Policy Officer – Advanced Technologies, Clusters and Social Economy – European Commission
(Zobacz relację z konferencji)
I work at the European Commission on the European Resource Efficiency Knowledge Centre project. Please accept my greetings from Brussels and I regret that I can’t be personally with you today.
First, I would like to thank the Polish Cleaner Production Movement Association for being an active Member of the EREK network since its beginning. I also would like to congratulate the association for its 30th anniversary conference “30 years of Cleaner Production – on the pathway to Circular Economy”. But also for all the hard work that has been done with the Cleaner Production Academy.
The European Commission supports this event, as we believe it a great opportunity to exchange knowledge and insights and prepare the grounds for key stakeholders to ensure that we all achieve the green transition.
Indeed, as you all know, our President-elect Ursula von der Leyen will propose a European Green Deal in her first 100 days in office. The European Green Deal wants to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent with a European Climate Law to enshrine the 2050 climate-neutrality target into law. We need to be sure that everybody is on the same path. This includes our industry and in particular our SMEs. As our President-elect stated: ‘we leave nobody behind’.
On the 25th-26th of September, we held the International Conference of EREK, where it has been the occasion for clusters and EREK Network Members to meet and discuss on how to explore synergies and ensure that all achieve the green transition. More than 250 participants from 33 countries worldwide, including key actors working on resource efficiency and circular economy across Europe and beyond, shared ideas to a European Green Deal leading to a climate-neutral continent.
To reach the objective of climate neutrality, the European Resource Efficiency Knowledge Centre has become a perfect tool for EREK Network Members and clusters, but also for SMEs, to support the green transition of our industry as it provides webinars, workshops on how to green the industry in various sectors and with different focuses.
It also includes an extensive online database gathering about 350 environmental good practices from European SMEs, 100 concrete measures to save water, energy, waste and materials, 70 green technologies available for different sectors of the industry, but also 370 support programmes, both national and local, for SMEs to invest in resource efficiency and circular economy.
In the near future, EREK will merge with the European Platform for Cluster Collaboration. This platform currently brings together nearly 1000 European clusters and you can use it to get information on news from European institutions, European clusters and other stakeholders, funding opportunities, partnerships, development or innovation. Currently, there are also more than 250 EU industry clusters in the field of environmental technologies registered on the European Cluster Collaboration Platform, which you can connect with through the platform.
By merging these tools – the ECCP and EREK- , we want to continue and improve partnering and knowledge-sharing between cluster organisations, their members and in particular SMEs, as well as cluster with/between policy-makers across Europe. The ultimate goal of the action is to provide a better and integrated support to SMEs to internationalise, innovate and become more resource-efficient.
The ECCP will then offer new services, notably in the area of resource efficiency and capacity-building for EREK Network Members, cluster managers and policy-makers. New projects include a new mobility program called ClusterXChange, which will be based on short exchange visits to EREK Network Members, clusters, other business support organisations and SMEs across Europe.
We lead other initiatives on climate neutrality, one of them that could be of interest for you and that I wish to mention today is the Low Carbon and Circular Economy Business Action. This action aims at promoting the reduction of CO2 emissions in Brazil and Mexico by generating cooperation opportunities between European and Mexican entities and SME's in the Low Carbon sectors: Waste Management, Waste Water Management, Industrial Energy Efficiency, Energy Efficiency in Building. This initiative is co-lead by out unit in DG GROW and CLIMA under the Foreign Partnership Instrument, in cooperation with EU delegations in Brazil and Mexico.
In view of these very successful results for both the EU, Brazil and Mexico, this action will be pursued in Brazil and Mexico and extended it to other countries in Latin America (incl. Colombia, Argentina and Chile) and Canada in 2020. Under this action, through the European Cluster Collaboration Platform, we regularly organize matchmaking missions between European SMEs and business intermediaries from both Europe and the Latin American countries I just cited and Canada. Please don’t hesitate to subscribe to the European Cluster Collaboration platform newsletter to know more about these opportunities and others !
My team and I wish you the best for this day and great success in exploring common areas of interest for joint actions and activating new partnerships! Thank you very much for your attention and see you soon !