Europe generates around three billion tonnes of waste each year – and it is expected that this amount will increase further. Approximately half of the EU’s waste is not reused or recycled. Aside from the environmental impacts associated with waste disposal, that means a significant amount of potential secondary resources is lost. PNO Consultants aims to address this challenge by mobilising stakeholders in the electronics, automotive and plastic packaging value chains towards building a circular economy. That is why we initiated, developed and coordinated the Horizon 2020-funded NEW_InnoNet project.
Overview of the NEW_InnoNet project
The EU’s Circular Economy Strategy and the Circular Economy Action Plan call for a change of the current economic structure: from a linear structure, where resources are extracted, produced and disposed of, towards a circular structure, where the value of products, materials and resources is maintained in the economy for as long as possible. The NEW_InnoNet project aimed to contribute to this transition in the electronics, automotive and plastic packaging sectors by creating a European Near-Zero Waste Platform with stakeholders in these value chains. The project was initiated and developed by PNO Consultants in cooperation with a consortium of stakeholders and the European Commission. We acted as coordinator of the project and intermediary between the European Commission and the consortium.
Objectives and results of the project
The objectives of the project included:
- setting-up and maintaining a near-zero waste stakeholder platform
- analysis of selected waste streams and developing innovation roadmaps per waste stream
- developing an integrated near-zero waste strategic research- and innovation agenda
- mobilising stakeholders and facilitating interaction
As of 2017, the project has achieved considerable results, including
- the organisation of several stakeholder conferences
- publication of a NEW_InnoNet stakeholder analysis
- innovation roadmaps that describe pathways to reach the near-zero waste economy
- the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda, that was presented to the European Commission in June 2017
In addition, the stakeholder platform has been successfully set up, with more than 100 organisations still involved. The project will continue as a broader ‘network of networks’ in the sectors of waste management, recycling, reuse and remanufacturing: RE’INNOVATE.
Our involvement in the NEW_InnoNet project
PNO’s responsibilities within the NEW_InnoNet project are diverse:
- Before project initiation, we use our knowledge of the European research- and innovation landscape to identify funds and relevant opportunities; we write and review proposals
- We are tasked with project coordination: the overall organisation, planning and control of the project, such as the use of resources and the on-time delivery of the project deliverables.
- We connect partners to NEW_InnoNet, using our extensive network of knowledge institutes, industry partners and policy makers across value chains. This promotes cooperation on issues related to near-zero waste.
- We perform stakeholder analyses through a combination of desk research and interviews. These analyses help us determine the barriers that stakeholders perceive in their move towards circularity.
- We perform an early innovation assessment and develop optimal exploitation strategies to facilitate successful market entry.
- We ensure stakeholder interests are represented in the innovation roadmaps and the research and innovation agenda. This enables NEW_InnoNet to develop its platform in line with the opinions, needs and expertise of stakeholders in the value chains.
Interested to read more about the NEW_InnoNet project or RE’INNOVATE? Visit the project LinkedIn-page.