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Social and Technological Innovation Factory for Low-Carbon and Circular Industrial Value Chains

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SoTecIn Factory (Social and Technological Innovation Factory for Low-Carbon and Circular Industrial Value Chains)

Reporting period: 2022-06-01 to 2023-11-30

The SoTecIn Factory (Social and Technological Innovation Factory for low-carbon and circular industrial value chains) is a project funded by the EU program Horizon Europe. Through a collaborative environment, the project aims to support social entrepreneurs in increasing the circularity of three key product value chains: packaging and plastics; textiles; and food, water and nutrients. Being aligned with the both the EU Action Plan for Circular Economy and the Sustainable Development Goals, SoTecIn is on a mission to drive more sustainable and resilient value chains by building a mission-oriented community that brings together industry, entrepreneurs, social innovators, experts, researchers and investors. Besides, it promotes a culture of social innovation in the European manufacturing industry by supporting highly scalable technologies and new governance models, based on stewardship-ownership principles, to drive systemic change.

SoTecIn Factory community has representatives from 7 European regions, interested in the design and management of the missions that will guide the identification of real challenges in the circularity of the three selected value chains. Based on the 7 missions and 23 challenges, SoTecIn Factory will conduct two open calls and will provide financial and capacity-building support to 50 technologically savvy social entrepreneurs (with circular and social projects) of key product value chains. Out of these, SoTecIn Factory will co-develop 30 pre-commercialization demonstrators presented in two startup day events. These demonstrators will target higher-value circular economy strategies, i.e. refuse, rethink, reduce, reuse, repair, refurbish and remanufacture
Regarding the Scientific execution, the SoTecIn Factory project has develop models and frameworks aimed at characterizing the circularity strategies of Green Companies. To this end, the adoption of the 10Rs Circularity Strategies and its relation to green technologies, in addition to the main characteristics of business models, scalability, environmental and social impact, will be analysed in 50 circular start-ups supported by the project. So far the project has submitted two papers for evaluation of Q1 journals.

Regarding Technical execution, the first Open Call of SoTecIn Factory received 125 applications, 25 above the expected KPI. In addition, the SoTecIn Factory Community already has more than 1000 followers in the different social channels (LinkedIn, X, Youtube), adding to more than 600 stakeholders involved in the different workshops and activities of the project. Another relevant achievement is the development of an Social / Circular Impact Assessment tool, which will be used and validated by the Techy Savvy Innovators supported by SoTecIn Factory
The main results beyond the state of the art will be:

- Validation of Social / Circular Impact Assessment tool

- Capacity Building programme that will support the development and refinement of sustainable social and circular business models

- Methodology for co-design and co-development of circular solutions that are mature enough for pre-market demonstration and attractive for investors