CIRCULAR4.0

WP2 BENCHLEARNING AND KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE ACTIONS TO STRENGTHEN CIRCULAR ECONOMY PROCESSES IN ALPINE SPACE THROUGH DIGITALIZATION

Project output

CIRCULAR4.0 toolkit

The toolkit includes capitalized tools; innovative tools to assess SMEs maturity to implement CE processes, to implement eco-innovation, recycling and
recovery value processes, to access to credit measures, attract public and private investors.

IDENTIFICATION OF USERS TRAINING NEEDS

Elaboration of the training process to support users to raise knowledge and increase competence

These reports define the training process that is thought for Intermediaries, Service Providers and Public Actors that will train SMEs on circular economy and digitalisation. They also sum up inputs on needs and expectations coming from past analysis and activities the partners carried out.

Proposed tools
Appendix I Training needs assessment
Appendix II Expert profile
Appendix III CAS
Appendix IV CAT4.0
Appendix V Digital Maturity Assessment
Capitalisation on past projects

Deliverable D.T2.1.2 Transnational working groups meeting to contribute to the process

Partners met to discuss on the best way to build a training process, whom they could involve, how they would invite SMEs and what to learn from past experiences.

Finalisation of the training contents on CE and SMEs digitalisation

Step by step acceleration to circular economy in the Alpine region by learning the circular economy concepts and getting acquainted with the tools for assessing business readiness levels and identifying steps to be made in the direction of greener, digitised and resilient business.

 

BENCHLEARNING AND PEERING ACTIVITIES ADDRESSED TO INTERMEDIARIES, SERVICE PROVIDERS AND PUBLIC ACTORS

D.T2.2.1 Study visits reports

According to the maps developed, each working group organized a study visit to meet SMEs, Public Actors ad Service providers and learn from best practices how digitalisation is supporting the implementation of CE practices. Once again the each study visit was focused on one of the three approaches:

Circular Design Models

Optimal Use Models

Value Recovery Models

D.T2.2.2 Train the Trainers course with EU CE team

The main aim of the Train the Trainers course with EU Circular Economy team was to increase the competence of partners and experts on EU Circular Economy package and better approach EU directives (waste, plastic, water, etc). The objective ess to set up knowledge and training contents to be offered to the users in charge to work closely to SMEs with a wide proposal of trainings like study visits.

 

D.T2.2.3 Local training actions addressed to intermediaries and service providers

To better understand concepts of circular economy supported by digital technologies and to be able to assist SME’s with transitioning to circular business models, all partners and local intermediary organizations, local business support networks and associations and business advisory services, including local public authorities were acquainted with the key CE concepts using training materials developed under D.T2.1.3. Knowledge exchange training actions were implemented in all partner regions, creating a unique Alpine stakeholders community of circular economy practices. Possibly a new Alpine space circular economy hub on horizon?

D.T2.2.4: Exchange knowledge workshops addressed to Public Actors

National, local and regional public authorities exchanged information on European Union directives in relation to circular economy and European taxonomy. They presented best practices implementing CE actions locally. Local peculiarities were discussed as  well such as directives in relation to specific regional sectors and industries and local policy development plans.

European union directives such as Waste Framework Directive, Directive on single use of plastics, water reuse regulations, eco-design and many other new legislative and strategic proposals relevant for the circular economy product design, optimal use, value recovery including directives addressing digitalisation in support of circular economy.

D.T2.2.2 Train the Trainers course with EU CE team

SETTING-UP THE TOOLKIT TO STRENGHTEN CE WITH DIGITALISATION PROCESSES

How mature and ready is your business to make a leap forward to circular economy? Check here for tools to help your journey to catch up with circular economy frontrunners in Europe.

The circularity assessment and digital maturity assessment for business transformation was made easy by applying one of the tools selected by project partners for SME’s in the Alpine space though the following steps:

D.T2.3.1 Proposal for the toolset addressed to Intermediaries and service providers

The needs analysis and the capitalisation of past project defined the general concept of the toolset that must be chosen. It includes: SMEs
assessment of CE maturity; business and investments plans; selected tools on value recovery, model design and value recovery

 

D.T2.3.2 Transnational working groups to contribute to the tool-set

The working groups meet and discussed the proposal of tool-set and contributed to its finalization with the identification of
specific tools according to the 3 different CE approaches they were focusing on.

D.T2.3.3 CIRCULAR4.0 toolkit implemented

The set of tools was finalised and consists of instruments and guidelines offered to Intermediaries, Public actors and
sectoral agencies to assist SMEs on CE digitalised processes: assessment tools, investment and technology schemes, business
plan.

DEFINING INVESTMENT MODELS, FINANCIAL PRODUCTS AND FUNDING SCHEMES TO SUPPORT SMES TO IMPLEMENT CE PROCESSES

D.T2.4.1 Mapping financial actors and investors

Overall 85 specialised financial instruments and incentives and supporting schemes were identified in the AS partner countries,  managed by national business support agencies, banks, venture capital, business angels and other financial organisations. A true abundance and variety of finance instruments in the Alpine Space within reach of SME’s for their transformative actions towards more circular and resilient businesses! This is also a valuable information to prepare and implement pilots in within WP T3 as many companies will be able to immediately pursue their investment or R&D projects, thus rapidly stepping forward toward circular business transition, easing acceleration to circular economy.

 

D.T2.4.2 Local workshops addressed to investors and financial operators

Very interesting sparks were ignited during the 13 local workshops with financial organisations and investors. Investors and finance organisations were able to explain new ways of assessing circular business opportunities, new criteria for creditworthiness, they highlighted risks associated with green/circular funding that companies need to be aware of when applying for funding, bottlenecks with developing new financial instruments in support of circular economy and deployment of digital technologies and countries solutions were discussed during 13 inspiring workshops. Multitude of innovative finance solutions are put forward to be considered in the Alpine space to advance regional transition to circular economy.

 

D.T2.4.3 Investments models and financial schemes to support investments by SMEs on digitalised CE processes

Many of the identified financial schemes, incentives, instruments identified by partners can be mirrored or up-taken by other partner regions in the scope of preparing during the new funding period in ERDF 2021-27. Regional financial schemes can be easily matched with the SME’s projects as financial schemes are part of the CE toolkit and information about them is made easy for companies and support organisations to advise. which is best fit instrument for the investments planned or transformation project undertaken by SMEs.

D.T2.4.1 Mapping financial actors and investors
D.T2.4.3 Investments models and financial schemes to support investments by SMEs on digitalised CE processes

DEFINING THE EVALUATION METHODOLOGY TO ASSESS THE PERFORMANCE OF THE SERVICES&TOOLS

Evaluation methodology to assess performance of the support services and tools developed in T2.2. was developed that will enable monitoring the effectiveness of the toolkit and contribution of digitalisation towards circular acceleration of companies in the Alpine space. Specific set of key performance indicators were also put forward to measure and monitor progress of SME’s with their journey to circular economy.

 

D.T2.5.1 Defining the evaluation methodology to assess the performance of the services & tools

Monitoring effectiveness and performance of the support services and tools developed to assist SMEs in the Alpine Space are critical actions during the testing phase to follow up concrete steps companies will commit to make in order to accelerate their transition to circular economy. An elaborate and very systemic methodology was developed to measure starting point of SMEs on their transition journey, their intended steps and commitments towards the desirable end goals with their pilot projects. Evaluation methodology took into account the tools that will be used to support pilot projects of Alpine SME’s in very different sectors of activity. Methodology enables monitoring evolution of companies towards circular economy design models, optimal use model and value recovery models. A flexible and simplified measurement and evaluation system was proposed,  allowing the use of qualitative and quantitative indicators to assess and adapt to all company projects and paths,  using the “Input, Output, Outcomes, Impact” practice as a backbone to follow all the progress companies may make - small and large - they all count!

 

D.T2.5.2 KPIs definition to assess the contribute of digitalisation on CE approaches

Methodology for evaluating effectiveness and performance of support services and tools to assist SMEs with circular transition includes also a set of key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure optimal use, value recovery and product circular economy design, taking into account multiple sectors of industries. Other circular metrics were also explored and proposed to be used with measuring steps on the way to circular business models by intermediaries assisting SMEs as well as by companies as KPIs assist SMEs also articulate better their investments, increasing their chances to attain financial and other support along their journey to become more circular and digitised i.e. better equipped for financing their business, implementing legislation, respond to global competitors and demands of consumers for more circular products with real data and get clearer picture of their circular performance in their business process and value chains.

D.T2.5.1 Defining the evaluation methodology to assess the performance of the services & tools
D.T2.5.2 KPIs definition to assess the contribute of digitalisation on CE approaches