Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


SHAREBOX Report Summary

Project ID: 680843
Funded under: H2020-EU.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SHAREBOX (Secure Management Platform for Shared Process Resources)

Reporting period: 2015-09-01 to 2017-02-28

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Resource efficiency offers major economic opportunities for the European Process Industries, both in terms of cost savings as well as opportunities to offer greener products and services. 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.

Industrial symbiosis has gained increasing attention in the production economies as the pressure on companies increases for the reduction of waste emissions as well as of primary resources consumption. It is fast becoming the most talked about approach for delivering the circular economy. Simple examples include the use of food waste from the catering sector to feed farm animals, or waste ceramics as a minerals substitute in cement manufacture. In an economy with many industrial activities, many different by-products are generated, and the range of potential uses for them can be equally diverse. 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.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The following key activities were performed during the 1st Reporting Period:
(i) Achieving a consortium wide understanding of the end-users requirements as well as from the status of industrial symbiosis (IS) implementation in the process industries, reviewing success factors and penetration of ICT tools and engagement with IS as well as defining the specifications of the SHAREBOX platform. Several consultations, interviews and questionnaires were carried out with the end-users to achieve a deep knowledge of their involvement with IS, their needs and their expectations on the project development.
(ii) Developing IS methodologies in the form of novel ICT enabled tools for advancing the state of the art of in taxonomy and standards application in IS. A new resource-led taxonomy has been developed linking all types of existing classification databases and codes with existing real-life synergies created over 10 years of experience, which forms the basis of the SYNERGie® 2.0 module in SHAREBOX. Similarly, a database on novel water filtration methods has been developed and populated with over 800 commercial filter aids and materials and from those 300 were characterised for their use in industry. Currently a database of existing energy storage and utilisation technologies is being developed ready to be integrated into the platform.
(iii) Developing intelligent decision support tools to be applied to the SHAREBOX platform. A series of tools based on input-output modelling, optimization of cooperation strategies, agent based modelling and case based reasoning have been developed and tested against initial data and category levels.
(iv) Programming the first two releases of the SHAREBOX/SYNERGie® 2.0 module integrating essential functions for resource searching and synergies creation based on the feedback from the IS experts and end-users.
(v) Starting the engagement of clusters and companies in the adoption of industrial symbiosis. To this end, four business opportunity workshops have been organised in order to generate awareness of the opportunities that can be created at regional level, in addition to generating data for populating the SHAREBOX platform with real-life users and resources. This has already resulted in 10 synergies completed representing, for example, 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 three new jobs for the involved companies.
(vi) Significant activity delivered in terms of dissemination, standardisation and exploitation tasks. To this end, the project website was created ( and the project leaflet and roll-up poster were designed. An ambitious standardisation initiative has been put in place and several contacts with CEN-CENELEC have taken place to establish standards in the field of IS. Together with several dissemination activities (conference papers, articles, attendance to tradefairs, etc) a communication plan was elaborated. This contained the strategy and activities envisaged to promote and raise awareness about the potential of the project. This plan includes the creation of the Process Industries Promotion Initiative, a joint dissemination effort with 3 SPIRE projects (Sharebox, IbD and ProPAT) to reach as many process industry sectors as possible which includes cooperation partners such as other SPIRE-6 projects in the 1st Thematic SPIRE Workshop on Industrial Symbiosis.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

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.

The impacts of SHAREBOX can be estimated based on extrapolation from state of the art delivery today. NISP England model of IS has been recognised as world-leading IS delivery based on public investment. Over 7 years, the programme engaged with over 12,000 companies to deliver the impact of 45M tonnes of landfill diversion, 58M tonnes of virgin material use avoided, 39M tonnes of CO2-eq avoided, 1.21B € in savings, 1.17 B € in increased sales and over 10,000k jobs created and safeguarded. If the SHAREBOX only achieves a level of market penetration across Europe comparable to NISP in England, based on a GDP proxy, exploitation of the pan-European SHAREBOX impact over 5 years would deliver 14B € in economic benefit, 252M tonnes CO2-eq savings and 381M tonnes virgin material use avoided.

At the moment, 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. All those impacts will be multiplied in the coming months when more industries engage with the use of industrial symbiosis through the SHAREBOX platform.

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