From Industrial Symbiosis to Hubs for Circularity

Sustainable Circular Economy Transition: From Industrial Symbiosis to Hubs for Circularity (IS2H4C) is a project funded by the Horizon Europe Programme of the European Union

A European Challenge

Heavily industrialised clusters are important sources of jobs and wealth in the EU. However, despite the ongoing efforts of EU policies, industries are lagging in the implementation of Industrial Symbiosis (IS) to transit to more resource- and energy-efficient setups. Furthermore, citizens living in the clusters’ proximity suffer from a polluted environment. 

Despite many of the EU’s key strategic priorities in sustainable regional development, these areas in Europe are currently incapable of adopting large-scale Industrial Symbioses (IS) in terms of:

IS2H4C Approach

IS2H4C project focuses on deploying systemic industrial symbiosis through innovative technologies like carbon capture and electrolysis. The initiative is driven by the vision of resource efficiency, renewable energy production, waste prevention, and fostering industrial-urban-rural symbiosis.

The project aims to develop the most innovative sustainable technologies and infrastructure integration in four demo hubs and is supported by ground-breaking research on societal, governmental, and business innovation for H4C. IS2H4C scales up industrial areas to H4C via implementing systemic change and integrating the surrounding ecosystems to industrial areas.

Our Hubs4Circularity

IS2H4C will implement its innovative model in four key hubs across Europe:

Izmir Manisa
Basque Industrial
Almelo & H2Hub Twente
Industriepark Höchst

IS2H4C Partners

The project is coordinated by Twente University and involves 35 partners from nine countries:

Project Objectives

Develop sustainable technologies and demonstrate synergiess in four H4C.
Ensure the resilience and sustainability of H4Cs.
Facilitate the market penetration of H4C through social and financial innovation.
Create regional development models.​​
Develop a Digital Collaboration Platform.​
Maximise wider uptake of IS2H4C’s results.​

What is Industrial Symbiosis?

Industrial Symbiosis (IS) is a symbiotic mechanism through which traditionally fragmented industries collaborate based on exchange and sharing of energy, water, by-products, infrastructure, and services. The goal is to minimize environmentalimpact and ideally add economic and social value. IS contributes to the backbone of circular economy seeking opportunities to reduce virgin material consumption and waste generation.

Industrial symbiosis and Hubs for Circularity have made significant strides in promoting sustainability and circularity. However, achieving full-scale circular hubs requires overcoming challenges related to scaling up, standardization, behavioral change, investment, regulatory alignment, measurement, and cross-sector collaboration. Continued innovation, cooperation, and strategic planning are essential to realizing the full potential of circular hubs in creating a sustainable and circular future.

Hubs4Circularity H4C provide spaces where diverse actors, such as businesses, governments, researchers, and civil society, collaborate to accelerate the Circular Economy (CE) transition. They are nexuses for knowledge and resource sharing, cross-industrial collaboration, and sustainable technology innovation.

H4C can take various forms, from physical spaces, such as IS Networks (ISNs) and co-working clusters, to virtual platforms such as online communities and digital marketplaces. They can also serve as a resource for governmental bodies, providing evidence-based research and recommendations for CE policymaking.

What are Hubs4Circularity?

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