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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

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

End-to-end digitalised production test beds

End-to-end digitalised production test beds

Supporting the implementation of end to end production testbeds in order to foster the adoption of digital solutions by the food industry and increase the competitiviness of the sector.

EU Skills for Future

EU Skills for Future

EU Skills for Future, commonly name Skills4Future (S4F) is a Cross-KIC project.

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.

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