SUPSI and Gr3n organized with the Association of Tessin Industries (AITI) a workshop at SUPSI facilities on 31st January 2017. The workshop "Circular Economy experiences: sustainable product, process and business models" was meant to provide to participants a wider definition of Circular Economy, going beyond the mere recycling concept, and share tools and business models that lead to a ridefinition of production processes, products and services, maximizing circular economy impacts. Within the workshop, diverse experiences from industries have been shared, discussing the effective implementation of circular economy practices.

The workshop included the following speeches:

  • Introduction to Circular Economy
  • Life Cycle Thinking and LCA role in the context of Circular Economy
  • Reverse logistics and servitization
  • Cluster of companies, industrial symbiosis and innovative business models
  • Gr3n recycling and the SYMBIOPTIMA project

The workshop was attended by about 20 participants from both scientific (though few) and local industrial communities from different sectors (pharmaceutical, chemical, textile, mechanical and consumer goods). The audience was very interested and gained a deeper knowledge on the concept and methodologies for the adoption of circular economy business models. In particular, the discussion pointed out:

  • Companies' interest in understanding the practical implementation of proposed methodologies: how industrial symbiosis-based business can be implemented in a real case? How to assess the sustainability impacts of circular economy approach adoption?
  • Companies' discovery of new business models for embracing circular economy and, in particular, industrial symbiosis;
  • Stimulated reflection on possible new exchanges between participating companies in the workshop and their suppliers or other companies:
  • raised new opportunities of application of the Gr3n technology developed within SYMBIOPTIMA to other sectors, for example the textile one. 

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The first SYMBIOPTIMA newsletter has been released. The newsletter includes a brief introduction about the project, an interesting article about sustainability in industrial cluster and a view of upcoming events. To view the first SYMBIOPTIMA newsletter please click here

SPS IPC Drives is the leading exhibition for electric automation in Europe., being held in Nuremberg on 22-24 November. The exhibition covers all components down to complete systems and integrated automation solution in the following sectors: control technology, electric drive systems and components, human-machine interface devices, industrial communication, industrial software and technology, mechanical infrastructure, sensor technology. 

nxtControl will participate in the exhibition with their advances in control technology and software solution for industrie 4.0 and IIoT, and several projects they are developing. 

For more info, you can meet SYMBIOPTIMA and nxtControl at booth 228, hall 6.



With the growth of environmental and social pressure, the structure of the traditional groupings of enterprises has changed towards symbiotic clusters or business combinations able to reuse unwanted flows to produce new goods and services.

The recent growth of available technologies for the recycling and reuse, as well as growing competition in this area is further driving this transformation. In fact, the goal of sequestrating unwanted flows (e.g. emissions or the by-products) within the techno-sphere becomes only a preliminary aspect. The current trend seems to emphasize the need to promote efficiency even within the context of industrial symbiosis. The use of these tools allows the systematic tracking of operations of flow reassignment and the identification of more sustainable scenarios for this breakdown.

The implementation of Symbioptima paradigm required the evolution of traditional criteria of sustainability analysis (LCSA):

  • From a methodological point of view, the congruent alignment of the LCA with LCC and SLC analysis perspective of circularity requires the development of methodologies that focus on effects due to re-allocation of flows.
  • From an operational point of view, the generation of LCSA indicators to be implemented within the production dynamics of business clusters requires the development of modular quantification criteria, standardization and interoperability.

Cooperation should become a key element in the path to the process industries that are truly sustainable and can be based on the availability of critical resources in the long term. In this sense, the availability of the sustainability analysis methods and procedures can help to break down barriers for the shared management of resources (e.g. energy, waste and by-products) and the consequent integration of processing activities.

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The first technical meeting of the SYMBIOPTIMA project took place successfully on 21 march 2016

The Project Coordinator, Andrew Marshall from Spirax Sarco Ltd, and the Scientific Coordinator, Andrea Ballarino from ITIA-CNR, led the meeting at ITIA-CNR premises in Milan, with the participation of all the project partners and the EU Project Monitor Mr. Hans Eder.

During the two days, all the project partners contributed to the meeting with presentations on their expertise and expected contributions to the project, the main goals, performed activities and expectations for each work package.

The next project meeting is planned in September 2016.

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Special thanks to Andrea and ITIA for their kind hospitality.