A.SPIRE Vision 2050 aims at process industries, regions and cities deploying circular economy at scale. The European Process Industries will join forces with regions and cities to establish Hub4Circularity for energy and resources in Europe Hubs for circularity (H4Cs) are state-of-the-art demonstrator plants of near commercial size acting mostly at regional level. They consist of self-sustaining economic industrial ecosystems for full-scale Industrial-Urban Symbiosis (I-US) and Circular Economy, closing energy, resource and data loops.
Bringing together all relevant stakeholders, technologies, infrastructures, tools and necessary instruments, the Hubs facilitate the innovations incubation, implementation, evolution and management. On top of a strong technological focus and industrial dimension, their implementation leverages elements well beyond research and innovation - including funding strategies.
H4Cs objective is to at catalyse the regional industry-society collaboration necessary to achieve a leap forward towards circularity and carbon neutrality in the use of resources (feedstock, energy and water) in a profitable way within local contexts connecting various regional stakeholders (industry, SMEs, local authorities, educational institutions and civil society).
The H4C concept provides numerous regional benefits:
- dissemination and overcoming of barriers around the Industrial-Urban Symbiosis concept;
- optimisation of production systems through I-US resource efficiency improvement;
- boost of economic growth in the region, thanks to the investments in innovation, the cost-saving across industrial processes and the exporting of developed innovations;
- direct and indirect job development and attraction of further talents;
- deeper understanding of the regional potential in terms of demands and potential synergies;
- facilitation of social acceptance due to the involvement of all stakeholders in the region ensures that local stakeholders are better informed and supportive of the innovations delivered by the H4C.
The H4Cs, presented in an online workshop in April 2021, are a key element of the Processes4Planet Partnership Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda 2050 under Horizon Europe and their achievements will support the action plan announced in the European Green Deal. One of the Working Groups (PWG3) in the new Advisory and Programming Structure of the Partnership is vertically dedicated to Industrial-Urban Symbiosis and Hubs4Circularity. For further information, please check P4Planet SRIA 2050.
Commission has launched the first call on Hubs for Circularity European Community of Practice (ECoP) platform with a deadline in September 2021.