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PolymER reCYcling

Denmark: South Denmark
Dorte Bælum
90% completed


Type of partnership
Partnership origin
Target countries
Partnership duration (months)
Number of partners
Number of SMEs involved

Summary and objectives

The overall goal of the project is to intensify the international cluster and business network collaboration across the consortium partners around recycling and eco design of polymers and composites involving polymers.

The polymer industry in Europe gives direct employment to over 1.5 million people. Close to 60,000 companies, most of them SME’s, are engaged in the polymer industry and represent a turnover close to 350 billion euros and a trade balance close to 15 billion euros. (Source: Plastic Europe). Recycling and eco-design of polymer products are receiving increasing attention due to the growing concern about climate change and plastic pollution. Polymers are a popular material due to their many functionalities and demand for them is driving the development of everincreasing advanced polymer solutions. While polymers are great materials that play an indisputable role in our modern society, polymers also pose a threat in terms of land, ocean and air pollution. For the industry, this means both threats and opportunities. The threats span from increasing regulations in terms of requirements for recyclability, waste reduction and prevention, design for disassembly etc. to bans on certain types of polymer materials and consumer demand for alternatives. Opportunities occur when a market changes. New business models spawns and new companies occur. SMEs play a crucial role in this journey towards a sustainable plastic economy. The mission of our consortium is to convert threats into opportunities for our members and to enable them to seize opportunities. The consortium partners have come together to explore how an intensified cluster and business network collaboration across borders can meet this challenge and support the exploitation of international business opportunities related to the topic of eco-design and recycling of polymers.

The specific objective of the project is to:

1) Select 3-4 countries of interest. This will be done by involving our SME members in the selection process. We plan to carry out a workshop in each consortium partner’s country with 10 participating SMEs expected in Denmark and Slovakia and 15 SMEs in Germany and France respectively. Another 10-15 SMEs in each country will be phone interviewed. The results will be shared on a consortium partner meeting.

2) Select 1-2 target markets/sectors in each target country outside Europe

3) Identify and initiate collaboration with clusters or business networks in the target markets and countries, at least one per country and/or market. This will be done by approaching the relevant cluster and business networks in the selected countries and carrying out a partner mission to each country and visiting 1-2 potential collaboration partners.

4) Development of a joint internationalisation strategy and an implementation road map that will be shared to promote joint actions. The strategy will be developed as a combination of desk research and a whole day of workshop among the consortium partners.

Partnership other activities

The project will host a work shop for SME's in each partner country.

Results expected

The expected result is that we, as individual cluster partners, our members and associated stakeholders and thereby Europe as a whole, will be enforced in the field of polymers recycling and eco-design.

The specific project results are:

- A report with the input from the SMEs and the final choice of countries

- A report with the most important findings related to sector focus and mapping of collaboration partner

- At least 3 Memorandum of Understanding signed, in at least 2 different sectors

- A joint internationalisation strategy containing a detailed description of the purpose of the collaboration and its strategic objectives including an implementation road map

- A Partnership Agreement drafting common actions, cooperation between us and clearly expressing our interests and plans for engaging in international cluster cooperation together

The next step for the consortium will be the implementation of the strategy upon completion of the project. An exploitation strategy will be initiated during the last eight months of the project, to be implemented in the next phase after the project is completed. The long-term project outcome is a platform where our SME members could get access to global value chains in order to become, and remain, competitive. Our role as clusters is to enable and support this access and facilitate new partnerships and business opportunities. This interregional cluster collaboration will promote excellence in cluster management, in order to improve the quality of service to our SME members in new and more efficient manners.

Sectorial and industrial focus

Sectoral industries
Water supply; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities:E38 Waste collection, treatment and disposal activities; materials recovery
Cross-sectoral industries
Environmental Industries
Industrial Alliances and Ecosystems
Alliances:Circular Plastics
Technology fields
B\: Performing operations; transporting:Working of plastics; working of substances in a plastic state in general B\: Performing operations; transporting:Conveying; packing; storing; handling thin or filamentary material
S3 EU priority areas
Sustainable innovation:Waste management

Partnership composition

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