Regions are key players in the transition to a circular economy and can together create new circular economy value chains with critical mass. However, knowledge of each other's strengths and the available resources and services is often limited. Developing joint strategies, built on complementarities and respective strengths, can therefore be valuable for better realising their individual and combined potential.Scope:
The purpose is to support a transition towards the circular economy in European regions in synergy with Smart Specialisation strategies. A systemic approach should be adopted that seeks connections between sectors, value chains, markets, natural resources and relevant societal actors. The project should develop a coherent EU reference framework enabling and encouraging regions and Member States to establish operational synergies between R&I investments from Horizon 2020 and the European Structural and Investment Funds leading to market uptake and replication of innovative solutions. The developed reference framework should include recommendations for policy makers, in particular in EU Cohesion countries, providing guidance on how to invest European Structural and Investment Funds to support the transition to a circular economy within the context of existing smart specialisation strategies.
Participants must be regional authorities and/or national/regional/local structures responsible for the implementation of Smart Specialisation strategies.
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 1 million and EUR 1.5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.Expected Impact:
Realisation of complementarities between existing smart specialisation strategies of a sufficient number of regions, addressing all of the following elements:
Such cooperation in the implementation of smart specialisation strategies should lead to a measurable transition towards a circular economy within the identified sectors/areas, in the regions and Member States involved. The transition can be measured in, for example: application of new business models; application of adjusted value or production chains; application of new product and/or service design; or 30% increase in resource efficiency.