Enable Sustainable Materials Management towards a Resource Efficiency
Transition for Europe
Background (Problem and rationale)
Building further on the initiatives undertaken under the Belgian EU Presidency, our current partnership in INTERREG IVC C2CN project, and other EU-funded initiatives in the Member States, the project’s objective is to develop a platform providing smarter governance solutions on sustainable material management, which would accelerate the shift towards a smart, resource efficient and sustainable Europe and save both budget and time for the regions applying it. Through the application of these policies, regions might achieve a significant reduction in environmental impact and would enable more efficient policies promoting smarter material management and resource efficiency practices and tools.
We have developed three major sub-objectives which will help the SMaRT4EU project to achieve the main objective and which are:
Sub-objective 1: Mapping out a number of past and current relevant initiatives in the EU (EU-supported projects, innovation networks working on the waste prevention issues and academic research) and developing through a participatory process a number of findings, accepted by all stakeholders. Identifying the factors crucial for interoperability.
Sub-objective 2: Analyse the findings and develop smarter models for collaboration enabling regions with more experience to optimise their models and regions with less experience in waste management and prevention to leap-frog the lack of knowledge through forward-thinking tools, models and processes in line with the EU waste frame directive and Lisbon Agenda.
Sub-objective 3: Ensuring the durability of the models suggested through pilot testing of two of such models by partners during the project and providing guidance to the other regions based on the lessons learned. This will ensure transferability of the model in every region's specific circumstances and existing structures, processes and networks (management, innovation, transition, etc.).
Levels of maturity in sustainable materials management vary and European policy is fundamental for reducing this gap. Through the sub-objectives mentioned above, and experience of pilot cases and smart models for collaboration, regions may accelerate development by skipping inferior, less efficient systems, by not repeating mistakes (positive: reducing errors in try-and-error-approach) and move directly to more advanced management systems (known as 'leapfrogging').
Through the application of these policies, regions might achieve a significant reduction in environmental impact and would enable more efficient policies promoting smarter material management and resource efficiency practices and tools.
In order to have access to a variety of networks and be able to draw on social learnings, the project leader, OVAM, has partnered with local authorities and research institutions active in the field of sustainable material management and resources efficiency. Considering the objective, these partners have previous experience working with EU-funded initiatives in the field of waste management and prevention, and are well placed to influence the regional and local policies with the aim to enable more efficient use of materials and resources. Future planned actions will also involve other stakeholders in consultation at workshops and conferences to get their feed-back and an active input.
We plan to identify at least two partners (regional and local authorities) in each of the INTERREG geographical region and potentially one of two research centres specialised in research on innovative ways for sustainable materials management and efficient use of resources. Partners would preferably have previous experience working on waste-related INTERREG projects or under other funding mechanisms. Final partnership envisaged would involve 8 to 10 partners and would ensure that the current project represents the major initiatives taken in the EU in the field of sustainable materials management. The partnership would also involve some of the partners not having previous experience with INTERREG with the idea of giving them an idea to implement those projects and tools.
OVAM, the Flemish Public Waste Agency (Belgium), would act as the leading partner of the partnership.
The project approach
To achieve the overall objective of transferring good practices and developing action and implementation plans the project methodology is designed into three phases. Please refer to the graphic below highlighting the phases. Phases one and two would be part of component three while phase three would be part of component four and would specifically focus on implementation of case studies.
Phase 1 will mainly focus on:
Project partners collecting good practice examples from their region and projects involved
The actual sending and receiving of good practices between the partners
Phase 2 will focus on:
Development of criteria for smart model development and factors of success
Analysis and development of smart models which can be transferred to the regions
Dissemination of knowledge among the partners to a wider audience outside of the project and into the EC, in order to influence waste policies on regional, national and EU level
Identification of regions willing to implement smart models as pilot testing
Phase 3 will focus on:
Design of pilot actions to implement smarter models
Implementation of smart models
Analysis of the results
Development of Set of Guidelines focused on lessons learned and dissemination of knowledge among partners and outside of the project
Preparation of Implementation Plans for all of the regions participated based on the lessons learned
The project is divided into 4 Components:
Management and coordination
Communication and dissemination
Exchange of experiences
Essential for a successful operating of the project will be the project management at the overall and regional level and a minimum of 6 Steering Committee (SC) meetings. SC meetings will be combined with joint events, starting with a high profile launch event and ending with an equally high profile final event where the Implementation Plans will be presented. In between a two progress conferences will be organised. These events will provide good opportunities to disseminate SMaRT4EU's outputs.
Based on the pilot actions a Set of Guidelines based on smart models for collaboration specifically focused on more efficient regional policies in the field of sustainable materials management and resource efficiency will be produced, which will also be of great value for other parties concerned outside the partnership.
Under the current project the envisaged activities would be implemented under four components.
Component 1: Management and coordination (C1)
The responsibility for financial, administration and legal management, and coordination will be in the hands of OVAM, as Lead Partner (LP) of the project. OVAM has experience with INTERREG IVC (C2CN project) and has successfully managed large EU-funded projects, and hence has proven experience to act as a LP.
Component 2: Communication and dissemination (C2)
The activities under C2 will be aimed at systematic dissemination and promotion of the action plans formulated in C3 to the partners' regional stakeholders and managing authorities of the operational programmes, through a range of tools and events.
C2 will also result in targeted external communication as well as team work and effective internal communication.
The implementation of C2 is based on the project dissemination strategy (PDS) and is facilitated by the project dissemination team (PDT). The PDS is formulated during the first two months of the SMaRT4EU implementation, and it will be based on a template prepared and distributed by the C2 responsible partner. The PDT will be designated at the launch of the event and it would comprise staff of the Component 2 responsible partner (Component Leader or CL).
It is planned that Component 2 will deliver:
visuals of the project (logo, stationary with logos, etc).
1 public website, including 1 project web-page (workplace) with a possibility for project partners to place and share documents / information, Q&A and comments.
4 joint interregional events to be organised at different locations under C3 (launch, two progress and final event). These events will be used to achieve maximum public awareness and media attention. Each partner will participate in two external events and disseminate SMaRT4EU accordingly.
2 brochures will be published, 1 at the project start and 1 at the midterm (results of good practices transferred).
3 project publications will be created and published (1 Good Practices handbook, 1 Smart Models handbook, 1 guidelines based on pilot actions with a set of policy recommendations). The content is formulated by project staff and external experts under Component 3.
6 newsletters will be created (one every 3 months) or 9 newsletters (one every 4 months)?
all partners organise press releases at the launch, and the closure of the project. Many articles/appearances in press/media are anticipated.
project process will be documented well (written documents, interviews, video reports, etc.), resulting in 1 final video of the project.
3 videos will be created summarising the outcomes of the case studies.
will be tendered and subcontracted
design / maintenance of website/workplace will be tendered and subcontracted
communication material (logo, brochures, posters) will be tendered and subcontracted.
(4) (5) (6) editing, design and printing are tendered and subcontracted
(9) will be tendered and subcontracted
Component 3: Exchange of experience (C3)
Component 3 focuses on the actual core of the project: the exchange of experiences dedicated to the transfer of good practices (GPs), development of tools and instruments of regional policies. For this each participating region will develop an Implementation Plan. The development of the Implementation Plans will be supported by both regional activities and joint activities.
The regional activities will start by in-depth analysing of the already identified good practices. This would include identification of new GPs, but it would also build up on already existing projects funded by INTERREG. This regional activity will be streamlined by guidelines elaborated by the Component Leader (CL) and a support desk that will be installed by the CL.
Once information is gathered it will be analysed with the support of the academic partners and with the project partners at workshop. They will start working on identification of "smart models".
The aim being identification of "how" smart models can help regional policies and look at bottlenecks with regard to transferability & effective implementation of GPs, as well as development of the models which will help regions to "leap-frog" and will be more durable. The analytical part will be tendered and subcontracted.
A set of 5 modules is to follow. Each model will be lead by a project partner and would involve a study, a study visit in the region(1 day) and a workshop (1 day), or a mixed combination.
The topics developed would cover:
Module 1: Development of the concept of smart model
Module 2: Identification of smart model examples from several sectors
Module 3: Developing first guidelines on smart models implementation
Module 4: Governance structures ensuring success of smart models
Module 5: Transferability of smart models
Two progress conferences will take place.
The outcomes of Module 3 will be considered for Component 4 and its outcomes will be included in Module 5.
Following the second progress conference, which will take into account the learnings from Component 4, regional activities will be started by all of the partners working on the implementation plans. These plans will take into account the smart models and would use them.
Meanwhile the CL will introduce the outcomes of Component 4 and learnings from 5 modules into the developed guidelines on use of smart models.
Two one-day training sessions, supporting partners with the development of the Implementation Plans will be organised by the CL during this period. Training sessions will be followed by (1-day) workshops allowing partners to exchange experience.
The Implementation Plans, Guides and Policy Recommendations will be presented at the final event in December 2014.
Component 4: Pilot action
C4 is proposed in order to implement pilot action in order to test at small scale the methodology proposed by SMaRT4EU project. The Component 4 will only take place between months 11 and 24, so its duration would be limited to 13 months, hence its actions would not cover the entire implementation plan, but would only look at one specific issue.
Pilot actions will only concern two of the project partners:
one local authority, in order to test smart model approach on a small scale and ensure the transferability issues;
one regional authority with less experience working on waste management issues in order to test if smart models can effectively support leap-frogging at regional levels.
The Component 4 is composed of three steps:
Step 1: Development of the implementation plan with the support of smart models (this part will be developed with the support of consultants. This work will be tendered, subcontracted in order to ensure fast approach)
Step 2: Application of the implementation phase.
Step 3: Monitoring and evaluation. This phase will be implemented by the CL, who will look at the results of and the methodology applied. This can be applied with the support of external assistance, tendered or subcontracted.
Each partner should be able to calculate its own budget. On average this will include the following items:
Financial management and overall coordination 3days*36months
(if component leader) 3days*36months
Press releases 1day *3PRP
General support 1day*36 months
Participation in events 6days
Travel (est *800eur per day-trip) 6days
Various total external support (Est 200k)
(If Component Leader ) 6days*36 months
Identification of good practice 20days
Participation in events 25days
If responsible for Module X
Preparation of workshop 20 days
Preparation of study visit 15 days
Follow up on study preparation 10 days
Travel (est 800eur per day-trip) 24days
External support with studies etc (est 40K)
Working on handbooks and guidelines 20days
(If Component Leader ) 5 days*14 months
Implementation plan preparation 30 days
External support (est 30K)
Implementation of plan 80 days
External support with analysis (est 20K)