The Baltic Industrial Symbiosis innovation project was about advancing industrial symbiosis, as a concept for sustainable business and regional development, across the Baltic Sea Region. A central objective of the project has been to improve knowledge and operational capacity of innovation actors on approaches that effectively support industrial symbiosis developments.
The project involved more than 150 companies in the Baltic Sea Region in activities that supports the development of industrial symbioses. Linköping University was responsible for practitioner trainings, which is an important part of building capacity for facilitating the advancement of industrial symbiosis across the Baltic Sea Region.
“We designed and delivered training programs, which aimed at enhancing knowledge and capacity with relevant stakeholders who actually can support industrial symbiosis practices and programmes in their regions” says Murat Mirata, training responsible and senior lecturer at the division of Environmental Technology and Management, Linköping University.
A total of six training programs were completed, one in every partner country, between September 2020 and October 2021, in which 86 trainees took active part. A diverse group from industry, public authorities, network or cluster organisations, utility operators, consultants as well as universities took part in the training.
Industrial symbiosis through lens of theory and practice
The training programs aimed to improve both knowledge and practical capabilities of relevant stakeholders. As such, trainings were organised in two parts. The main introduction part of provided comprehensive generic knowledge on key aspects of industrial symbiosis practices and developments. The second part was applied and optional for those actors who were interested in working practically with real cases. They could select a topic and a context and work with it for six to eight weeks. They also got support during that time from the trainers and their peers. Then they came back and shared their knowledge and experiences.
Murat Mirata Photo credit Teiksma Buseva
“The training with that level of details and applied elements is first of its kind. Moreover, it seemed to work very well, so we would like to scale this up,” says Murat Mirata, the responsible for the practitioners’ trainings.
Many different stakeholders find the output of the Baltic Industrial Symbioses project very useful in their daily work to establish green business models a
nd value creating resource collaborations. A toolbox, a facilitators’ handbook, training material and policy guides was also developed and is accessible for everyone as a part of the project.
The project succeeded not only in creating awareness of Industrial Symbiosis among a broad field of actors in Baltic Sea Region, but also in providing capacity building among supportive structures such as clusters, public authorities, and academia, says Susanne Boesen, BIS Project Manager, Symbiosis Center Denmark.
Murat Mirata confirms that it is very satisfying to see that participants found both the training contents and the activities valuable. Interactive elements seem to be particularly valued.