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Secure Management Platform for Shared Process Resources

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - SHAREBOX (Secure Management Platform for Shared Process Resources)

Reporting period: 2018-09-01 to 2019-08-31

According to a recent estimate, the EU could realistically reduce the total material requirements of its economy by 17% to 24%, boosting GDP and creating between 1.4 and 2.8 million jobs. Industrial symbiosis (IS) is the use by one company or sector of by-products, including energy, water, logistics and materials, from another. IS networks have proven successful not only in diverting waste from landfill, but also in contributing to the preservation of resources and moving waste up the value chain. They have also been an accelerator of innovation and creation of green jobs. However, inadequate business-to-business information on, for example, what resources a product or process contains, hinders efficient material flows and the creation of value in the circular economy. In order to pave the way forward for industrial symbiosis as a “solution for more efficient processing and energy systems for the process industry”, the SHAREBOX project aims to develop a secure platform for the flexible management of process resources that will provide plant operations and production managers with the robust and reliable information that they need in real-time in order to effectively and confidently utilise resources (plant, energy, water, residues, and recycled materials) from other companies in a symbiotic industrial eco-system.

The platform will consist of multiple complementary modules, embedded in the SHAREBOX Controller, that will support and enable the identification of opportunities, the creation of symbiotic relations (ie synergies) between companies, and the management of those relations. The platform will hold at its core a database software tool for facilitating the identification and realization of new ‘synergies’, developed on the basis of existing software (SYNERGie®) from partner ISL. This module will be augmented with a suite of newly developed analysis and optimization tools for flexible energy use and material flow integration designed to optimize symbiosis among companies. These tools will be based on input-output (IO) modelling for supply-demand matching, process efficiency analysis (to understand physical and technological conditions), game theoretical approach for integrating behavioral aspects in cost-, benefit-, and resource-sharing, and agent-based modelling (ABM) for designing symbiotic network that are optimized according to pre-specified criteria (e.g. economic, environmental, and/or social). The historical (big) data that is generated by the SHAREBOX platform will be processed by an artificial intelligence sub-module in order to unveil complex hidden trends and relationships. These trends/relationships can be then integrated into the core algorithm of SHAREBOX to enable further improvements and optimization.
(i) Reviewing end-users requirements, status of industrial symbiosis (IS) implementation in the process industries, and success factors in ICT tool penetration alloed the definition of the specifications of the SHAREBOX platform.
(ii) A new taxonomy has been developed linking all types of existing classification databases and codes and complemented by a database on novel water filtration methods and a database of existing energy storage and utilization technologies.
(iii) Analytical tools for supporting dynamic synergy pricing and cost allocation, semi-automatic classification of resources, and automatic identification and ranking of synergy opportunities were developed and integrated in the platform as modules.
(iv) The final (beta) version of SHAREBOX platform was released, integrating 100% of the platform modules and databases under a common controller and GUI.
(v) Engagement of clusters and companies in the adoption of industrial symbiosis through several business opportunity workshops resulted in several synergies and delivered environmental and economic impacts exceeding by far the project expectations.
(vi) A continuous validation and testing programme, including several online and face-to-face testing sessions with partners from the consortium and also 3rd parties (members of industrial associations), was implemented. The platform was also validated with real data collected in the business opportunity workshops.
(vii) The project website, leaflet and roll-up poster were designed. The CWA process was completed and a pre-standard for Industrial Symbiosis was published in collaboration with CEN-CENELEC and 3 ongoing H2020 and interreg projects.
(viii) A series of dissemination activities (papers, tradefairs, video, etc) were conducted while SHAREBOX led the creation of two joint dissemination efforts with, in total, 12 other H2020 projects.
(ix) Ongoing negotiations resulted to the first agreement, between IRIS and ISL, for the exploitation and ownership of the SHAREBOX core module. Exploitation routes for all deliverables were defined and a business model for the joint exploitation of the platform was put forth by the partners and will function as a basis for future efforts.
SHAREBOX is highly ambitious in that through its holistic energy and resource management system it will enable mainstream uptake of industrial symbiosis (IS) by lowering barriers to its adoption through the use of the latest advancements in secure ICT technology and numerical tools.

At the end of the 1st reporting period, SHAREBOX, through the initial piloting efforts to test the platform and engage the industrial parks and companies within the project, has generated an impressive impact for these industries. With workshops organised in 3 countries, the initial 17 synergies have originated 135k tonnes of waste avoided, 174k tonnes of virgin resources saved, 374k tonnes of CO2-eq saved, 7.7M € in additional sales, 3.6M € in cost savings and 3 new jobs.

At the end of the 2nd reporting period, the above impacts have significantly increased compared to the 1st period. Specifically, at M36 the total impact of the project include: 373,2k tonnes of waste avoided, 534,3k tonnes of virgin resources saved, 1,165M tonnes of CO2-eq saved, 32,3M € in additional sales, 10,35M € in cost savings and 32 new jobs.

At the end of the project, the above impacts have significantly increased. Specifically, the total impact of the project includes: 515,5k tonnes of waste avoided (+3% of initial target), 635,500k tonnes of virgin resources saved (-15% of initial target), 1,38M tonnes of CO2-eq saved (+176% of initial target), 53,85M € in additional sales (+1667% of initial target), 14,12M € in cost savings (+366% of initial target) and 74 new jobs (+270% of initial target) and resulted to 4,45M euros in private investment (no such target was set in the beginning of the project).

Overall, 26 synergies were confirmed as live by the end of this phase. As these synergies continue to be operational after the end of the project, and through the addition of more synergies based on the developed tools and methodology, the aforementioned impacts are expected to grow more in the coming years.
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