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Industrial Urban symbiosis and its social, economic and environmental impact on different European regions

Project description

Industrial -Urban Symbiosis: the necessary step to achieve a real circular economy

The impact of climate change has pushed countries and organizations worldwide to look for greener energy as well as industrial and everyday life solutions. In reaction to linear behavior (extract, use, waste…), companies and public organizations should learn from the closed loops of natural ecosystems. This is closely linked with ideas regarding the circular economy. In this context, the EU-funded SYMSITES project aims to develop new technologies and stakeholder engagement methodologies to improve resource efficiency through local/regional collaboration. The focus is on the valorization of underused material and energy resources (waste, by-products) that can be used by other actors within the network. This project will be carried out in 4 European regions, different in their social, economic and environmental aspects.


SYMSITES?s main objective is to implement regional industrial urban symbiosis in four European regions different in social economic, and environment aspects, from the north Denmark, through the mid Austria to the south Spain and Greece. The four EcoSites will use the same technologies for wastewater and waste treatment and energy production and cycling, enabling a clean comparison of the EcoSite impacts. The four EcoSites will generate virtuous circles of energy, treated waste and wastewater streams between urban and industrial entities. The enabling technologies to be developed for waste and wastewater (WW) co-treatment, are: a newly developed IT Regional Management platform (ITRMP) including novel IIoTs and Social Decision support System (SDSS) to manage efficiently the I-U symbiosis; an anaerobic bioreactor(AnMBR) with advanced membrane coupled with a tertiary treatment, to be installed at the four EcoSites for a clean comparison of all impacts not directly influenced by different technologies.
The aim is A) to achieve near-zero GHG emissions or CO2 negative footprint; B) use of bio-waste and non-recyclable wastes (NRW) to produce energy and reusable water as well as high-value new resources (HVNR), thus reducing the waste generation by ~50%; LCA and LCC studies and the quantity prevented from transportation (Ton-Kilometer units) and from landfilling (Ton/m3 units) will evaluate the costs and environmental impact.
Dedicated tools will be developed to spread he I-US concept within Europe. These include: virtual demonstration of replication potential in other regions by setting up a network amongst waste associations ' facilitation services for implementing symbiotic processes; actions to facilitate relations and to involve the local community actors and establishment of a social innovation non profit spin-off involving tools and business models for streams exchange in a dynamic production.

Funding Scheme



Net EU contribution
€ 903 000,00
Plaza emilio sala 1
03801 Alcoy alicante

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Este Comunitat Valenciana Alicante/Alacant
Activity type
Research Organisations
Other funding
€ 0,00

Participants (29)