6th INNOMED-UP newsletter highlights activities concerning Circular Economy and Cultural & Creative Industries in Mediterranean cities
Dear readers of INNOMED-UP Newsletter,
INNOMED-UP “Promoting UPcycling in Circular Economy through INNovation and education for creative industries in MEDiterranean cities” project is coming to its final stage. In the era of digital and green transition, we discovered that cities deal with a great problem regarding waste management, which demands direct and efficient solutions. Therefore, the main goal of this innovative research program was to articulate a revitalization strategy for the Mediterranean cities, by utilizing the productive and creative networks and interconnecting them with the contemporary and essential circular economy practices.
The NTUA research team, leader of the project, through its long-term research and hands-on engagement with the Creative and Cultural Industries and the SmallMedium enterprises (CCI SMEs), was well informed about the active and strong networks of artistic and creative businesses in the Mediterranean cities. The INNOMEDUP partnership decided to deploy these networks as far as their materials are concerned, so that the secondary materials of one business would be used as raw material for another. Moreover, we were certain that the crossborder cooperation among Mediterranean South and North can function as a mutual benefit. That could be possible, on the one hand, through the adoption of new technologies and waste management policies for the North, while on the other hand, through the consolidation of cooperative networks of the Mediterranean South.
Throughout the implementation years, and despite the crucial obstacles that Covid19- brought about, those research hypotheses of ours were confirmed and INNOMED-UP program realized numerous activities and produced important outcomes. On Monday 29th May 2023, we were pleased to present the final results of the project, within the framework of the hybrid international conference under the title: “City Creative and Circular Clusters: Towards a new Mediterranean Model”. The conference organized by the research team of NTUA, with the participation of all partners, in the historic Averof Building of the School of Architecture, NTUA.
The partners presented the main findings for the cities of Athens, Prato, Palermo, Tunis, Hebron, Nablus and Irbid, regarding the local creative economies, the possibilities for applying the principles of circular economy among the small-medium enterprises, the strategy for making of creative and circular networks of small-medium enterprises, which could contribute to the local economy and the urban sustainability. Numerous actions were implemented, such as training for businesses, workshops and meetings, involvement of the local stakeholders, signing of Memorandums of Understanding with stakeholders and institutions, in order the crucial outcome to be achieved, which was the creation of pilot circular clusters in each participating city.
We are very content as 86 small-medium enterprises in total were financially rewarded, after a public tender and budget of approximately €400.000 for: a. the production of innovative pilot products, b. the acquisition of machinery related to circular economy, c. training related to topics of circular production and distribution.
Ultimately, we are optimistic that the sustainability of the project results is secured by the digital platform, which supports the operation of the smart tools, and the two guides: a. the guide for accessing funds in the Mediterranean and b. the guide for circular economy in the Mediterranean. The guides, as well as the proceedings, are currently in the printing process and are intended for businesses, policy makers, social partners and to whom this may concern.
Sofia Avgerinou Kolonias
INNOMED-UP Project Coordinator
Emeritus Professor National Technical University of Athens (N.T.U.A.)