Nov 17, 2020

The Green Growth community highlights the importance of Mediterranean cooperation at Ecomondo 2020

Again this year, CUEIM, representing the InterregMED Green Growth Community, took part in Ecomondo, the leading event in Europe for green technological and industrial innovation for circular economy. For this 24th edition, the fair took place from 3 to 15 November in full digital mode by exploiting the potential of the interactive platform put in service to ensure the B2B meetings, networking initiatives and seminars. As partner of the GG Community, CUEIM led the organisation of two sessions on 4 and 5 November, showcasing the results, synergies and perspectives of the Mediterranean initiative in the area of green and circular economy.

During the first session held on 4th November, Green growth and circular economy best practices for innovative Mediterranean SMEs”, seven modular projects from the GG community – FinMED, CreaInnovation, ESMARTCITY, MADRE, EMBRACE, PEFMED and RE-LIVE WASTE – presented their results, best practices, and tools promoting the adoption of innovative, green and circular business and financial models in the Mediterranean with a focus on SMEs. The presentations covered the four focus areas that the Green Growth community addresses: food systems, eco-innovation, smart cities and waste management.

As the spokespersons of the seven projects explained, this second phase of the project aims to capitalise on the results of the first phase, disseminating the best practices identified. “We have to allow those involved in innovative processes to make mistakes, observe them, and build in on this”, said Paolo Fedi from the CreaInnovation project, highlighting the added value of the Green Growth community for using the pilot projects as a testing lab for innovative solutions. These innovative outputs are now a common ground for others facing the same problems.

The second Ecomondo session organised by the Green Growth Community, “Integrated policy initiatives targeting the EU Green Deal” focused on integrated policy initiatives for the promotion of sustainable development and the sound management of natural resources in the Mediterranean in line with the EU Green Deal. Gaetano Zarlenga (Managing Director of CUEIM) and Martina Vallerotonda (Project Manager at CUEIM) led the discussion with the six participants representing the quadruple helix including government representatives, academia, civil society, and businesses. “It is very important to know how to translate high-level strategies – such as the EU Green Deal – into action, into projects and activities”, said Zarlenga, highlighting the importance of involving all four stakeholder groups of the quadruple helix to transform policies into tangible actions, and vice versa, to influence policies based on evidence.

As said by Luca Guarnieri from Nativa BCorp, we need businesses on board to transition to a greener and more circular economy. It is fundamental to move from the maximisation of value for shareholders to the maximisation of value for all stakeholders”, said Guarnieri. However, Alessandro Miraglia from SwitchMed highlighted that we also need “a Euro-Mediterranean perspective for an inclusive external dimension of the EU Green Deal”. We must create synergies and cooperation across the north and the south of the Mediterranean to tackle common challenges and work towards a greener and more circular economy in the region.

The point of view of the European institutions, was brought in the discussion by Markus Wolschlager, Political Advisor of the Committee on Regional Development (REGI), who presented the role of the regions to support SMEs towards the transition to circular economy. Finally, the academic world was represented, among others, by Prof. Michele Modina (Università del Molise), who presented a set of tools for supporting Mediterranean SMEs towards the transition to a circular and green economy, and Prof. Marco Frey (Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna), who explained the opportunities for Mediterranean value chains in light of the EU Green Deal and the new Circular Economy Action Plan.

Despite the COVID-19 situation, the organisers of Ecomondo, that we take the occasion to thank, put all their efforts in making the online event successful and accessible to everyone. Once again, it brought together all sectors of the circular economy on a single platform.

The complete agenda is available here

Learn more about the Green Growth Community:

The videos of the two events are available at the following links:

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