The EPIC 2020 project has officially ended, and as a final event a conference was arranged in Brussels on the 14th of March. The conference was a good opportunity for us to share our results and discuss them with the very relevant stakeholders that came to take part of the day. The meeting was held at the office of Lombardy Region, who we again would like to thank for their warm welcome and hospitality.

The theme of the conference was off course in line with the overall theme of the project; sustainable development of port cities and regions for an increased use of bioenergy resources by applying the industrial symbiosis concept.

With City of Malmö as coordinator the 9 partners from 4 European countries have worked for 36 months in the project, which was founded through the EU-program Intelligent Energy Europe. The overall objective of the project was the building of operational and strategic capacity and know-how for:

– A more effective use of available bioenergy resource
– Development of port regions
– Facilitation of the industrial symbiosis concept

Project partners are now working on finalising all activities and a final report for EPIC, due in late May. We will send out a final Newsletter in early June with links to all result achieved in the project, which we off course hope you will find very useful.

The conference was opened by Jonas Kamleh, Department Manager at City of Malmö, who gave a welcome and an introduction of the day. After that Murat Mirata, Assistant Professor from Linköping University presented a perfect recipe for sustainable regional development which contains Bio-resources, port regions and industrial symbiosis. This was also the title of the conference, and gave the attendee a background to the concepts that EPIC was formed around, and have developed further within the three years.  The power in competitive green growth is often networks and joint visions, which was described by Ellen Corke, Project manager at the City of Malmö and Charlotte Hauksson, Business developer at E.ON/WSP. To form a good and relevant network is truly a key to success, and something that been shared in an earlier issue of this newsletter as well.

The next presentations described useful tools that can facilitate the development further, and the tools were also demonstrated in coffee and lunch breaks. The use of modern computer technologies for systematic mapping and analyses displays the opportunities for a new green business, was presented by Antonis Kokkossis, Professor at National Technical University of Athens and Michael Scheller, Managing Director of Scheller Systemtechnik GmbH. An impressive EPIC story was presented by Francesco Dugoni, Director Agire Energy Agency from the province of Mantova. During the project frame; a feasibility study, intensive network activities and knowledge-exchange has supported the region in the process from a fossil refinery to a bio-refinery, a development that if realised could mean a lot for the region. Finally; for development to happen in reality there is a huge need to create a supportive context by formulating policies and strategies on a local and regional level. Work performed within this field was presented by Giancarlo Leoni, Director of Environment, Planning and Port Authority in Mantova and Ellen Corke from Malmö.

After the presentations round table discussions followed, to highlight the results and examples as well as further activities to disseminate the project results to other networks and regions. The discussion with the stakeholders, project partners and Mr. Gianluca Tondi, project adviser from EASME, highlighted the opportunities, challenges and ideas for future collaborations among participants, with the focus on port regions, bio-resources and circular economy. There are many possible directions for further development of the work performed, and Horizon 2020 as well as other programs, offers many opportunities to get these ideas funded. If you didn’t participate at the day, but are interested to work with partners in this field, you are of course welcome to contact any of the organisations. Contact persons can be found at our website.