Circular Economy Transition (CE) in Smart Specialization Strategy (S3)

Circular Economy Transition (CE) in Smart Specialization Strategy (S3)

The EU has set an ambitious plan for the adoption and implementation of the Circular Economy (CE). The Plan estimates that by 2030 the integration of CE will result in savings of over 600 billion EUR for EU businesses, will create 580,000 new jobs and will contribute to the reduction of 450 million tons greenhouse gases. Member States are key players in Europe’s transition to a circular economy. Adopting Circular Economy (CE) in each country should be aligned with its strategic documents and identified sectoral strengths and needs, set in the individual country’s Smart Specialization Strategies (S3).

In the past, circular economy projects could not benefit fully from the S3s due to the different requirements of the funding instruments and in some cases lack of CE priorities incorporated in the strategies themselves. In order for all CE aspects (resource efficiency, design, bio-economy, digitalization, new business models, CE education etc.) to be stimulated inclusively, the CE needs to be incorporated in S3 horizontally. 2019 is a truly strategic moment to align this adoption and uptake of the EU CE action plan, as currently the S3s are undergoing evaluation and are in the process of being revised based on past experiences.

EIT Climate KIC Greece, directed by Prof. Phoebe Koundouri, (School of Economics and ReSEES Laboratory, Athens University of Economics and Bussiness) at the ATHENA Research and Innovation Center and Cleantech Bulgaria (project coordinator: Hamanova Mariyana) with the financial support of EIT Climate-KIC1 Europe, will pilot the adoption of CE in their respective S3s, working together with the responsible authorities.

Each country will identify challenges, priorities, potential for synergies and support instruments for CE. Participatory workshops with experts from EIT Climate-KIC will be run. Specific approaches to implementation and supporting funding instruments will be discussed and shared with participants. The end goal of the project is to stimulate the timely and systemic adoption of the CE in S3s for the 2020-2027 programming period in EU Member States and identify sources of funding from cohesion and structural funds for the implementation of the National Circular Economy Strategy (already developed by the Energy and Environment Ministry) in combination with the Smart Specialization Strategy of the country (already in implementation).

Together with the support of the Ministries of Economy of Bulgaria and the Hellenic Ministry of Energy and Environment of Greece, a 2-day workshop will be held in each country, applying the developed methodology and identifying the needs, barriers and strengths in each of the participating countries. Mutual learning will be guaranteed by providing exchange visits between members of CTBG and ATHENA during the workshops. Stepping on the outputs provided, a final event in Brussels with the participation of external EU experts and other RIS countries will be held where results will be presented and built upon, recommendations for implementation and funding instruments will be provided. As a final output policy recommendations will be developed and shared with all participants. The 2-day workshop in Greece will take place on September 2019 in Athens based on the availability of the relevant Ministries.
Related files:
  • The Greek CE approach, Mapping Circular Economy policies, instrument, initiative & action plans in the public sector. Download the report here.
  • EIT Climate-KIC and Greece Opportunities in the area of circular economy. Download the presentation here.
  • Mapping of CE and Smart Specialisation Strategy in Greece - Workshop Workshop “Circular Economy Transition in Smart Specialization Strategy (CE in S3) in RIS countries”. Download the presentation here.