The Hubs4Circularity (H4C) Community of Practice, a recent initiative set up under Horizon Europe, is launching a new Knowledge Platform. Addressed at experts, practitioners and stakeholders from industries and cities from all over Europe, the Knowledge Platform will be the virtual forum for the community.
“Hubs4Circularity will be key in steering the research and innovation agenda of European industries towards the Green Deal’s and Net Zero objectives” said Dr. Peter Dröll, Director for Prosperity at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation. “Their success rests on technology development and integrations as much as the involvement of industry, small companies, research and technology organizations, local authorities, educational institutions and civil society, including implementation. The Hubs4Circularity Community of Practice will connect all these actors and ensure we can make this collective leap towards circularity.”
Shaping the Knowledge Platform with a bottom-up approach
The Knowledge Platform was officially announced at a public online event on 24th February, with over 280 participants from 25 countries. Dröll opened the event with a keynote address highlighting the key role of Hubs4Circularity in the EU’s green transition strategy. The attendees shared their views on how the Community of Practice could best support them in advancing the industrial and regional transformation towards circularity and climate neutrality.
Àngels Orduña, Executive Director of A.SPIRE, said: “The Community of Practice being built by the two projects funded by the Processes4Planet Partnership, and their digital Knowledge Platform, will act as a tool to support dynamic collaboration, gather knowledge and best practices, and connect practitioners from all over Europe to accelerate deployment of solutions towards climate neutrality, circular economy and competitiveness. A.SPIRE is thrilled about this opportunity to build knowledge to reach full scale industrial-urban symbiosis and close energy, resources and data loops across Europe.”
A.SPIRE, together with the European Commission, oversees the Processes4Planet partnership, in whose roadmap Hubs4Circularity are a key element. “The systemic shift required to transition to a climate neutral and circular society calls not only for technological innovation, but also a holistic systemic socio-economic approach. The European process industries have the capability to act as Hubs4Circularity and find solutions with the ecosystems of the geographic areas where they are present”, Orduña added.
An over 400-strong community committed to advance industry-society collaboration
Upon the Knowledge Platform’s public opening on 15 March, the Community of Practice already counted over 400 practitioners and other stakeholders interested in the fields of industrial and industrial-urban symbiosis, as well as circular economy initiatives, signed up to the Knowledge Platform.
This extraordinary interest emphasizes the need for such a forum to connect the dots in the current European landscape. It strengthens the Hubs4Circularity Community of Practice’s ambition to reach all interested parties to accelerate the regional industry-society collaboration necessary to develop innovative solutions within local contexts and ensure widespread societal involvement.
The two consortia driving the Hubs4Circularity Community of Practice
The H4C ECoP consortium comprises technical consultancy companies (ISQ, as well as industrial symbiosis specialists International Synergies Limited and Technopolis Group), the start-up incubator Strane Innovation, the international networks Association of Cities and Regions for sustainable Resource management (ACR+) and ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, and EIT Climate-KIC, Europe’s largest public-private innovation partnership focused on climate change.
The H4C Europe consortium consists of thirteen European partner organisations. Amongst them are the industry partner Covestro and several applied research institutes (CIRCE, TNO, VITO and SINTEF/Shas), as well as service providers with complementary expertise related to the multiple facets of H4C, including Ciaotech and EGEN (both part of the PNO Group), ZEDO, Innovation Engineering, as well as sector organisations DECHEMA, Water Europe, EIT Raw Materials and the Association of Cities and Regions for sustainable Resource management (ACR+).