowledge sharing between academia, business and the public sector to build sustainable partnerships within the regions and transnationally across the regions.

The strategic approach is to stimulate, coordinate and support innovative research. The aim of which is to create a sustainable Europe-wide business based on utilising waste as the feed material for efficient sustainable energy production and more effective use of the by-products from the energy generation.

In the project the terminology ‘waste-to-energy’ includes all technologies and processes that target the production of energy from waste products, including biofuels and biogas production. There are a number of fledgling technologies across the EU at various stages of development and implementation which address the production of energy from mixed waste. It is a classical triple-helix challenge, where governments are responsible for the treatment of all household waste and define the framework for waste management and treatment. Research institutions and companies develop new technologies and private companies provide the technology needed in the energy recovery plants which may be organised as joint ventures between private and public bodies.

The project define the research and innovation boundaries for waste-to-energy by ‘everything between reception of the waste at a waste treatment/energy production plant and delivery of energy and by-products’. The definition includes
• Separation technologies
• Energy recovery technologies
• Energy and energy carriers
• Products and by-products of energy recovery

The COOLSWEEP clusters have each has identified these technology areas as innovative with high potential impact. They have also recognised that there is an urgent need to establish a smart specialisation strategy to provide the necessary impetus to encourage the much needed innovative research and accelerate to full scale adoption. Through a smart specialisation strategy, the regions identify their characteristics, and the potential of growth is enlarged by strengthening the strengths and reinforcing the weaknesses. Being highly aware of these when constructing a Joint Action Plan for the regions, ensures a solid and focused effort to connect the proper building blocks on the inter-cluster level.

The project fits well within the resource efficient technologies category and the potential impact of the project is substantially in a field where three main emerging trends are influencing the development: the circular economy, industrial symbiosis and the bio-based economy. Frontier research through outstanding research organizations within the partners’ clusters is one of the expected results, where Horizon 2020 will be a central instrument in future research and innovation. Many of the activities in the COOLSWEEP project are based on bringing together industry and researchers to ensure that researchers can focus specifically on industry needs. Technological development is needed and so is market development, framework conditions and public awareness and perception on waste management and waste as a resource.
In the project period there will be numerous of outreaching workshops, seminars, conferences and other events to enable new partnerships and business relations to be initiated and established. There are identified huge market opportunities outside Europe, which will bring the partners to third countries to open up new markets for European SMEs.

The specific objectives of the COOLSWEEP project are:
• To map research capacity, business/innovation needs, funding situation and legislative/policy issues in each of the five existing cluster’s regions and one region targeted for cluster formation (Latvia), regarding the strategic area of sustainable energy production from waste
• To identify current good practices within the regions highlighting what works and what does not thereby ensuring that each cluster’s expertise and experience at all three levels of the triple helix is captured and shared
• To compare and contrast the six regions to determine the global picture in terms of resources available and needs for technology implementation including; funding, policy issues, public perceptions – establishing synergies and identifying the basis for effective collaborations.
• To agree and approve a Joint Action Plan to pool resources and efficiently address the identified needs of the clusters working collaboratively at the transnational level. This also to include clear indicators and metrics for establishing the success and added value of the interventions proposed
• To develop a business plan which allocates resources for the implementation of the Joint Action Plan at both the regional and transnational levels
• To establish a practical support framework that enables regional cluster members to access international markets thereby stimulating increased trade and regional visibility
• To support the implementation of the Joint Action Plan through organisation of supporting network activities and pilot initiatives
• To mentor the creation of one new cluster from Latvia and establish a methodology and tool kit that can aid future complementary cluster formations in other EU regions
• To undertake dissemination and outreach programmes to targeted stakeholders to inform and advise on technological developments, policy implications and environmental benefits.

COOLSWEEP intends to address the structural challenges facing European clusters by establishing a strong, dynamic and sustainable transnational framework for increased RTD and business coordination in the field of waste-to-energy. The development and implementation of a Joint Action Plan is instrumental to realising this vision. The Joint Action Plan will point out a common strategy for the partners and regional strategies will contribute in smart specialization. A business plan, where funding sources are identified at a detailed level, will be an important tool in implementing the JAP. The focus on resource efficiency and circular economy will increase the visibility of the sector and attract private investments.

Summing up, the project will have the following impact:
• 5 new regional triple helix partnership projects identified within Waste Management (1 in each cluster). A new partnership might be a project consortium applying for funding for a joint initiative, or another type of “formal” collaboration initiative.

• 3 new cross-border partnership projects identified within Waste Management. Each cluster involved in at least 1 of these projects.

• 20 SME’s involved in new international activities (minimum 3 from each cluster). An international activity might be a partnership with a research institution or company in another region, involvement in a project in another region, or entry into a new market

• 10 scientists from minimum 5 research institutions (1 from each cluster) involved in new cross border research initiatives within Waste Management. Qualified here would be a PhD exchange, formal joint research initiative or a formal strategic partnership

• 20 web articles mentioning the project published in impartial web platforms

• Increased public awareness on waste as a resource and by this a more resource efficient Europe.

Project Results:
The COOLSWEEP project has eight work packages, and four main phases; 1) Mapping (WP1), 2) Comparing (WP2), 3) Developing JAP (WP3) and 4) Implement and support (WP4&5). WP6 has an agenda of mentoring, WP7 comprises all dissemination activities and WP8 covers the project management. This report takes the WPs as a structure, whereas the overall objectives, main activities and significant results will be covered from a retrospective viewpoint. A specific focus will be on the results, and some challenges and surprises met along the way and how they were solved will be discussed as well. Results from WP5 (Implementation) and WP 7 (Dissemination) will be described more in detail in the summary “Potential impact and main dissemination activities”.

WORK PACKAGE 1 - ANALYSIS OF CLUSTERS

1. Overall objectives
Map research capacity, business/innovation needs, funding situation and legislative/policy issues in each of the five existing cluster’s regions.

2. Main Activities and significant results
WP1 was led by FORA, who had the responsibility for developing a methodology for all analytical activities, carrying out mapping and analysis of the six regions of the project and establish a web-based database; a global directory of RTD. In addition, a global analysis of the waste-to-energy field was carried out under the responsibility of Euroimpresa.
WP1 was fundamental for the mapping of the regions and provided the partners a knowledge base on global markets and of each participating cluster. This step was very important for the forthcoming work packages. The WP1 delivered reports of high quality, and FORA even developed an additional report which was not intended, describing the Drivers of waste-to-energy in Europe. The global and regional reports were used as input to brochures and other dissemination material useful for promoting entering a global market on waste-to-energy.
The global report pointed out four key messages for the field of waste-to-energy:
1. International technology cooperation must be fostered
2. The waste management hierarchy should always be kept as a milestone
3. Bio-waste should be separately collected and treated whenever possible
4. Residual mixed waste should be sent to energy recovery, after all technically and economically viable pre-processing steps in order to recover more recyclables.
The report shows that Europe is the leading figure on a global scale for number of plants, energy recovered and expertise in multiple fields of technology.
The regional mapping and in-depth analysis showed that the waste-to-energy field differs very much regards to push and pull factors across the six partner regions, but waste is increasingly seen as a resource and a commodity by all of the actors. European companies are world leading technology providers, but the most important drivers of the field are regulation and economic instruments. Three main emerging trends influencing the development of the field are the circular economy, industrial symbiosis and the bio-based economy. It was important that these trends were identified in an early phase of the project, as the field of waste-to-energy must be seen as part of a more complex whole. As well, the mappings helped pointing at common interests across the regions which were important steps for the later development of the Joint Action Plans.

The WP1 constitute the first of the four phases of the project, from M1-M12. This period of the project was focused on the individual mapping of the regions. The phase of mapping and analysis was carried out by one of the Beneficiaries, FORA, and the extent that the partners collaborated with FORA in their process of carrying out the regional mapping.
This was a logical way of organising the project and the mapping and the comparison phase was a necessary first step. However, as there were no cross-cluster activities, the COOLSWEEP partners agreed that this first phase of the project was a bit of a challenge. This was a topic for discussion by the end of the first year. In December 2013, it was agreed that the engagement amongst the partners would need to be strengthened in order to avoid a lack of participation.
Another challenge in the mapping process was that the response rate for the regional surveys and questioners sent to the regional stakeholders was quite low. More time could have been included for personal meetings and interviews in order to collect the necessary data.

WORK PACKAGE 2 - COMPARISON BETWEEN CLUSTERS/REGIONS

1. Overall objectives
To compare and contrast the six regions to determine the global picture in terms of resources available and needs for technology implementation including; funding, policy issues, public perceptions – establishing synergies and identifying the basis for effective collaborations.

2. Main Activities and significant results
WP2 was led by Euroimpresa with a specific involvement from FORA and KL. The main delivery from this WP was a SWOT-analysis and analysis of value chains. This large report gave a great overview of the strengths and weaknesses in the partner regions, and pointed out possible integrations and collaboration scenarios among different cross-regional value chains. A total of 415 companies were analysed following the survey results and companies web site. Together with the reports from WP1, this gave a profound understanding of the complementarities of the regions and a valuable fundament for the development of the JAP.
A workshop to transfer knowledge from WP1 to WP2 was organised in Milan in March 2014. This was an important meeting where FORA presented all their key findings from their extensive work in WP1.
A second knowledge transfer meeting from WP2 to WP3 took place in October 2014 and was co-organised with an “RTD collaboration meeting”. The RTD meeting was the first cross-regional event involving experts from all the different COOLSWEEP regions. By bringing leading researchers and technology experts from the clusters together, the partners enabled interregional knowledge sharing about research, technologies and innovative developments in the field of waste-to-energy. Both events were valuable experiences on co-organising of international meetings. The RTD meeting was a particularly good experience, as it offered a common cross-regional ground for experts to discuss and interact. A total of 91 participants attended the RTD-meeting; 74 triple-helix stakeholders from the Lombardy Region and 17 international experts joined from the other COOLSWEEP regions.

WORK PACKAGE 3 - DEVELOPMENT OF JOINT ACTION PLANS

1. Overall objectives
To define and approve a Joint Action Plan (JAP) to pool resources and efficiently address the identified needs of the clusters working collaboratively at the transnational level and to develop a business plan which allocates and commits resources for the implementation of the JAP at both the regional and transnational levels.

2. Main Activities and significant results
KL was the leader of WP3 and the main activities of Developing a JAP, Cluster Action Plans (CAPs) and Establishing a business plan for the implementation. The activities implied a strong collaboration with FORA, who were responsible for developing indicators for assessing the effects of the JAP and a methodology for monitoring the implementation. As well, a strong collaboration amongst all partners was needed in order to agree on the strategic priorities of the consortium.

The regional SWOT analysis carried out by the lead of Euroimpresa in WP2, provided an important part of understanding the differences and potential complementarities of the regions. Six CAPs were developed individually by the clusters and by RTU to contribute to smart specialization in the regions. The CAPs take the regions’ strengths as a core to define the future activities and Research & Technological Development initiatives of the cluster to strengthen the strengths and reinforce the weaknesses. The regional CAPs were developed after an overall framework structure worked out by the WP leader, KL.

The JAP was a key deliverable of the COOLSWEEP project. Its aim was to establish a cross-regional strategy for the partners, as an instrument for reaching the ambitious goals for the project. The COOLSWEEP partners had a kick-off for WP3 in Lombardy in March 2014, where some 20 regional stakeholders attended the meeting with great curiosity. It was great to experience such a strong interest from the regional stakeholders. This is key to create and support a close and sustainable collaboration in the region. The contents of the JAP were based on the clusters’ dialogue and knowledge of the needs and interests of the triple-helix stakeholders on the regional levels. The cluster partners undertook bilateral meetings with key stakeholders and/or organised workshops on the regional level in order to collect and discuss input for the JAP. As an outcome, these outreaching activities ensured a closer connection and a strengthening of relations between the cluster managers and the triple-helix stakeholders, as well as among the stakeholders. In this way, the JAP had an impact even before it was finalised. The partners then managed to develop both the regional and inter-regional plans in a strongly harmonized way, whereas the key challenges and opportunities on the regional levels were connected tightly to the inter-regional strategy. This ensured that the topics of the JAP were founded in actual challenges, which are all faced by regional stakeholders.
The larger context of the European climate and energy policy and the European waste policy is essential, as the initiatives to be coordinated through the JAP would be conditioned by these two important policy domains.

The JAP was designed as an instrument to realise the high ambitions of the project, as the plan comprises the strategic areas for international cooperation across the partner regions. The four strategic priorities of the COOLSWEEP JAP are:
1.Supporting internationalisation of SMEs. Objective: support the internationalisation of regional SMEs with innovative waste technologies or waste management skills.
2. Encountering future waste streams with innovative technologies for sorting and separation. Objective: identify future waste streams and clarify new technological needs to contribute to developing new sorting and separation technologies and improving existing systems to treat future waste streams with valuable resources.
3.Using the full potential of waste-to-energy incineration processes. Objective: engage the COOLSWEEP regional actors to exploit the full potential of waste-to-energy in the framework of a resource efficient Europe.
4.Bio-waste to value – Producing high value products from organic waste feedstock in the framework of a circular economy. Objective: develop collaboration initiatives focusing on the collection and utilisation of bio-waste in the production of high value products, as biogas for the transport sector. This concerns the value chains of various types of organic waste and infrastructure for waste management and treatment.

Even if the priority areas tackle different parts of the waste management value chain, they all address challenges identified in relation to the waste-to-energy sector. The suggested actions all target triple-helix cooperation, as well as business-to-business and public-private cooperation, and address the establishment of cross-regional partnerships that can create growth for each region by joint utilization of regional capabilities. The JAP is prepared in a manner that gives wide opportunities for different types of stakeholders to get involved in activities, even for collaboration among the COOLSWEEP regions during the post-project period. Therefore, both research, private sector and the regional authorities that comprise the triple-helix within the partner regions will benefit from developments resulted from the project.

The project developed an accompanying Business Plan for the implementation of the JAP and the CAPs. The business plan contains a detailed scheme of finance and funding opportunities and make clear indications on how these interlinks with the strategic priorities of the COOLSWEEP project. First of all, the plan presents public funding sources on the regional, national and European level. EU programmes as Horizon 2020, Interreg, LIFE and COSME are of specific relevance on the international level. Second, some of the national and regional funding opportunities which are central at the level of implementing the CAPs is investigated. Thirdly, the Business Plan describes a series of financing opportunities from both public and private sources, with a focus on risk capital. It includes a description of financing sources facilitated by public institutions such as the European Commission, the European Investment Bank, the European Investment Fund or the Nordic Investment Bank. It also focuses on sources of private financing through a concept that has received increasing attention in the last years, namely equity crowdfunding. Financing opportunities described in this part can be accessed primarily by individual companies.

The development of the business plan was carried out as a parallel activity with developing the JAP. The final work continued for two months after the delivery of the JAP, giving the project partners sufficient time for in-depth assessments of the opportunities identified. All COOLSWEEP partners assessed the various funding opportunities and provided their input to KL, who coordinated and was responsible for the final deliverable. Among the ambitions for the Business Plan was to identify funding sources, which complement each other and which can, through coordination, secure overall funding efficiency. It is considered that the business plan has successfully achieved this ambition.

Wherever possible the COOLSWEEP partners are encouraged to leverage these sources against other sources that might become available during the JAP implementation period and beyond. In that regard, the Business Plan provides links to source of information that will support the partners in creating synergies between different funding and financing opportunities. Most of the project funding opportunities are still highly relevant even after the ending of the COOLSWEEP project. Hence, the Business Plan, and the way of establishing such an extensive overview, was a very helpful experience.
The development of the JAP was carried out through the second year of the project; 2014, as a stage gated decision making process amongst the partners. This second year really tied the project partners together through the collaboration on the JAP, and fostered a great foundation for the third and last year of the COOLSWEEP project. Even though there were some delays from the WP1 and WP2, the project partners managed to get back on track through an efficient proceeding of the development of the JAP.

The JAP was originally defined as a non public document (PP); open only for the consortium of the project. A lot of hard work was put into the process the document and a lot of pride was given to the final result. Even a professional layout was applied. The COOLSWEEP partners agreed that the JAP should be redefined as a public (PU) document. This decision was verified with the Policy Officer in the EC. Then, this was followed by printing the JAP with the specific aim of using it actively as dissemination material for the COOLSWEEP project. A total of 150 JAPs have been printed by the project coordinator throughout 2015, and these brochures were handed out carefully to relevant stakeholders. The JAP achieved huge attention, and actually became a key asset to disseminate about the project through the last and important year.

WORK PACKAGE 4 – DEVELOPING JOINT INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT

1. Overall objective
To establish a practical support framework that enables regional cluster members to access international markets thereby stimulating increased trade and regional visibility.

2. Main Activities and significant results
The WP4 was formally managed by ACLIMA, and contained several large activities carried out by CLEAN, ECO and KL.

As an important part of the internationalisation activities, two Trade Missions to third countries were organised in 2015; the first to Montreal (Canada) in March, and the second to Almaty (Kazakhstan) in September. The Trade Missions were defined as a key activity to unlock business opportunities at the international level, and the missions were designed as international business trips for a group of SMEs that wanted to export or/and look for potential subcontractors or/and joint venture opportunities with SMEs of other clusters and regions. The two Trade Missions were developed quite differently and turned out as two different events.

The Programme in Montreal provided great opportunities and extended visibility for the COOLSWEEP project and the project partners. There were companies from the different regions who were quite interested in joining the Montreal Trade Mission, but for various reasons; some of those being financial reasons, only one company decided to go. This was Austrian SME Sattler. As well, Danish Copenhagen Capacity (CopCap) chose to travel with the COOLSWEEP delegation. As part of the conference Americana, where the COOLSWEEP was given two separate sessions in the programme, there was a B2B matchmaking web tool available for all participants. Several of the COOLSWEEP delegates organised meetings during the days of the Trade Mission, to represent their regional SMEs who could not attend the Trade Mission.

It became clear that Canada is lagging far behind Europe regarding waste-to-energy and waste management. Canada is a huge country and there is lots of available space for landfills, and no incentives to advance to a better level of waste treatment. This was a very interesting finding, which made the delegation confident that there are opportunities for European technology and solution providers in Canada. As a follow up from the Trade Mission, one of the local Canadian companies who were visited, Enerkem, planned to visit CopCap in Denmark in November 2015. In the moment of writing, CopCap is still in dialogue with local company Pyrogenisis and with Austrian Sattler. In KL, there was a follow up meeting for cluster members in 2015 to discuss business opportunities in Canada.

The Programme in Almaty was a great success. The involvement of SMEs in the first Trade Mission was not as high as one would have hoped for, and a different approach was needed in order to succeed in involving several SMEs for the second trip. A good dialog amongst the partners and between the coordinator and the policy officer in the European Commission was important to evaluate all options, and it was decided to reallocate some resources from the COOLSWEEP budget to offer a reimbursement of travel costs for the regional SMEs. A specific web-based application form was developed for SMEs to apply for the support to join the Almaty programme. The applicants were evaluated based on a set of criteria and internal discussions amongst the project partners. Even though the financial support was offered, three of the SMEs had to step down from joining the Trade Mission, due to change of priorities and financial reasons. This shows how challenging it can be to involve external parties in this type of project activities. Thus, in the end – 8 European SMEs joined the Trade Mission to Almaty. That was a great result. The companies who participated were: CAMBI (Norway), Hjellnes Consult (Norway), CLEANFIELD (Denmark), Gehl (Denmark), PRAMEC (Italy), Ludza Bioenergia (Latvia), MRK Serviss (Latvia) and wInterface (Austria).

The participation of the COOLSWEEP consortium at the Green Bridge Forum in Latvia (April 2015) was pivotal for the organisation of the Trade Mission in Kazakhstan. The forum was attended by representatives of Kazakh public administrations, international organisations active in the country, as well as representatives of the private sector. Meeting them in Latvia helped the COOLSWEEP consortium understand the opportunities for cooperation and create contacts that supported the organisation of the Trade Mission.

During the Trade Mission in Almaty, there was organised a special seminar for the COOLSWEEP delegates with exclusively invited experts. The experts represented various national and international organisations currently working in Kazakhstan, such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), The Kazakhstan Business Council for Sustainable Development, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), German Society for International Cooperationo (GIZ) and the KazWaste Association. Embassy staff from four of the COOLSWEEP regions were attending as participants.

The experts were invited to contribute with their knowledge and experience within the Kazakh business environment, international collaboration and waste management sectors. The title of the seminar was "Strengthening Cooperation between European and Kazakh Stakeholders in the framework of the Green Economy with Waste Management as the main topic". All the SMEs of the COOLSWEEP delegation did individual presentation of their companies. This was a great dissemination opportunity for all the companies. And, from the international experts, the participants were provided first-hand knowledge about the business environment in the Kazakhstan. As well, various perspectives on the country and how waste is treated was presented, both from the international perspective, as well as from the local perspective. Several of the experts complimented the COOLSWEEP team on the seminar, its timely topic of waste-to-energy and clean technologies, and the importance of our continuous work in this sector.
During the Trade Mission, the SMEs had several opportunities to present their technologies to relevant stakeholders and bilateral meetings with local companies were undertaken as well. A unique B2B session with private companies in the waste management sector was organised in collaboration with the KazWaste association, which turned out quite interesting, despite the challenges for us non-Russian speaking visitors.

In the following; citations from three of the eight SMEs after returning from the Trade Mission to Almaty:

“I am very satisfied with the Trade Mission. Especially the meeting with the waste water treatment company of the city. This is a very relevant potential customer, and I got to meet with both the Technical director and the General Manager of the company to do an “elevator pitch”. They showed severe interest, and we agreed to follow up on e-mails. It could not have went better, actually. This meeting was a golden opportunity for my company. As well, I have been invited to the Astana invest – an economic forum in the city of Astana in October, after speaking with the deputy mayor on the conference and I have presented our technology to several potential customers in the private sector.” (CAMBI)

“I am really happy for being a part of the Trade Mission, and my company had a great experience with having our own stand at the EcoTech Exhibition. Our technology is already being tested in Kazakhstan through our joint venture here, but we were lacking a network. This has already grown, thanks to this opportunity. We have now got contact information of some relevant decision makers, and we used our marketing and sales materials to be the most popular stand among others during the exhibition! After the exhibition we have 13 contacts that we will follow up with telephone calls immediately after the Trade Mission, and there was a big interest to our company from our indirect competitors – they are willing to cooperate with us. One of our competitors from Turkey has invited our joint venture to visit their company and show some existing projects in Kazakhstan.” (CLEANFIELD)

“I was assisted by the organisation “Advantage Austria” that helped me set up meetings for my visit. So, I actually got to meet with 5 different organisations; potential customers and organisations that might help me to forward my business here. So, I spent a lot of time in meetings, but I was really happy to travel here as part of a larger group, and this was definetly a great experience. I learned that Kazakhstan is interested in foreign investors to bring Kazakhstan into a green future.” (wInterface).

As the organiser of the Trade Missions, KL has followed up on the dialogue with the central organisations in Kazakhstan, as the KazWaste association and the KBCSD. Both were pleased that they were given the opportunity to establish relations with the European clusters and companies, and expressed a severe interest for potential further collaboration.

Besides the Trade Missions, the project partners received particularly positive feedback for the two B2B-events organised within the framework of the International conference in Bilbao (June 2015) and the final conference in Copenhagen (October 2015). The main aims of the international conference in Bilbao were; 1) Link the international scientific and professional communities to the project, 2) Establish partnerships in trans-regional and international initiatives, 3) Improve the networking between regional authorities, research entities and the business community. Waste as a resource was the motto and the conference programme focused on the main topics identified in WP1,2 and 3, and especially those prioritized in the JAP, in order to trigger the partnerships for implementation of the strategies.
Key figures of the Bilbao conference and B2B event:
157 participants from 9 countries representing 90 organisations, 14 research teams, 6 public institutions/regional administration/development agencies/public companies/public waste operator and 6 research driven triple-helix clusters.;
32 presentations/speakers;
58 bilateral meetings, whereas 37 were international;
7 research posters were presented;
80 people attended to visits to regional waste-to-energy facilities.

The B2B event was organised with the support of SPRI-Business Development Basque Agency and Basque Enterprise Europe Network, an excellent collaboration on the regional level. This is a good example of creating regional synergies with a European project. The main tool for organizing the event was a web platform, designed to register those interested in the event and manage the organisation of meetings. The event created an extensive media impact in Spain, the Basque country, and internationally with 24 (!) web articles mentioning the conference. All participants were followed up with a “thank you for participating” e-mail a few days later, where the key figures, links to all presentations and link to professional photos were shared. (The final conference and B2B in Copenhagen is described below, under the heading of WP7 – Dissemination).

On top of these large, international events, the clusters got great feedback from the SMEs on the regional ‘International training and coaching workshops’. These were organised as a separate task by each cluster to help companies to network and internationalise their businesses. The workshops were also a great opportunity to share information about the upcoming Trade Missions and other international project events. A common methodology and structure for the workshops was developed by ECO and applied successfully in the other regions. Developing, testing and implementing tools and methodologies to facilitate dialogue is important to be able to offer enhanced services as a cluster organisation. The planning of the workshop was a great way to share knowledge and learn amongst the cluster managers. The development of regional internationalisation strategies was as well carried out within the same framework.

Due to the potential in the global market and the interests of the industrial stakeholders, WP4 was particularly important, and the COOLSWEEP consortium were working hard to achieve its objectives. The internationalisation activities of the COOLSWEEP project have provided opportunities for international matchmaking for the companies both from the COOLSWEEP regions and from regions outside the consortium. The clusters obtained excellent feedback from the companies who highlight the importance of export and internationalisation. These topics are certainly put on the agenda in the COOLSWEEP project.
Measuring the full and specific impact of B2B meetings and new contacts is a challenge. Building new relationships takes time, especially when adding the dimension of different languages and different business cultures. All international activities were carried out within only one year (Oct 2014-Oct 2015). This was a very intense period for all COOLSWEEP partners, as these international events; conferences and Trade Missions, demands time and resources for planning and organising. One event has followed close to the other, and it has been challenging to get the SMEs to travel abroad to get involved in several international events. The SMEs are pressured on time and have only limited resources, and it can make it hard to commit to these kind of activities.

WORK PACKAGE 5 - IMPLEMENTATION

1. Overall objectives
The overall objective of WP5 is to support the implementation of the JAP through the organisation and coordination of supporting network activities and pilot initiatives.

2. Main Activities and significant results
The WP was led by CLEAN, with important support from ACLIMA and ECO.
WP5 consisted of several key activities spanning over 2015; the year of implementation of the JAP and a large extent of interaction with regional stakeholders. Developing a partner engagement plan was the first activity in this WP; an outline for an actionable process for mobilising and engaging partners, and defining the roles of stakeholders. All clusters developed a plan, based on a joint template, shared by CLEAN. Through working out these plans, it became evident to the clusters who the key potential partners were, and by using the four focus areas of the JAP as a basis, the triple-helix stakeholders could as well be organised in one or more groups. The regional plans then functioned as a tool for categorisation, which made it easier to approach the right stakeholders.
Policy development and regional strategies is an aspect in the development of the COOLSWEEP project and has run as a binding element in many of the tasks and activities on the regional level. As part of the WP5, the cluster partners have all carried out strategically focused activities pinpointing policy development on the local and regional levels by involvement of triple-helix stakeholders. Policy development affecting waste management and waste-to-energy has important synergies with energy and environmental policy, and with the regional business development and innovation strategy. Strengthening this sector would generate new business opportunities, contributing to energy self-sufficiency and more efficient use of energy and resources.

The clusters in the COOLSWEEP project are all different and have different roles in their regions, but as part of WP5, each cluster produced regional proposal papers for policy makers. Some of the cluster organisations – like ACLIMA - have a long tradition for developing policy papers, while others traditionally do not act in a political role. ACLIMA offered great help by setting up suggested instructions to support the less experienced clusters to find their way of developing the paper. To some, this exercise of defining a proposal paper was a challenge, as the cluster members often represent different sets of opinions. Hence, it was important to present a paper for the regional policy makers with a focus that was general, but offering some specific suggestions. The clusters chose different methods for preparing the paper, and having the flexibility to do this was important. The five regional policy papers were all written in the native languages and presented to the local and regional authorities. As the development of a Norwegian national strategy on the bio-economy coincided with the COOLSWEEP activities, OREEC was inspired to use output from the policy paper as input for this new national strategy.

The initiatives targeted on policy was a good experience, and the role of the clusters as an enabler and facilitator for regional arenas has been strengthened due to these activities. The clusters’ role of bringing together stakeholders across the triple-helix is important as a basic model for bringing the public and private sectors closer together in discussions on selected topics.
WP5 called for extended activities for taking steps towards new regional and cross-regional partnerships. Within the activities of this WP, the clusters acted in the role of mobilising and engaging the regional triple-helix stakeholders. Dialogue was facilitated through a great amount of meetings, workshops and seminars to brainstorm and discuss ideas for projects on the regional and international levels. (More information about the regional activities in the summary “Potential impact and main dissemination activities”).

As a parallel process, the partners have monitored and evaluated their progress through implementing the methodology developed in WP3. The monitoring functioned as a great tool of self-assessment, and the partners all had the opinion that this way of working was efficient and successful. A data collection and progress evaluation was carried out three times during 2015. The findings were shared amongst the partners, highlighting the areas with lower progress, in order to prioritise the efforts for the time remaining. Two intermediate and one final evaluation were conducted, and a final report (Deliverable 5.2) shows the detailed assessment of the effectiveness of interventions and includes recommendations for improvement. The data collection systems set up were designed to become permanent within the regions to enable the continuous monitoring of the waste-to-energy sector within the clusters after the end of the COOLSWEEP project. The project partners agreed that this was a good way to work and the methodology established can be used beyond the project.
WP5 was a very important WP in the project – and if the project lasted for longer, the activities of WP5 could be further developed. Like in the international activities of WP4, building international partnerhsips takes time. During the implementation phase of the COOLSWEEP project, a number of triple-helix stakeholders got the chance to get in touch with and initiate relations on the cross-regional levels. Several partnerships were created, and the continuation will be prolonged for years after the COOLSWEEP project.

WORK PACKAGE 6 - MENTORING

1. Overall objectives
To mentor and strengthen the work on waste-to-energy and related topics in an existing cluster from Latvia, and establish a methodology and tool kit that can aid future complementary cluster development in other EU regions.

2. Main Activities and significant results
The WP6 was led by ECO and supported strongly by all other partners.
In WP6 a cluster initiative was planned for the Latvian context with the main aim to mentor and strengthening the work on waste-to-energy and related topics. A methodology and supporting tool has further been proposed as a result from the mentoring process.
The mentoring activities begun at M12 and have been focused on the organization of four mentoring workshops. Within this process, Riga Technical University (RTU), became the recipient of the effect deriving from the mentoring process. Within this context, the attention of the mentoring strategy was addressed to a specific core group of key players identified to be mentored in order to set up potential new cluster members.

Following the first period of implementation, the mentoring activities contributed to strengthening the already existing Latvian cluster within clean technologies. This has effectively brought an important cooperation among the cluster CLEANTECH Latvia, RTU, the mentoring process coordinator and the other COOLSWEEP partners. Thus, a better and more effective solution than creating a new cluster organisation, the solution was identified to strengthen the CLEANTECH Latvia cluster who also showed their willingness to reinforce their activities in waste-to-energy. All partners in the COOLSWEEP project proposed strengthening CLEANTECH Latvia as the most rational solution that would lead to a more successful cluster for the future, instead of creating a new cluster.

The structure of the mentoring process was based on three main sequential steps defined in terms of: Step 1 – Build up trust; Step 2 – Deepening relations; and Step 3 – Stepping out. The process was structured around four workshops, whereas the first was organised in Riga in April 2014, focused on evaluating the potential core group for the cluster initiative in Latvia. The main topic was “The cluster concept and beneficial effects within the waste-to-energy sector”. The second workshop took place at the international waste sector fair, IFAT ENTSORGA Munich at the 5th of May 2014. The main topic was “Exchange of knowledge and best practice cases with other cluster organisations and participants”. To use possible synergies, the workshop was merged with the cluster-matchmaking GREEN TECHNOLOGIES and all COOLSWEEP partners have been invited to the Green Tech Valley evening reception wich was organised by ECO. This offered great international networking opportunities to the participants. The third workshop was organized within the context of the DepoTech conference in Leoben where a COOLSWEEP session was performed within the conference. The main topic was “Create the right feeling for cluster development (cluster strategy) through the exchange of knowledge from all regions to shape the future of the cluster development in Riga”. The fourth workshop was organized in Latvia in the light of the cooperation between RTU and CLEANTECH Latvia. Thanks to this collaboration, the COOLSWEEP delegation also got the opportunity to participate in the Green Bridge Forum (GBF) held in Jurmala (“Building the Bridge to Clean Technologies between European Union and Central Asian countries”, 15th-18th April, 2015). As well as creating an exciting, international frame for the fourth mentoring workshop, the GBF was a great opportunity to initiate relations with key representatives from the cleantech sectors in the five Central-Asian countries, and the COOLSWEEP partners exploited this as an arena to harvest knowledge for the second trade mission (to Kazakhstan). The main topic of the mentoring workshop was “Innovation and technology development in the waste-to-energy sector: the role of clusters and examples of good practices. Cluster development in Latvia: COOLSWEEP project and beyond”. At the end of the workshop a formal cooperation agreement was signed between RTU and CLEANTECH Lativa; within it was defined the creation of a specific waste-to-energy department in CLEANTECH Latvia, and a clarification of the tasks for the two parties.
As an official concluding event of the Green Bridge Forum, eight parties from Europe and Central-Asia signed a formal MOU; two of the parties being COOLSWEEP clusters. The MOU states that the undersigned have a mutual interest in international cooperation and will intend to collaborate in the fields of water and wastewater treatment, recycling & waste, renewable energy, green innovations & Investment and more. This is a great outcome of the COOLSWEEP project and it was an important step in the organising of the Trade Mission to Kazakhstan.

Summing up the mentoring process: The objective here was to establish conditions; relations, collaboration and communication, in order to stabilize future cooperation in the mentored region.
The programme of the four mentoring workshops was an excellent opportunity to share knowledge and to identify potential co-creation of joint actions and synergies with COOLSWEEP clusters and cluster members in the Latvian context. The friendly and pro-active atmosphere within the workshops was an important aspect affecting audience in a positive way and giving the opportunity to develop further synergies. The mentoring workshops were beneficial for promoting new opportunities for joint project proposals in the sector of waste management in Latvia and in cooperation with COOLSWEEP clusters and members. 11 Latvian companies have signed a membership letter to CLEANTECH Latvia.
A total of 81 participants from across the triple-helix took part in the four workshops, and beyond these, RTU defined a more detailed agenda for local seminars focused on the identified core group of stakeholders. More information on the seminars in the summary “Potential impact and main dissemination activities”.

The COOLSWEEP partners, with the lead of ECO, used the mentoring process to develop a tool kit that can aid future complementary cluster formations in other European regions. This model for cluster formations is a significant result from the mentoring process and a key asset for the project partners for future project opportunities.

WORK PACKAGE 7 - DISSEMINATION

1. Overall Objectives
The main aim of WP7 was to undertake a comprehensive range of dissemination and outreach programmes to targeted stakeholders to inform and advise on technological developments, policy implications and environmental benefits.

2. Main Activities and significant results
The very first significant result from WP7 was the launch of the COOLSWEEP project website, including online access to the cluster mapping and RTD directory developed in the WP1. In a Database, one can search for partners and other stakeholders in the waste-to-energy value chain across the 6 participating regions of the COOLSWEEP project. The database contains information and contact details for more than 300 waste-to-energy companies and as well, it encourages readers to become part of the database.

Five fact sheets, a COOLSWEEP brochure and a COOLSWEEP one-pager were developed and distributed amongst the partners in PDF format suitable for print. These have supplemented the formal project reports and have been available on the project website since December 2013. The fact sheets focused on different markets for waste-to-energy and were used in the internationalisation activities of WP4.

In order to disseminate information about the cluster analysis and mapping (WP2), as well as the JAP (WP3) to regional stakeholders and start the process of implementing the JAP, the COOLSWEEP partners have all organised seminars, workshops and meetings for regional stakeholders. The purpose of the seminars, was to present the main conclusions from the analysis and JAP, as well as facilitate brainstorming and idea development sessions to ensure implementation of new projects across the COOLSWEEP regions. Following this, seminars have been held in the six regions, involving several hundred regional stakeholders. These activities are described more in detail in the summary “Potential impact and main dissemination activities”.

During the first week of November 2014, a European Waste Cluster Conference (Deliverable 7.4) took place in connection to the DepoTech conference organized by the COOLSWEEP partner Montan University in Leoben. The DepoTech is a conference in waste management organised every two years by the University, and by connecting the event with the project, a special COOLSWEEP seminar was implemented fully in the programme. The DepoTech has turned out to be the largest waste management conference in Austria where delegates from science and industry meet to discuss recent issues in waste management, waste engineering and waste recovery highlighting the valuable management of waste as a resource. More than 400 participants from across Europe participated in the many discussion sessions and tracks on different topics within waste management in general and waste-to-energy in particular. On the 6th of November, the COOLSWEEP partners presented their work with the JAP to around 60 participants from industry, cluster organisations and academia in a special session. Afterwards, there was discussion about possible collaboration projects as well as how the participants could benefit from the project. Several ideas and leads were generated, and new contacts were established.
The DepoTech conference gave a massive dissemination impact for the COOLSWEEP project. The conference was promoted through a dedicated website, and all 400 participants received a copy of the Depotech 2014 book, containing articles about the newest research within waste management. A special COOLSWEEP project newspaper was produced for the conference, along with several posters, placed at strategical places around the conference area.

Another essential task in WP7 was the organisation of the final conference of the project. The conference was a two-day event, which took place at Rambøll’s headquarter in Copenhagen on the 21st and 22nd of October 2015. Early in the process of organising the conference, the COOLSWEEP partners contacted Danish Rambøll and DAKOFA in order to work collaboratively towards planning the conference. Both companies got a prominent role at the conference: Rambøll was the host of the conference and DAKOFA’s CEO was conferencier on the first day. A third major player in Denmark "State of Green" showed interest early to facilitate the second day of the conference. It was decided to schedule site visits around Zealand region, for the many international guests who were expected at the conference. Five workshops were organised, again in close relation with the themes from the JAP.

A B2B/matchmaking session was planned in cooperation with Cluster Excellence Denmark, which is funded by the Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation. This was another great example of taking advantage of the potential for regional collaboration with a European project as the core.
Key figures from the final conference:
150 participants, whereas 79 were Danish and 71 were international.
10 countries represented
111 people participating in 90 meetings in the matchmaking session.

After the conference, several activities were undertaken to do follow-up and disseminate the outcome of the conference. Frist of all, all presentations were shared with participants via the website www.coolsweep.org. Secondly, all participants received a “thank you for participating” update with links to the presentations. Some companies have also been contacted to get an idea of the output of the B2B meetings. As one positive example, the company FORCE Technology have made a deal with the company Martin GmbH regarding training of professionals for the waste incineration plants. Another example is that the Italian company W.T.E have received help from the organisers to follow-up on their contacts with the companies Rambøll and FORCE Technology. The organisers have also received input for improvement for any future events from some of the presenters. In addition, a satisfaction survey was conducted among the participants.

Dissemination has been an important part of the COOLSWEEP project; a further description is in the summary “Potential impact and main dissemination activities”.

WORK PACKAGE 8 - PROJECT MANAGEMENT

1. Overall Objectives
To conduct an efficient management process which ensures that the work is carried out in accordance with the Description of Work; ensure the required quality and time schedules are achieved throughout the entire project duration; facilitate the fulfilment of the partners’ obligations towards the European Commission from the legal, contractual, financial and administrative perspective; and to effectively communicate between the consortium partners and the European Commission.

2. Challenges, unpredictable circumstances, solutions and lessons learned
i) Personnel Turnover
During the three years of the COOLSWEEP project, there has been a certain degree of turnover, and some of the key staff has been changed during the project. The primary coordinator has changed twice, and personnel has been changed in almost all organisations. This, of course, implied an extensive knowledge transfer, and in such situations, there is always a risk that information gets lost. Another risk is that more time is demanded to complete Tasks and responsibilities within the given time frame, and due to change of personnel, some of the Deliverables in the project were delayed. The delays were all foreseen and there was a dialogue with the policy officer of the project in advance of these. A good communication with the policy officer has been important to discuss and resolve issues. In addition to the challenges related to personnel turn over, several of the partners have been going through complex organisational changes during the time of the project. Such processes can be quite resource demanding, and pulling ones attention away from the day-to-day activities in a project. Despite the fact that several of the project partners have been through some demanding processes, the dedicated, hard working people ensured the progress of the project. The communication between the partners has been good and a very comfortable tone was developed between the key personnel involved. This culture made the COOLSWEEP consortium a great team. The project partners were determined to reach the objectives of the project, and even though some Tasks and Deliverables were not delivered on time, the delays did not affect the final results. The changes in personnel and organisational structures did not compromise the objectives of the COOLSWEEP project. The project was completed successfully by December 2015 (month 36) as scheduled.

ii) Amendment processes
The COOLSWEEP project has carried out three amendment processes throughout the three years. These are demanding processes, which consume a lot of time and resources from the coordinator.
The first amendment process was carried out because there was a change of coordinator and as well of partners, and minor parts of the coordinators budget was changed as well. The amendment was a time consuming process to manage. As the new project manager left the organisation at the end of 2014; a third project manager was appointed. This person knew the project well from being in the role of WP leader and working closely with the project manager through 2014, but starting out the coordinator position to complete a second amendment process that was initiated, was a challenge. There was as well an UTRO-process carried out on behalf of one of the other partners, and then a third amendment process later in 2015.
To look at the bright side, going through such an amendment process makes the people executing it in a much stronger position to understand the construction of the budget and as well some of the legal requirements of the project. So, even though there were some obvious challenges, the processes have contributed with important learning for the persons taking over the responsibility of the project.

iii) PMC meetings
There has been a total of 17 Project Management Committee (PMC) meetings in the COOLSWEEP project.
The PMC meetings have been very important and served as an arena for in-depth discussions throughout the project. Especially 2015, the third and last year of the project, was a very important year of implementation of the JAP and CAPs, as well as the year of four large international events involving all project partners. Starting from January 2015, the coordinator implemented monthly telephone conferences to ensure involvement and close communication amongst all partners. Implementation of JAP/CAPs has been a point on the agenda for every meeting, and the cluster partners have reported their progress through a roundtable. The meetings have as well been arenas for sharing experiences and discussing challenges that were met along the way.
There was set up an agenda for every meeting, which was sent to all partners 2-4 days prior to the meeting, and minutes were taken from every meeting. All documents were saved in the joint filing system, so the information would be available for all partners.
In the project proposal, it was envisaged four meetings in the PMC. The fact that the partnership has carried out as many as 17 is a clear strength to the project. Due to the personnel turnover, it was probably necessary. The PMCs were organised to coincide with international events in the project, hence no extra travels were necessary to undertake in order to execute the meetings. Using telephone conferences through the last year of the project was a good way to keep discussions going in between the physical meetings.
The final PMC meeting was organised in December 2015, where all partners were present to discuss the outcomes, impact and challenges of the project. The outcomes of these concluding discussions are all implemented in this final project report.

iv) Interaction with the Advisory board
The COOLSWEEP partnership has a strong base in the global International Cleantech Network (ICN). The cluster partners from ICN who are not partners in the project, were involved representatives of the Advisory Board. Besides, the regional authorities from each cluster region are members of the Advisory Board.
It was foreseen that the ICN-partners would participate in workshops and assist with the development and implementation of the internationalisation aspects of the project. A second challenge was that the responsibility of chairing the Advisory Board was handed to one specific person in the COOLSWEEP partnership, who – unfortunately - left her organisation (ACLIMA) in the beginning of 2014. This coincided with the time that the consortium was setting out the activities where the Advisory Board were envisaged to contribute. Following from this, there was a certain period where the international parties of the Advisory Board were not severely involved in the project activities. This was completely turned around throughout the last phase of the project. The COOLSWEEP Trade Mission to Montreal was organised in close collaboration with one of the ICN members in Montreal. This fits very well into the idea of having the members of the Advisory Board to deliver benchmark data, contribute to an overview and potential access to technology and exchange of experience. The Trade Mission to Montreal was a great example of enabling international exchanges and transnational collaboration oversees.
During the same week of the Trade Mission, there was organised a large ICN meeting in Montreal, and the COOLSWEEP project was put as an important point on the agenda for the meeting. The ICN partners were all impressed of the good collaboration and agreed that the COOLSWEEP project was a best practice example on how the ICN partnership should work. Following from this, the COOLSWEEP project was implemented as a separate point on the agenda for every meeting of the ICN throughout 2015. In this way, the international ICN members were involved directly in the progress of the project, as they were updated on the recent development and upcoming events, and were welcomed to provide their comments and input.

The Advisory Board had as well regional representatives from all six regions. In regards to these, there has been an extensive interaction between the cluster managers and the regional authorities. The public authorities of the regions have participated actively at regional workshops and seminars, and there have been several additional bilateral meetings amongst the parties. (More about the interaction on the regional level in the summary “Potential impact and main dissemination activities”). Having regional representatives in the Advisory Board was a good way of strengthening the relations and collaboration between the clusters and the regional offices. As well, it has been a good way to increase visibility of both the challenges in the sector in question as well as the extensive activities organised in order to engage the triple-helix actors of the region. This is a good learning and as well a good outcome of the project on the regional levels. Several of the partners have raised regional financing for new projects that have come to life because of the COOLSWEEP project.

v) Third parties involved in the consortium
The Norwegian SME CAMBI was included as a “third party making resources available to a beneficiary” under reimbursement by the beneficiary itself (KL) in the project proposal. CAMBI is a company holding a patented technology for converting biomass into biogas and biofertilizer through a thermal hydrolysis process, and have delivered their technology to a state-of-the art plant in the Oslo region. It was agreed that CAMBI would provide the necessary competence to secure that their technology is covered in the most professional way in the mapping and comparison of the clusters and regions. CAMBI would make their staff available to support FORA in this first phase of the project, and furthermore for participation in RTD collaboration meetings and mentoring activities.
CAMBI has experienced a huge growth during the last 3 years. This is, of course, very fortunate for the company, but it has been unfortunate for the COOLSWEP project. During 2014, the second year of the project, a strong effort was made to involve the company, but the key staff were difficult to reach by phone and e-mail. Their focus was directed to their core activities, as they were in a phase of the formal handing over of the plant in Oslo to its operators, as well as they were working to close huge contracts in Beijing and in Washington D.C. Because of their growth and highly increased activity wordwide, CAMBI did not have the opportunity to make resources available to take part in the project activities as foreseen at the time of developing the proposal. Two meetings were undertaken with CAMBI managers in order to pull them into the project activities, but the timing was not ideal, and it was decided that it would be better to let CAMBI focus on their core activities.
This demonstrate the challenge of involving SMEs as partners in EU-projects running for 3-4 years. SMEs are small, dynamic entities where changes happen rapidly. However - the direct involvement of SMEs in the individual project activities has been far more successful. CAMBI has taken an active part in all the regional activities in Oslo, amongst those as a ‘mentor’ in the international coaching workshop. As well, they participated in the second Trade Mission, and at the final conference including B2B-meetings. This way of involving the regional SMEs has been a good experience.

vi) Waste-to-energy as a core topic
During the time of the project, the concept of a circular economy gained a large momentum and a great deal of attention from all stakeholders in the waste management sector across Europe. The Circular Economy was identified early on in the project as one of the key megatrends within the field of waste management. In the COOLSWEEP JAP, it was considered alongside the bioeconomy and industrial symbiosis as the two other megatrends. The research and innovation boundaries in the COOLSWEEP project are defined by “everything between reception of the waste at a waste treatment/energy production plant and delivery of energy and by-products”. This includes separation technologies, energy recovery technologies, energy and energy carriers and products and by-products of energy recovery. Nevertheless, looking outside the project terminology, the term waste-to-energy is strongly associated with waste incineration, and it has been a challenge to explain the broad focus of the project in simple terms.

A huge attention has been directed to the circular economy ever since the first communication was released from the European Commission on July 2nd 2014. The “Circular Economy Package” was then withdrawn, elaborated and released again December 2nd 2015. Renewable energy from waste is not treated as a part of the circular economy, and was not even mentioned in the first “Package”. The opposition between the supporters of incineration and the non-supportive stakeholders was already there before, and the circular economy package has fostered an even stronger distinction between material recycling and energy recycling. The COOLSWEEP partners experienced that waste-to-energy has become a quite political term, thus it has become an increasing challenge to communicate waste-to-energy as the core of the COOLSWEEP project, as the project has no such political agenda in its nature.

The COOLSWEEP partners chose to make the challenge of “waste-to-energy in the circular economy” as the topic of the final conference. This turned out to be an excellent solution, as the project was able to pinpoint the very challenge of the field of waste-to-energy today. Danish Rambøll, a global provider of consultancy within the field of waste management and waste-to-energy, presented their view, where they implemented renewable energy as part of the circular economy. This is opposed to the model that most peers refer to, and this was a trigger for good discussions amongst the conference participants.

Potential Impact:
The COOLSWEEP project has a clear regional dimension, and aims for a strong cross-regional collaboration. This combination has been a great way to learn about the involved regions, both from an inside and outside point of view. Particularly, the exercises carried out in order to analyse, compare and contrast the regions, proved to be very valuable. The Deliverables developed in the first phase of the project, provided key knowledge about the particularities of the regions; their policies, infrastructure, types of stakeholders, state-of-the art in technology, development of new business models, and more. First of all – these exercises were necessary in order to provide a regional basis for the development of the Joint Action Plan (JAP) and the regional Cluster Action Plans (CAPs). Second, the information was highly relevant to share with the regional stakeholders of each region. Several local seminars were hosted by the participating clusters to present and discuss findings from the project with triple-helix stakeholders. The seminars and workshops have worked as a two-way channel; both sharing information from the project, and at the same time; retrieving reactions and opinions from the stakeholders that were channelized back into the project and the development of the JAP and CAPs. Third, the important networking effect; the arenas for information sharing and discussions between triple-helix stakeholders in the regional activities, contribute to strengthen the relations and offer great opportunities for expanding important professional networks within the field of waste-to-energy and waste management.

Many of the activities in the COOLSWEEP project are interactive by nature, as a large amount of stakeholders across the triple helix have were involved directly in the project. Central stakeholders have participated in more than one activity, which is seen as a clear sign of interest and commitment to the project and its objectives of building stronger relations and sustainable partnerships.

INTERACTION WITH RIS3 STRATEGIES AND IMPACT ON THE REGIONAL LEVEL

All the cluster partners in the project have interacted and collaborated with the regional authorities of the respective regions throughout the project. The collaboration has been in the form of meetings and conversations, joint organising of events, participation in workshops and other activities. This level of collaboration has been of specific importance as a strategic impact, as it contributes – directly or indirectly – to the development of smart specialisation strategies of the regions. In the following, some examples on regional impact and dissemination activities from all the clusters will be presented, and one new regional triple-helix partnership will be described in brief for each region:

BASQUE COUNTRY - ACLIMA
In the Basque country, ACLIMA has organized several contrast sessions and workshops with regional stakeholders from the public and private sector in order to identify a number of proposals to be considered in the regional policy and strategy framework. As a specific result, ACLIMA has established a collaboration with the Basque Energy Cluster. Both of the clusters are already working actively with the regional authorities to advice and influence the conditions for the companies. With the cross-cluster collaboration, the impact of their work is more likely to be stronger, which will benefit the companies of the region. Other specific proposals are 1) Supporting the internationalization of Basque companies and Research and innovation network and 2) Development of a favourable regulatory/legal framework and 3) Strengthen the Basque industrial leadership in waste-to-energy, strengthening public-private partnerships through the environment and energy clusters.
As well, ACLIMA initiated a meeting with the projects VALORLACT (LIFE) and GISWASTE (LIFE) to exchange information on the COOLSWEEP project, and at this meeting they identified interactions between the projects and the possibilities of approach of new joint initiatives.
ACLIMA was invited to present the COOLSEEP project as an example of successful European cross border collaboration to more than 60 participants, including Basque Clusters, Companies and research Centers, at a workshop called “European Framework and opportunities for Cluster projects”. This is one of several examples of ACLIMA’s extended interaction with central organisations in the region. Several workshops included cooperation with the Basque Government and SPRI (Basque Business Development Agency).

New regional partnership – GISWASTE
Collaboration agreement with GISWASTE project coordinators and ACLIMA for identifying synergies and promote partnerships between COOLSWEEP Project and LIFE GISWASTE project (CIT tools to prioritize waste-to-energy for agri-food waste treatment in the Basque Autonomous Community). The main aim of this collaboration is to identify ways to facilitate the use of organic waste streams as resource for biogas production, promoting demonstration projects of new decentralized and affordable waste-to-energy technologies for organic waste small producers such as small dairy and food processing companies. The collaboration will include ACLIMA , AZTI ( Research Center), IHOBE ( Basque Environment Agency), LKS ( Engineering company), and ECOGRAMA ( Environmental Consultant).

STYRIA REGION - ECO
ECO organised three thematic strategy sessions with participants representing SMEs, universities, companies and as well regional authorities and cities. The first topic was about how to foster customer oriented innovation in the waste-to-energy sector together with the province of Styria.The second strategy session had the topic of new strategies for advanced sorting technologies. The topic of the third session was new strategies for local use of waste biomass. As an outcome, relevant strategies were identified for SMEs, large scale companies and for the Styrian waste management department.
As well, three project development workshops were organised. The topics have been new sorting technologies for black polymers, and the second on circular economy for waste management; new recycling technologies for sludge, slag and dust. As an outcome, the Leoben University will develop together with Styrian companies a new project about sludge, slag and dust. A follow up workshop will be organised in the beginning of 2016; as a post-COOLSWEEP activity. The third workshop fostered a discussion about the dynamic development of the European waste management system.
The COOLSWEEP project was presented to the regional stakeholders at Eco World Styria’s most important event “Clean Tech Innovators Club” (October 2014) in relation to the JAP and CAP to give all participants tangible results and a roadmap for further ideas. At the same event in 2015, the results and conclusions in combination with a foresight were presented to more than 100 participants representing regional companies, SMEs, Research organisations and Universities as well as public authorities. The excellent cooperation with the other project partners from COOLSWEEP was underlined by participating representatives from Denmark, presenting new market opportunities in the area of waste-to-energy and smart cities.

New regional partnership – Resource efficiency working group
The COOLSWEEP project enables Eco World Styria to gain significant knowledge about waste management as well as access to international partners and companies. Through the knowledge gained Eco World Styria was appointed by the province of Styria – Department waste management and sustainability to establish the “Resource efficiency working group” together with the Sustainable Europe Research Institute and Chamber of commerce, Federation of Austrian Industries. Having the aim in mind to turn Europe and Austria into a more circular economy and to boost recycling the main goal of this project was to identify 5 local secondary raw materials and waste as future materials. The outcomes will be used to:
*Increase the efficient use of critical materials and resources
*Strengthening of circular economy in Styria
*Strengthening the cascade use of resources
*Awareness raising that resource efficiency can be a success factor for Styrian companies
*Create strategic sourcing partnerships with Styrian companies

LOMBARDY REGION - LE2C
In the Lombardy Region, LE2C operates in the territory of Lombardy in full compliance with the guidelines of the Lombardy Region, in order to promote and support primarily the Lombard production system for energy and the environment, which are paid attention to through working in Focus Groups as a tool. Amongst the smart specialisation priorities are eco-industry, taking up energy & cleantech as one of the main topics. LE2C and other technological clusters of the region was invited to be directly involved in the definition of the regional work programme (2014-2015). During the time of the COOLSWEEP project, the cluster has interacted directly with the Department of Industry, Research and Innovation, the General Management of reference for the energy field, Finlombarida as the operative structure of the region. This has been great opportunities in order to convey the needs expressed by the production system to the political authority, contributing to making available effective financial support tools.
LE2C has organised and participated in different strategic sessions, workshops and meetings with the presence of stakeholders at a regional level: 1) Strategy Sessions: Meetings were organised with the presence of Lombardy Region, Confindustria Lombardia and regional Cluster managers, in order to promote the role of the cluster as intermediator actors between public authorities and the industrial system. LE2C participated in a meeting organised with Lombardy Region and Green Chemistry Regional Cluster about the bio economy sector. In that work session LE2C disseminated the Cluster SWOT analysis from the COOLSWEEP project. Meetings with the LE2C Water treatment Commission was organised in order to start the collaboration between regional stakeholders in this sector. 2) Local seminars: From the priority area of internationalisation of SMEs in the COOLSWEEP JAP, six cluster SMEs have been involved with the focus to set up a potential integrated joint venture with the technological competence for proposing the turnkey supply of waste-to-energy power plants on the international market. LE2C has organised an Italian trade mission to Moldova with these six companies. 3) Project development workshops: LE2C has facilitated workshops with dedicated stakeholders working together on ideas for joint project proposals. One example is CEM Ambiente, Voltasolar and Bicocca University working together on the topic of “Biogas and Bio-methane from the anaerobic degradation of organic waste”, which is a great example of implementation of the priorities of the COOLSWEEP JAP.

New regional partnership - Sist&MS Sustainable and Innovative Solutions for Treatment & Management of Sludge
While sludge produced by municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) amounts to only a few percent by volume of the processed wastewater, its handling accounts for up to 50% of total operating costs and its amount is growing due to the increased number of population served by wastewater treatment services and by the adoption of more efficient treatment units which have been implemented to achieve more stringent regulatory limits for the discharge into surface waters. Moreover, the need to achieve a sustainable sludge management strategy has become of greater concern: as conventional, more traditional options, such as land spreading for agricultural reuse, will be progressively restricted by recently proposed regulations, the development of innovative systems to maximize recovery of useful materials and/or energy is required. A change toward more sustainable procedures can be promoted through an integrated approach, including the assessment of management routes capable of maximizing the recycle/recovery benefits, through low energy impact systems, and the development of operational systems appropriate to local circumstances. Based on above considerations, an integrated system should be developed to harmonize current treatment and management practices. A properly integrated system should include Anaerobic digestion, Dewatering/Drying, and Pyrolysis/Gasification/Incineration processes which are efficiently coupled for the recovery of products for material reuse and/or for energy purposes. Such an integrated system should also allow the recovery of one or more materials, depending on the combination of processes which best fit specific local situations. The project is financed by the Politecnico of Milan.

OSLO/AKERSHUS REGION - OREEC
In the Oslo/Akershus region, OREEC has undertaken bilateral meetings with 32 different actors from the region to get new knowledge of their activities, discuss the project, learn from the findings of the project, and to discuss the most important trends identified through working in the project. OREEC met with the regional authorities several times. The cluster already had a close collaboration with the Akershus region before the COOLSWEEP project, and they financially support several projects in the cluster organisation. It is important to underline that the COOLSWEEP project has strengthened the knowledge- and partner-base of the cluster; hence the cluster has grown to become strong in the field of waste management and waste-to-energy.

During the two last years of the project, OREEC has organised ten workshops and seminars within the framework of the COOLSWEEP project. Representatives from the regional authorities have participated at all of these, and most of the events have been organised in collaboration with cluster members, as the waste-to-energy agency, the operators of the largest waste water treatment plant and the national waste management association.
Four have been related to the tasks and activities of the COOLSWEEP project, as getting input for the SWOT, JAP and CAP and presenting project findings (March 2014, April 2014, November 2014, December 2015) and three have been topic specific: 1) “New value chains for biogas; what are the barriers for an efficient biogas sector – and where is the potential for business development?”(November 2014), 2) “International collaboration and partnerships” (May 2015). 3) “The roles of the waste management sector in the circular economy” (October 2015). As one of the outcomes, a professor giving lectures in the field of waste at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, will place circular economy on the teaching agenda. As well, one of the operators of a biogas plant was invited into a seminar of a research project resulting in getting involved as a ‘case study’ for the researchers looking at value chains for the waste-based bio-economy. This is a good example of how the workshops and seminars have contributed to the aims of establishing new regional partnerships. One event was a strategy session (June 2015), where strong synergies and collaboration with a second RoK-project, WASTECOSMART, were carried out. The topic was “How to make the waste management sector in the Oslo region even more innovative”. The last two workshops were focused, involving only one targeted organisation to discuss relevant project opportunities in depth. Except from these two, all workshops and seminars have involved stakeholders across the whole triple-helix.

OREEC was invited by the regional authorities of Akershus county to present COOLSWEEP and experiences from the project on a seminar for the clusters and networks in the region (May 2015). As well, OREEC was invited by the Oslo Region European office to present COOLSWEEP at a seminar on the circular economy in Brussels (May 2015). These were both great dissemination opportunities for the project, as well as confirmations that the region gives its continued support to the cluster and the topic of the project. OREEC was invited as well to present the cluster and the experiences from the COOLSWEEP project at an ERA-NET COFUND event on Smart Cities & Communities and at the programme launch for Interreg B (both in January 2015).

Two of the megatrends identified, and implemented in the JAP, is the circular economy and the bioeconomy. The county of Akershus is currently in a phase of developing a bioeconomy-strategy, and OREEC is invited to be involved in the process by giving both oral and written advice to the development. This is largely thanks to the COOLSWEEP project, as the cluster has exploited the opportunities to develop specific and relevant knowledge and a strong network of triple-helix stakeholders in the field of waste-to-energy and waste management in the region. The project has been a catalyst for the cluster to build up visibility and draw attention to waste management as an important field of work for the cluster and cluster partners. As well, OREEC was rewarded funding from the region innovation programme for a project application focused on circular economy. Hence, the cluster is well positioned to keep interacting with the regional authorities and development of their priorities beyond the project.

New regional partnership – Circular economy
During the three years of implementing the Coolsweep project, it happened a lot on the European waste management scene. The concept of Circular Economy was pointed out in the first Deliverables, as one of three megatrends influencing the waste management sector in the coming years. As OREEC has followed the development closely, it has been interesting to have eyes on the discussions taking place in Norway, where the concept has been quite un-discussed and unfamiliar to most people. It is obvious that there is a need to strengthen the awareness and knowledge about the opportunities and development in the Circular Economy amongst the regional stakeholders in the waste management sector. Together with a small working group, OREEC has developed a proposal for a one-year project within the regional innovation programme for Oslo and Akershus. The project will focus on the interface between the waste management sector and other sectors, in order to develop new partnerships and new collaborations with the Circular Economy as the overall umbrella. The working group involves triple-helix stakeholders from the waste management sector (ROAF – a large inter-municipal company and REN – the waste management department of the City of Oslo), NIBIO (the research institute for bio-economy) and the industry (Coca-Cola Norway and Desso/Tarkett). If funded, the project will organise study-trips and seminars to increase knowledge about the activities and actors in the region, and as well develop a ‘Best practice’-leaflet to highlight what is already being done in the region. The project will contribute to the development of a regional platform within the field of circular bio-economy.

LATVIA – RIGA TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY (RTU)
One specific result of the project is the creation of a waste-to-energy ‘division’ in Latvia as part of the mentoring actions of the project. This will introduce another EU region as a high quality and effective contributor to the European Research Area. RTU has organised six seminars devoted to the following topics: 1. “How can biological waste become an energy resource opportunity?” Amongst the results was an interesting and fruitful discussion especially oriented on how promoting and enhancing new activities and business within the waste management and waste-to-energy sector facing with a low level of national subsidies. 2. “Research on technical-economic alternatives for RDF preparation and use in Latvia (1). This event was the first of 3 workshops organised with the aim of providing a clear picture on the feasibility of different economic alternatives, and the discussion was oriented on how to find the optimal feasible solution for RDF use in connection to local conditions. 3. “Innovative landfill in Latvia. Roundtable discussion on waste management opportunities”. The workshop was focused on developing potential novel waste management projects to be implemented in Latvia, and a Danish delegation of SMEs and experts took part in order to exchange knowledge and information on the topic. 4. “Research on technical – economic alternatives for RDF preparation and use in Latvia (2)”. The specific topic was aimed to identify needs and gaps to be then included in an overall research for technical-economic alternatives, and the discussion was oriented towards RDF quality parameters. 5. “Exploring the role of LCA perspectives in the context of circular economy. Plenary session at CONECT conference”. A plenary session at the RTU-VASSI CONECT conference, a plenary session was devoted to key issues related to and triggered by the COOLSWEEP project. 6: “Research on technical-economic alternatives for RDF preparation and use in Latvia (3); final results and outcomes”. This third and last RDF-seminar was organised in cooperation with the Latvian Waste Association, which was a great way to strengthen relations and synergies between the university and the organisation of waste management stakeholders.

New regional partnerhsip – Latvian RDF analysis consortium
As a regional project RTU established the Latvian RDF analysis consortium. The main goal was to analyse the techno-economic alternatives for production of refused derived fuel and efficient use in Latvia. The analysis of historic data on energy recovery from different types of wastes shows a growing demand of RDF, waste tyres and agricultural wastes in previous years. Yearly around 100,000 tonnes RDF is imported, therefore, the use and local production of RDF is currently a topic of interest in Latvia. Many industries are using natural gas as energy resource due to its advantage of higher combustion temperatures in comparison with wood biofuels. In 2008 a cement producer started to import and use RDF as additional energy source for production process. In response to such demand, there have been attempts to introduce RDF sorting plants in Latvia. Since 2012 RDF is being produced and sold to the cement producer by close located waste management organisation, in 2013 the another producer started to sell RDF produced in their waste sorting and treatment station to the cement producer. Therefore improved communication between involved stakeholders and awareness of national potential, e.g. through cluster collaborations, could promote efficient use of locally available energetic wastes.

DENMARK/CAPTIAL REGION OF COPENHAGEN - CLEAN
CLEAN organised a seminar in Copenhagen (April 2014) with representatives from different Danish organisations representing the waste-to-energy sector; including university and company representatives. Besides informing about the outcomes of the project, the seminar was devoted to matchmaking and partnership building in relation to a number of pre-elected relevant calls under the Horizon 2020 programme, which all had waste management as the central topic. The seminar was arranged and hosted in collaboration with the Innovation Network for Environmental Technologies (Inno-MT), which is a Danish cluster network working to promote innovation of new technologies within the fields of water, air, waste and soil. Inno-MT has an extensive member base of more than 150 Danish SMEs, so the network has been a good collaboration partner with the COOLSWEEP project. Inno-MT was also supporting the COOLSWEEP final conference. In addition, a series of bilateral meetings with local and regional stakeholders have been conducted relating to the development of waste management initiatives in the Capital Region. These include meetings with the Engineering and Environmental Management Department of Copenhagen Municipality; the waste resource team at the Capital Region of Denmark; the Amager Resource Center; Danish Waste Association and the Waste and Resource Network Denmark.

New regional partnership – Quantities of household plastic waste collected by Danish municipalities
The main aim of CLEANs project called “Quantities of household plastic waste collected by Danish municipalities” is to establish a valid data foundation for the total quantities of household plastic waste, which get source separated in Denmark as well as information about treatment and recycling levels. Furthermore the aim is to establish a benchmark analysis between different Danish municipalities, which have begun source separating household plastic waste. The project partners are A-R-C (large company), Vestforbrænding (large company), Grontmij (large company, Danish EPA as well as the Dansih Waste Association. The main trigger for development have been the Danish Waste Ressource Plan, CLEAN's innovation model & the new funding source "kommunepuljen" by the Danish EPA.

INTERNATIONAL DISSEMINATION

As described above, the COOLSWEEP project has delivered an extensive amount of events focused on dissemination, active participation and exchange of knowledge. The dissemination carried out in the project range from oral presentations, bilateral meetings, workshops, seminars, conferences and even scientific articles. Several of these events were carried out on the regional levels – targeting the local triple-helix stakeholders, and others were organised as international events, involving participants from all the participating countries. In order to get the complete overview of this range of activities, it must be referred to part 4.2A of the project report; the list of dissemination activities.

The international activities comprise one research and technology expert meeting, two B2B matchmaking sessions, two Trade Missions outside Europe and three large conferences – all carried out within 12 months (!) As these events occurred during the same time as the regional activities, it is easy to figure that the activity level was extremely high in the COOLSWEEP project. (The listed events are described more in detail in the summary “Description of main S&T results/foregrounds”).
And the project has offered even more, matching the physical meetings and events. Thanks to the excellent communication plan developed in the beginning of the project, and a great willingness to spread awareness about the project and its findings, the project partners have gained a lot of attention through press releases, articles and papers. Besides the active communication on the local websites, as well as the COOLSWEEP webpage, the project has been promoted outside the regional levels. Some particularly interesting international examples are listed:

1. As a direct outcome of the relations established during the organising of the Trade Mission to Kazakstan, the Kazakhstan Business Council of Sustainable Development offered to publish an article in their Journal “Ecology and Industry of Kazakhstan” No4 2015. The article was titled “A European Trade Mission to Almaty: A foreigner’s viewpoints”.

2. The Trade Mission to Kazakhstan offered several opportunities for visibility, and the COOLSWEEP project made use of these in quite a few ways. Through collaboration with the organisers of the conference EcoTech, a press release about the upcoming Trade Mission was posted in both English and Russian (June 2015). As part of the Trade Mission programme, the COOLSWEEP project manager was offered a sloth in the programme to give a speech about the project and the innovative companies who were part of the delegation. As well, the project was given 2 full pages in the conference leaflet which was handed out to all participants.

3. The Trade Mission to Montreal gave great international recognition. Information about the COOLSWEEP project and the cluster partners was published on the conference website and in the leaflet for the Americana-conference that the partnership attended. COOLSWEEP got great visibility through a session in the “Innovation corner”, and a separate seminar called “Best practices in Europe”. These opportunities all proved the presence of the European delegation, and gave great visibility.

4. Two scientific publications were triggered by the COOLSWEEP project. As the project was developed for coordinating and supporting actions, scientific publications were not expected as disseminative outputs. Hence, the partnership is proud to say that the COOLSWEEP activities triggered the Riga Technical University to author these scientific deliverables. The titles are “Overview of the waste-to-energy sector in Latvia: driving forces for a cluster creation” (Agronomy Research 12(3), 979-988, 2014. The second article is presented as a co-authorship amongst the COOLSWEEP partners, and has the title “SWOT analysis approach for advancement of waste-to-energy cluster in Latvia” (Energy Procedia 72, 163-169, 2015).

5. A total of 150 copies of the COOLSWEEP Joint Action Plan was printed in 2015. The JAP became a key dissemination asset through this last and important year of the project. A main part of the brochures were taken to the international project events, and were spred on a global scale: during the Trade Mission to Montreal, at the Green Bridge Forum & Mentoring session in Latvia, International conference and B2B in Bilbao, during the Trade Mission to Kazakhstan and at the Final conference & B2B in Copenhagen. As well, the JAP is available in a digital version, and has been shared with a number of stakeholders by e-mail when the printed version has not been available. The JAP has as well been available for download from the COOLSWEEP website.

6. The COOLSWEEP coordinator, OREEC, was invited to give a speech at the EU Open Days in October 2015. The project was presented as an example of a best practice project in exploiting synergies with the RIS3 strategies on the regional level. The workshop was called “Using a smart combination of funding sources to boost energy investment at regional level: synergies between European Structural and Investment funds and Horizon 2020”. This was a great arena for increased visibility of the project, the clusters and the regions on the European level.

And – as an example of unexpected synergies - at a workshop for RoK-projects organized by the European Commission in Brussels in November 2013, the project manager of COOLSWEEP came in contact with another RoK-project focusing on the waste management sector; www.wastecosmart.eu. As a result from this, representatives from COOLSWEEP; CLEAN and OREEC were invited to the External Reference Group of WASTECOSMART. Further, the project managers of the two projects; SP Research Institute in Sweden and OREEC from Norway, undertook a meeting in January 2015 to discuss potential synergies between the projects. The WASTECOSMART developed an innovative workshop tool as part of their project and OREEC invited them to join a policy/strategy session to test their tool in one of the COOLSWEEP regions. The workshop was organized in Oslo in June 2015 and was a great success. This is a magnificant example of exploited synergies across European projects. At the time of writing this report, OREEC has involved SP in a project development process targeting a call in Horizon 2020 together with CLEAN and ECO amongst the core partners.

The project coordinator visited Brussels in April 2015 as well, to participate at the “GROW your REGIOn” conference. The GROW your REGIOn conference was the first of its kind, organized by DG REGIO and DG GROW with the aim of finding joint avenues to help drive growth through innovation collaboration and the breaking of sectoral and regional silos. The event was focused around smart cluster stories and characterized by a strong emphasis on interactive participation. Being present and involved at this conference was a great opportunity to take an active part at the cluster arena, representing the COOLSWEEP project and the project partners, with a specific eye on cross-cluster collaboration and enhanced cluster management.

IMPLEMENTATION OF THE JAP AND IMPACT ON THE CROSS-REGIONAL LEVEL

The fundamental purpose of the COOLSWEEP project is to identify and deliver innovative coordination activities to streamline and harmonise regional research driven clusters at the transnational level within the waste-to-energy sector. The project consortium set out some very ambitious goals for the COOLSWEEP project, and resulting from the many coordination and cooperation activities during the entire project period, a bold set of targeted impacts were achieved.
There have even been activities across the regions, on the bi- and tri-lateral levels, which were not defined as specific tasks in the COOLSWEEP project, which have directly strengthened the cluster organisations interaction. One example is the organising of a B2B-session between companies from Lombardy and Styria regions, as part of the Styrian programme for visiting the EXPO 2015 in Milan. A second example is a joint project on waste management solutions, between OREEC and CLEAN, which was implemented in Estonia in 2015. Third; CLEAN, RTU and CLEANTECH Latvia collaborated in a project on landfills, implemented in Latvia in 2015. And last, OREEC welcomed a delegation led by CLEANTECH Latvia to Oslo in January 2015, and they visited CLEAN in Copenhagen soon after. These are all good examples of synergies on the interregional level, which has been important to elevate the COOLSWEEP project even more.

The marvellous results achieved on the cross -regional level were documented as part of a separate task in the project; a monitoring of the implementation of the JAP. This monitoring activity took place throughout 12 months (January-December 2015) and all details of the process are described in the Deliverable 5.2. In the following, the seven ambitious, tangible targets and their corresponding results are presented to highlight the specific results that the COOLSWEEP project partnership has accomplished so far.

COOLSWEEP TARGET 1: New partnership projects within each cluster: 5 new regional triple helix partnership projects identified within waste management, minimum 1 in each cluster
Result: 30 new regional partnerships initiated, the target is achieved in all COOLSWEEP regions

COOLSWEEP TARGET 2: New cross-cluster partnerships: 3 new cross-border partnership projects identified within waste management, each cluster involved in at least 1 of these projects
Result: 13 new cross-regional partnerships initiated, the target is achieved in and across all COOLSWEEP regions
The following two exemplary cross-regional projects are described in detail. Both of these projects have been accepted for funding; one by the Interreg A programme and one by Horizon 2020.

BIOGAS 2020 (INTERREG A – ÖRESUND-KATTEGAT-SKAGERRAK)
“Biogas 2020” is a transboundary cooperation project for biogas development in the Öresund-Kattegat-Skagerrak area. The project aims to establish a strong collaboration platform that will bring together the currently dispersed knowledge about biogas. The aim is to create synergies and partnerships that develop knowledge about biogas, and lay the foundations for sustainable production and increased demand. The project consists of a series of activities involving the entire value chain, from substrate to users. The initiative will promote the production and use of biogas in the short and long term and contribute to a greener economy and sustainable growth across borders. The project includes a broad partnership with stakeholders from the public sector, research and development and business from Denmark, Sweden and Norway and has a total budget of 12 MIO Eur. Thanks to the COOLSWEEP project, and the knowledge of the regional stakeholders and challenges, OREEC is amongst the 30 partners in this 3-year project. Several of the Danish partners are well known by CLEAN, and this project will be a good way to continue focusing on the needs and interests identified in the Coolsweep project on an inter-regional level. Besides the Interreg-funding, OREEC is financially supported by the county of Akershus and the City of Oslo to enable the participation in the project. This is an important acknowledgement to OREEC, as the public authorities see that OREEC has developed great strengths and knowledge in the relevant field through their participation in the COOLSWEEP project.

WASTE4THINK (HORIZON 2020)
The main objective of the “Waste4think” project is to move forward the current waste management practices into a circular economy motto, demonstrating the value of integrating and validating a set of 20 eco-innovative solutions that cover all the waste value chain. The benefits of these solutions will be enhanced by a holistic waste data management methodology, and will be demonstrated in 4 complementary urban areas in Europe Zamudio (Spain), Cascais (Portugal), Halandri (Greece) and Seveso (Italy). The project aims to obtain a certain degree of waste management improvements by, reduction of 8% in Urban waste generation (kg per inhabitant/day), Increase of 20% Urban waste sorted (kg per inhabitant/day), 23% (average ratio) of Waste diverted to landfill (% of total waste generated), obtain 10% savings in urgan waste management costs, Reduction of 10% og GHG emissions generation and creation of 20 eco-innovative products and services exploitation plans. The project consortium is formed by 19 partners including research bodies, universities, cities, clusters and SMES. The COOLSWEEP regions Lombardy and the Basque Country, represented by ACLIMA, are both part of the partnership, and the project proposal was formally supported by several of the other COOLSWEEP partners.

COOLSWEEP TARGET 3: Funding allocated to these new partnership projects: Partnership projects identified will represent a total of minimum € 20 Million, measured by the total budget for the projects
Result: € 35,363,748 applied for and € 23,365,300 obtained by new cross-regional partnerships. The target is achieved.
The COOLSWEEP partners are very proud of this accomplishment. It needs to be mentioned that several proposals and partnerships are in progress at the time of conducting the final assessment. Potential funding and new applications will be developed further in 2016. Besides, the COOLSWEEP partners have develop such close ties, that the likeliness of inviting and involving one and other into partnerships in the years to come, is high.

COOLSWEEP TARGET 4: New cluster initiative in less developed region: 1 new cluster initiative launched in Latvia, with buy-in from triple helix stakeholders
Result: Cluster initiative successfully formed in Latvia; Waste to energy department at CLEANTECH Latvia is established and 11 new companies have signed an initial contract.
The collaboration developed with an existing cluster in Latvia was an important and successful process for the mentoring process of the COOLSWEEP project, for RTU and for the Latvian companies involved. The signing of a formal letter proved a successful mentoring process undertaken in close collaboration between ECO, CLEAN and RTU. The process contributed to establishing a triple-helix network of Latvian stakeholders, as well as it enabled the creation of a guide for cluster mentoring. This guide can be applied to undertake further mentoring processes in any field and in any other European region.

COOLSWEEP TARGET 5: Increased internationalisation of European SME’s; 20 SME’s involved in new international activities, minimum 3 from each cluster
Result: 19 SMEs involved in new international activities, the target is very close to accomplishment
The COOLSWEEP partners applied strict definitions of the indicators that were put in place (Deliverable 3.2) before the evaluation process was initiated. By counting the SMEs which were involved in new international activities as defined by the consortium; 19 SMEs were involved. By adding those who took an active part in the international B2B-meetings in their respective countries (i.e. Spanish company meeting with Norwegian company in Spain), the number increases to 39. With internationalisation activities running only for the last year of the project, there was not a lot of time to develop and follow up with formal agreements and relationships for the SMEs. Building and deepening relations with new, international contacts takes several years, and the processes can be particularly challenging in the sector of waste management, which is dominated by municipal customers. By adding the number of SMEs who took an active part in the internationalisation coaching and training workshops organised by each of the clusters, the total number would increase to 122 (83 SMEs participating at the five regional coaching and training workshops). This high number shows that there has been a severe interest from the SMEs in the cluster regions that they want more knowledge in order to strengthen their capacities to initiate and develop their international activities. As well, it shows that offering internationally focused activities on the local and regional levels has been an important part of the project.

COOLSWEEP TARGET 6: Increased mobility of researchers and exchange of knowledge; 10 scientists from minimum 5 research institutions involved in new cross-border research initiatives within waste management; minimum 1 from each cluster
Result: 22 researchers involved, the target is successfully achieved. The 22 researchers represent 15 various research institutes involved in new cross-border research initiatives, whereas several Horizon 2020 applications are amongst these.
COOLSWEEP TARGET 7: Increased awareness of European capabilities in the field of waste-to-energy; 20 web articles mentioning the project published in impartial web platforms
Result: 39 articles and web pages published, the target successfully achieved

SUMMING UP

The above results would never have been reached without the main themes that run through the project; engagement, involvement and commitment at all levels of stakeholders within the triple helix structure of the clusters. A lot of hard work was put into reaching the targets, and by the end of the project, the results were remarkable, and even exceeded the expectations and targeted impacts.

The implementation of the cross-regional JAP and the regional CAPs in the COOLSWEEP project helped the clusters involved to improve their coordination and cooperation capacities, in line with the definition of common strategies and actions within the waste management sector. This will have an impact on all of the regions, as the cluster can offer improved tools and increased knowledge when developing arenas and activities for the stakeholders of the regions. The implementation does not end with the project, as the focus areas defined in the plans are genuine themes of interest amongst the triple-helix stakeholders of the regions.

As part of the project the clusters have all involved the public sector actively in the cluster initiatives, focusing and integrating institutional and governance decisions with a more business oriented approach. This is a strength and a benefit for all triple-helix stakeholders, as it contributes to create a sustainable collaboration between the key stakeholders of the regions by bringing them together in focusing on specific needs.

The specific area addressed by the project was waste-to-energy. However, it has been important to take a broader approach and consider developments in the entire waste management sector, as there is a strong inter-dependence relationship between the stakeholders of different value chains.

The COOLSWEEP project has been an excellent opportunity to obtain and share knowledge and to identify potential co-creation of joint actions and synergies on the regional and inter-regional levels. Cross-cluster collaboration really is the way forward in a global perspective. During the time of the COOLSWEEP project, a total of 153 new triple-helix cluster partners from across all cleantech sectors have become members in the cluster organisations. This is a clear sign of positive development of the clusters as growing organisations that are gaining momentum and being recognized as holding important networks, offering opportunities for the triple-helix stakeholders of the regions.

The COOLSWEEP clusters came together within the International Cleantech Network (ICN); an exclusive network of cleantech clusters from the world’s leading cleantech regions with a vision to be the leading global network of the best performing cleantech cluster organizations from around the world. During the time of the COOLSWEEP project, the ICN has been awarded recognition with the label of European Strategic Cluster Partnership (ESCP) by the European Union. The ICN is as well Part of International Green Growth Study of OECD and has initiated a close relationship with the C40 partnership. With the basis of the ICN as a strong partnership, the clusters of the COOLSWEEP project have several opportunities and a common motivation to sustain their relations and collaborate in a cross-regional and global manner.

The COOLSWEEP partners are currently working on several international projects and propsals, both within waste management, and as well within other fields of the cleantech sector. The cross-regional collaboration does not end with the end of the COOLSWEEP project.

List of Websites:
www.coolsweep.org
OREEC: www.oreec.no - marianne@oreec.no
CLEAN: www.cleancluster.dk - jom@cleancluster.dk
ACLIMA: www.aclima.net - mis@aclima.net
LE2C: www.energycluster.it - c.disanto@confindustria.lombardia.it
EcoWorld Styria: www.eco.at - schwab@eco.at
Riga Technical University - www.rtu.lt - francesco.romagnoli@rtu.lv
Montan University Leoben: www.unileoben.ac.at - renato.sarc@unileoben.ac.at
FORA: www.erhvervsstyrelsen.dk - andbom@erst.dk

Verwandte Informationen

Ergebnis in Kürze

Kontakt

Marianne Rist-Larsen Reime, (Project manager)
Tel.: +4791721176
E-Mail-Adresse

Fachgebiete

Scientific Research
Datensatznummer: 183995 / Zuletzt geändert am: 2016-06-03
Informationsquelle: SESAM