The ‘Towards Green Transition’ Facility
The ‘Towards Green Transition’ Facility is a unique support service financed by the European Commission under the European Cluster Collaboration Platform (ECCP). It has been a new initiative conceived and designed by Ecorys’ ‘Economic Growth’ sector. The facility aims to enable clusters’ green transition. Under this facility, we selected 25 clusters to be trained and advised on a range of green transition topics (business models, circular economy approaches, etc.). The purpose of this is to enable them to support their members (especially SMEs) to become more resource-efficient. We matched selected clusters with highly qualified business and sustainability advisors, who were chosen among over 300 resumes. The selected clusters benefitted from the advisors’ expertise through individual technical and business support combined with cross-cutting synergy webinars, which helped clusters to take their green transition to the next level, effectively tackling some of the challenges that they faced. Services were tailor-made and focused on the specific needs and challenges of each selected cluster.
The selected clusters spread across 11 EU Member States and largely varied in characteristics, sector and size. As a result, the variety of needs amongst them was also large, depending on their specific context. The business advisors, together with cluster managers and project coordinators, worked on identifying the specific challenges of the cluster and prioritising its needs to design customised actions and solutions. The main forms of advisory services offered by the facility were one-on-one teaching, workshops, online webinars, guidance documents and direct consultancy to members and cluster managers.
The 25 selected clusters were announced on 3 May, 2021. You can find them here.
Throughout the project, Ecorys staff acted as project coordinators, liaising with cluster managers and business advisors. In parallel to the implementation of the 25 projects, Ecorys organised 3 cross-cutting synergy building webinars in September, October and November 2021. They were offered to all business advisors and cluster managers involved in the facility to create a community for clusters to share knowledge and best practices. The events included presentations by experts, sharing of experiences by coordinators and cluster managers, as well as sessions between participants. Each of the 3 webinars had an average of 50 participants.
The fields covered under the advisory support included:
- Resilient business models
- Tapping into sustainable investments
- Greening business processes
- Developing environmentally friendly products and services
- Optimising water consumption
- Maximising energy efficiency
- Improving waste management and reducing waste
- Lowering carbon footprint
- Adopting circular economy solutions for materials
- Reducing harmful emissions
- Advancing sustainable innovation
Throughout the program, several clusters shared their success stories in their green transition. A few of these were published on the ECCP website:
- Following their participation in the Towards Green Transition Facility, LUCE IN VENETO, an Italian cluster in the smart lighting sector, is currently constructing its circular business model.
- INDESCAT, a Catalan sports industry cluster, used the facility’s help to develop and improve their competitiveness and environmental sustainability by minimising its carbon footprint.
- The facility also helped Materalia, a French cluster in the area of materials and processes, to develop an analysis methodology as well as a new business model to increase the sustainability of their cluster members, and to develop new synergies with new stakeholders.
- The Wood Industry Cluster in Slovenia also benefitted from the facility’s experts through trainings and the exchange of new knowledge and information on the circular economy.
- The facility, in collaboration with Mabbett, offered their expertise on circular economy models and approaches to the Lublin Eco-Energy Cluster from Poland and Portugal’s AEC Cluster.
- The Cluster Energy Technology Berlin-Brandenburg has also used the facility’s support to organise a workshop to identify SMEs’ needs as well as conduct a needs assessment survey based on the workshop insights.
Individual journeys for each of the cluster projects can be found here.
Finally, the full journey of the facility and the projects together with lessons learnt are reported in the final report which can be downloaded here.
For further information, please contact Tahmina Shafique.