SWAN - a digital Solid Waste reuse plAtform for BalkaN
> The Challenge
A key challenge for the Balkan region is a distinct lack of sustainable innovative practices addressing the critical issue of waste management in the context of circular economy and the closing of the resources loops. In fact, most of the countries in this region are lagging behind the rest of Europe.
> The Objective
To address this challenge, the main objective of the SWAN project is business model innovation through the development of a unique business/service ecosystem in waste management. This ecosystem is centered around a digital platform that:
Maps the sources of waste and the potential users of the waste streams
Recommends national and transnational viable paths (i.e. strategic options for service value co-creation) for solid waste reuse, based on an innovative match-making algorithm that aligns supply and demand
Enables collaboration among the service ecosystem's stakeholders for service innovation.
> The Approach
To achieve the objective, the project partnership itself is structured as a business/service ecosystem, based on the quadruple helix concept. The latter assumes the involvement of academic institutes (University of the Aegean, Cyprus University of Technology), private sector organizations (the Bulgarian Industrial Association), public sector agencies (Association of Municipalities in the Attica Regions, Greek Ministry of Environment & Energy, Albanian Ministry of Tourism & Environment), and the civic society (NGO Iliria).
> The Results
Key developments of the project include the design and development of the SWAN digital platform, the mapping of potential sources and sinks of solid waste in the Balkan region, and the development of the match-making algorithm. Data were collected from Greece, Albania, Bulgaria and Cyprus through a number of field studies. Best practices from across Europe were examined, with particular focus on the business models deployed, all leading to a new, service ecosystem-driven business model proposition and pilot implementation. In particular:
Provide assistance to waste management agents towards identifying joint business opportunities and promote academia-industry cooperation, through the application of algorithms for solid waste supply and demand matching;
Develop the SWAN Balkan Solid Waste Map, link national and transnational stakeholders and develop innovative approaches towards achieving circular economy benefits through the formulation of 8 survey reports.
2. Knowledge transfer
Project beneficiaries and the wider public will learn about circular economy and industrial symbiosis and familiarize themselves with the concept of waste reuse value chains through workshops, project website, newsletters, press releases, articles and press coverage. They will be encouraged to learn and use the SWAN Service Ecosystem (using the operational and training manuals and by attending the training sessions) and work towards achieving wider EU targets on waste reuse. Moreover, targeted policy making at national and transnational levels will be enabled through our policy recommendation reports.