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SCREEN Report Summary

Project ID: 730313
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.5.4.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SCREEN (Synergic Circular Economy across European Regions)

Reporting period: 2016-11-01 to 2017-10-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

"The general objective of the project is the definition of a replicable systemic approach towards a transition to Circular Economy in EU regions within the context of the Smart Specialization Strategy. SCREEN also deals with the identification and implementation of operational synergies between investments in research and innovation under Horizon 2020, the Structural Funds and the European Investment Funds.
The project is developing a methodology and tools for:
- Analysis of existing regional capabilities.
- Identification of cross-regional potential synergies.
- Identification of research gaps to actually implement the above potential synergies into practical projects.
- Pilot funding synergies in the current programming period (H2020 and ESIF), those results will be used as valuable input for the future one.
SCREEN works on 4 different steps: the first one is related to the identification of local potential value chains in each region and the second one deals with cross regional synergies between different value chains. Such synergies, once identified, lead to different cross-regional projects: the third step deals with the issue of financing them through funding synergies.
The agreement between regions about a synergic use of funds implies a common agreement on how to assess specific projects dealing with circular economy: the fourth step is the identification of some criteria to be used in addition of the ones usually adopted by each region
The results of the four steps will lead to a “Methodology for regional cooperation” and a “Policy Makers recommendation manual”
SCREEN has also a specific task for the establishment and operation of a ""Laboratory on Policies"" (Policy Lab); it is participated by one representative of each project partner, members of the Advisory Board and representatives of the Commission Services dealing with Circular Economy. Thanks to the high transferability of the final SCREEN results (all technical deliverables are public), the methodology developed by the project will pave the way to replicable systemic approach towards a transition to Circular Economy in EU regions.

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

Tools for local analysis and for the identification of cross-regional potential synergies have been developed and are available on the project web site, together with the guidelines for their application and several examples.
The proposed methodology defines a simple information structure for the analysis of the existing regional capabilities and the emerging innovation opportunities in the region
This approach has been presented to the consortium and validated through three Question and Answers (Q&A) web-meetings, where the major aspects of improvement and the major barriers to the compilation were gathered and used for a further improvement.
A specific guideline supports regions to identify, describe and visualize potential cross-regional synergies. Based on the existing capabilities identified through the first tool, potential Synergy Grids (value chains) can be developed among the involved.
The project has designed a pilot action for a synergic use of H2020 and Structural Funds targeted to “international circular economy projects”, able to be applied during the current programming period; its results will be a valuable input for shaping future programmes. The pilot action will be done in fully alignment with the ongoing structural funds programme through the application of ESIF article 70
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the application of the pilot is ready for the signature by the participating regions: it also allow the involvement of other EU regions willing to join the pilot action.
The MoU is a practical shortcut to define a sort of “Multi-partner Seal of Excellence” and to pave the way to the future synergic application of funds for cross regional projects dealing with Circular Economy.
Three assessment criteria for circular economy projects has been proposed to the Policy Lab, in order to be adopted as additional ones respect to usual criteria adopted by each region in their evaluation procedures; further ones are still being discussed, in order to provide a practical tool to evaluate the level of “circularity” of one project with respect to another one.

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)

The project will define a coherent reference framework for the implementation of smart specialisation strategies in a circular economy approach, paving the way to an actual involvement of the private investors. The SCREEN robust communication action will allow other European regions to use the same approach, thus multiplying the Circular Economy’s leverage effect generated by the project.
The common agreement about additional assessment criteria to be used for defining “if and how much” a certain initiative can be defined “circular”, will enable the public sector to coherently perform his function of co-leading and co-managing the transition to a circular economy.

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