ReNEW worked to raise awareness about the issues surrounding greater resource efficiency, and the advantages of a shift to a circular economy, with the potential for sustainable growth.
Some EU countries have committed to a greener economy sooner than others, and ReNEW partners used their experience of this to influence policy makers and government in countries that are further ahead in their journey towards a circular economy.
This influence included the facilitation of policy makers seeing examples of best practice in other countries by organising a study visit to site in Germany and Belgium, and help in provision of reports to frame the strategy in how to adopt a circular economy for local government organisations in Northern Ireland.
The ReNEW project also featured as a best practice case of networks active in eco-innovation domains.
Innovationseeds, an initiative developed by the GreenXpo project co-financed by the European Commission, is a resource website about eco-innovation.
According to its anlaysis, the concept of ReNEW is ready for full-scale implementation, qualifying it for an estimated level 5 on the generic maturity scale GML 1-10: “Results from the local experimentation of the concept are empirically validated and they open the way to a full-scale implementation of the concept.”
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As well as developing new processes to recover valuable resources from waste, the project also sought to promote these technologies to SMEs and other organisations who are directly involved in the management of materials streams. The processes developed within ReNEW are directly relevant to markets that will emerge in the future, and it is important that the processes are developed in consultation with the companies that will ultimately use them commercially.
The project tried to involve as many SMEs as possible throughout the project, especially through practical demonstrations of pilot plants that were supported by ReNEW.
The development of resource recovery processes in ReNEW has resulted in ways to create valuable materials from sources that previously would have been considered waste. In order for these and other processes to become commercially successful there needs to be support and partnership from the industries that will use the technology, and access to finance to fund the transfer the technology. Partners from ReNEW organised several events to bring together potential contributors to the field.