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Circular Economy in Western Balkans
Circular Economy in Western Balkans

Circular Economy in Western Balkans

EIT launched a crossKIC project targeting Western Balkans stakeholders (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, Republic of North Macedonia, Serbia) to widen EIT and KICs outreach in a region, engage local actors in education, entrepreneurship and policy activities offered by KICs and enhance the synergies among KICs and with key local players at country and regional level in the green, circular economy.

OVERVIEW

The achievement of the European Green Deal – to which all the EIT KICs are contributing through different angles - will not be possible without an early involvement of key EU partners and neighbours such as the Western Balkans. Therefore EIT launched a crossKIC project targeting Western Balkans stakeholders (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo[1], Montenegro, Republic of North Macedonia, Serbia) to widen EIT and KICs outreach in a region, engage local actors in education, entrepreneurship and policy activities offered by KICs and enhance the synergies among KICs and with key local players at country and regional level in the green, circular economy.

EIT Food's contribution

Agriculture and food production has a significant share in all WB countries’ economies, therefore major societal and environmental challenges should be addressed by restructuring local food systems parallelly to other parts of economic activity. Strengthening circular economy in food production, processing by supporting new business creation shall increase the competitiveness of the local products, create new jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities. Nearly 18mln of food consumers living in WB which might be addressed with promoting healthy nutrition, food safety or waste reduction initiatives will create a significant contribution to the Pan-European change of consumer habits and lifestyle. Extending in 2020 its RIS hub network and launching a direct institutional collaboration with Serbian stakeholders, EIT Food started impacting the innovativeness of the local food system and wants to continue these efforts in the whole WB region.

 

[1] This designation is without prejudice to positions on status and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence

Background

Zagreb Declaration, 6 May 2020 - The leaders of the European Union and its Member States together with Western Balkans leaders declared that “prominent role should be given to the association of the region to the EU’s climate-related ambitions, in line with the Paris Agreement, to promoting the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans, as well as to furthering the digital economy and, strengthening connectivity in all its dimensions: transport, energy, digital and people-to-people, including tourism and culture. The focus is also put on social development, and on measures in the areas of health, education, social policy, and creating further opportunities for the youth”[1]

 

[1] https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2020/05/06/zagreb-declaration-6-may-2020/

Cooperation

Consumer Engagement Labs

Co-creation sessions involving consumers and local companies, leveraging the innovative format that was successfully implemented by EIT Food in other countries, yielding ideas of new products addressing specific requirements of consumers that are subsequently introduced to the market by the local companies. The Labs are co-creation sessions carried out by a relatively coherent group of consumers in a joint, physical place and limited in time, focused on ideation/development of new product concepts. The sessions will be adapted to the challenges of the circular economy in Western Balkans connected to new food packaging concepts.

Impact

  • 2 local academic partners trained in labs processes consisting of series of interactions (introductory on-line workshops and main ideation sessions with follow up activities)
  • Research/NGOs and food retailers from 2 countries involved in local consortia selected in an open call
  • new concepts for circular economy solutions for logistics and food retail impacting more efficient use of resources and energy consumption, functionality and consumption habits 

Call

EIT Food is looking for 2 consortia consisting of 3 organisations operating in the same country (scientific organisation + food service provider + packaging company) that would participate in EIT xKIC Circular Economy Western Balkans project to locally implement Consumer Engagement Labs.

Learn more

Stages

Citizen Information Campaigns

Informaton Exchange Platform

ALBANIA

Environmental and Territorial Management Institute

Circular Economy in the country​

  • National plan for integrated waste management 2020-2035​
  • Addressing the current challenges on waste management.​
  • Enforcing the legal framework in power.​
  • Aligning the actions with EU Circular Economy action  plan​

NORTH MACEDONIA

SmartUp – Social Innovation Lab

Main industries in North Macedonia:

  • food processing,
  • beverages,
  • textiles,
  • chemicals,
  • iron,
  • steel,
  • cement,
  • energy,
  • pharmaceuticals,
  • automotive parts

EIT Food main areas of action:

  • Support the development of solutions to transform the traditional ‘produce-use-dispose’ model
  • into a circular bio-economy
  • Support the creation and scaling-up of agrifood startups to deliver new food innovations and
  • businesses
  • Trend of opening healthy and organic food restaurants and bars or home delivery by young people
  • Growing trend - from farm to table
  • Opportunity for digitalization of agriculture for improved production and reduction of pesticide use
  • Opportunity for development of new startups
  • Opportunity for implementation of solutions for waste water treatment in N.M regions

Potential opportunities for Cross KIC actions:

Construction & Demolition waste

  • Satellite monitoring systems and utilization in other areas of public interest
  • Technology transfer for construction and demolition waste treatment
  • Production of materials/alternative fuels
  • Governance and financial models for establishing a circular system between construction companies
  • Learning and match making platforms

Public spaces

  • Digital platforms for mapping spaces, digital creation and redesign, crowdfunding
  • VR/AR and sensing technology opportunities
  • Nature-based solutions for public spaces

Food & Biowaste

  • Technology transfer for water waste treatment and waste treatment for bioenergy production
  • Circular economy models for the hospitality sector
  • Digital platforms for learning and knowledge sharing
  • Policy development for improved biowaste management in the hospitality sector
  • Agri startups development

SERBIA

CirEkon CirEkon's mission is to modernize the business system in a responsible way through product-service lifecycle management. We aim to help businesses prosper by following the principles of circular economy and sustainable development.​

EIT Food main areas of action:

  • Huge opportunities for agri-food circular startups through providing experimental ground​
  • From education to experts​
  • New policies to drive better agriculture​
  • Better integration of Serbian agri-food in EU supply chain​
  • Collaborative initiatives: Municipality-Business-Innovation​

Cross KIC programme 22-27 proposal:​

  • Cross KIC co-designing​
  • Blended co-funding​
  • Stakeholder integration​
  • Upskill-Pilots-Commercialization​
  • Integration of national innovation support system​
  • Technical support for:​
    • Innovation entrepreneurial system buildup​
    • Institutional joint programming​
    • Institutional negotiation for cross-cutting policies​
    • Commercial circular innovation portfolio buildup​
    • SME integration to EU circular supply chains​
    • Functional, sustainable material and energy loops​

BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA

CETEOR (Center for Economic, Technological and Environmental Development Sarajevo)  CETEOR (Center for Economic, Technological and Environmental Development Sarajevo) is providing support to the environmental, social, economic and technological development of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Bosnia and Herzegovina has moved forward: ​

  • EU Green Deal ​
  • Green Agenda for Western Balkans​

In process of creation: ​

  • CE Roadmap for Bosnia and Herzegovina 2022-2027 (June 2021)​

MONTENEGRO

Eko Korijen Eko Korijen is a platform for creating and publishing approachable, applicable and understandable environmental content online and in-person, in the form of books, lectures, courses and work one-on-one with clients.

Topics addressed are:

  • Creating a sustainable lifestyle;
  • Greening one’s business practices;
  • Making environmental activism more effective.

“Eko Korijen” was created as a mediator between the imperative of holistic change towards sustainable living and the people from the Western Balkans, specifically the former Yugoslav region.

The first national circular economy in Kosovo, held on the 25th of September 2019, by KosovaLive, in Prishtina, with representatives from the national, local, private and non-profit sectors, analyzed what Kosovo has been doing for the development of this economic model. Discussions at all levels aligned with the research findings and reflected the situation with the development of circular economy in the country as very lacking and almost non-existent.

https://kosovalive.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/CE_AnneaHapciu_English_For_Print.pdf

Kosovo Sustainable Development Week (KSDW) 2021

The main purpose of KSDW remains to further advance the public dialogue and to promote hand in hand sustainable development and green economic growth.

VIDEO: Redesigning Products in Line with Principles of Circular Economy:

Key activities

  1. Systems and stakeholders mapping for policy engagement and evidence-based policy design for circular economy led by EIT ClimateKIC
  2. Education and capacity-building pilots led by EIT RawMaterials
  3. Entrepreneurship – Pre-Jumpstarter for Western Balkans led by EIT Health
  4. Communication, dissemination and outreach to citizens led by EIT Food

Project Lead

Adam Strzelecki
Role

Project Leader at EIT Food

Contact details

adam.strzelecki@eitfood.eu

Related projects

Circular Economy Collaboration – Operational EIT portfolio

Circular Economy Collaboration – Operational EIT portfolio

The Cross-KIC project around the circular economy gives an operational portfolio overview of the EIT community efforts in the Circular Economy Framework. The project also aims to strengthen relationships with civil society and institutional partners engaged in the transition towards a circular economy.

Water Scarcity in South

Water Scarcity in South

EIT Climate-KIC, EIT Digital, EIT Food, EIT Manufacturing, Athena Research Centre and BioAzul joint forces to face the real challenges around water scarcity.

Food4Health

Food4Health

Food4Health, a collaboration between EIT Health and EIT Food, was established to help bring innovations for healthy eating to the market.

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