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ITC launches a new drive for industrial symbiosis in the Valencia Region with SIMVAL

The SIMVAL project, coordinated by the Institute of Ceramic Technology (ITC), with the support of the Valencian Institute for Business Competitiveness (IVACE) and the collaboration of the Polytechnic University of Valencia and the Technology Institute for Metalworking, Furniture, Wood, Packaging, and Related Sectors (AIDIMME), has just carried out two initiatives in Valencia involving different Valencia Region sectors,with a view to aligning the Region's economy with the action plans of the different public authorities on the road towards a circular economy.

SIMVAL seeks to become a single umbrella platform bundling private, public, or public-private initiatives in the Valencia Region in regard to circular economy, in addition to fostering industrial symbiosis actions in the Valencia Region by organising practical workshops to identify synergies in different economic and industrial settings, such as port facilities and industrial estates, among other spheres of operations.

Castellón, 21 June 2019: On 18 and 19 June, two Practical Industrial Symbiosis Workshops were held at BUINSA, the Local Development Agency of the Buñol Town Council, and at Valencia Port Authority facilities, organised in the frame of the project "Strategy towards a Circular Economy in the Valencia Region through a Platform fostering Industrial Symbiosis (SIMVAL)" headed by the Institute of Ceramic Technology (ITC), with the collaboration of the Polytechnic University of Valencia and the Technology Institute for Metalworking, Furniture, Wood, Packaging, and Related Sectors (AIDIMME).

According to Irina Celades, head of the ITC Sustainability Area and SIMVAL researcher: "these practical workshops have sought primarily to align the Valencia economy with the action plans of the various public authorities on the road towards a circular economy, one of the most significant aspects being the drive towards the industrial symbiosis".

Indeed, in a very concrete way, in 2015 Europe put forward a series of measures which require action in the coming five years. According to Irina Celades, "they include the need to study the different product life cycle stages, such as design and production, consumption, waste processing and management and resource recovery in order subsequently to facilitate their reintroduction into the economy. Areas like plastics, and waste food, construction and demolition waste, and biomass waste, critical raw materials, and the products with a biological-based products are also being studied".

And she adds: "one of the key approaches of the Circular Economy° is industrial symbiosis, i.e. introducing a series of innovative inter-corporate collaborations through use, by a company or by a sector, of by-products such as energy, water, logistics, and materials".

It may be noted that these infodays were supported by the Head Office for Climate Change and Environmental Quality of the Regional Authority for Agriculture, Climate Change, and Rural Development, and the firm International Synergies Limited (ISL), an English international leader in implementing industrial symbiosis strategies in different industrial and economic environments.

In addition, with a view to fostering the participation of different organisations in both initiatives, fundamental collaboration was provided by BUINSA and the Valencia Port Authority and Valenciaport Foundation, which made their facilities available for carrying out these actions.

Thus, backed by ITC's previous experience in the European project SHAREBOX, in which the symbiosis model is being carried out among companies located in the La Mina Industrial Estate in Nules (Castellón), this ambitious project has been started, aimed at implementing industrial symbiosis among production sectors across the Valencia Region.

That project, funded by the Valencian Agency for Innovation, kicked off in 2018. It sought information on management of resources for industrial use in the Valencia Region, laying the groundwork for the development of the different lines of action in SIMVAL 2019.

SIMVAL seeks to become a single umbrella platform bundling private, public, or public-private initiatives in the Valencia Region in regard to circular economy, in addition to fostering industrial symbiosis actions in the Valencia Region by organising practical workshops to identify synergies in different economic and industrial settings, such as port facilities and industrial estates, among other spheres of operations.