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Several Catalan clusters help their members to present projects for climate change in the European LIFE Program


In the virtual session of the last 28th of July, organized by the Clúster de l'Energia Eficient de Catalunya, the  Catalan Water Partnership, the Associació Catalana  d’Innovació del Sector Carni Porci - INNOVACC, the Clúster de la Indústria d'Automoció de CatalunyaEurecat and the Packaging Cluster, shared the different experiences of professionals in the presentation and development of innovative projects to combat climate change, within the framework of the LIFE Program of the European Commission.

Laura Giappichelli, project advisor of the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME), authority that coordinates the LIFE Program, exposed the general characteristics of the program and its selection criteria to be able to pass the admission process through examples from previous calls.

The expert recommended to correctly analyze the real situation of our community to offer a service that meets specific needs, because otherwise the project will be meaningless and its development will not be possible. Therefore, it is essential to know the real problem and be clear about the objectives set to deal with the case. Above all, understand the meaning of sustainability and its implications according to the project you want to present and the context that surrounds it. In this sense, it is necessary to establish impact indicators that are specific and realistic.

Then, Jennifer Ruiz explained from ACCIÓ's perspective the services offered by the administration at regional, state and European level to support research and economic development.

At the same time, Ruiz presented a series of examples that capture the nature of the call: the Life Clinomics project, which promotes resilience and the local economy in adaptation to climate change; Life climark, for smart forest management; CO2toFUEL, for the capture, hydrogenation and conversion of CO2 into fuel in energy intensive industries; MycoRESTORE, for an innovative use of mycological resources for productive and resilient forests; Eco Timber Cell, fighting for change in land use and forestry; Smart Hospital, for the adaptation of hospitals to climate change; and the Olive  clima project, for a new more sustainable and respectful crop.

For his part, Jose Jorge Espí presented good practices of European initiatives that had been promoted and evaluated by the Eurecat Technology Center.

As he stated, we are in the process of transitioning from a linear to a circular socioeconomic model, ensuring economic growth and improving the use of resources. How? From the search for innovation, the industrial symbiosis and the study of the product life cycle. Eurecat proposes a new methodology to increase the current circularity percentage -only 8.6% - which consists of: “the definition of socioeconomic impact categories, the selection of sustainability and performance indicators, the correlation between the indicators and the impact categories , and an evaluation of the results”.

To finish, a space was opened for member companies of the organizing clusters to propose some of the projects they had presented so far, as in the case of Biogasnet, where Xavier  Gamisans Noguera has demonstrated the versatility of the system they have developed for purification of biogas in landfills and urban solid waste treatment plants. Montserrat  Batlle has presented the IBATHWATER project, which aims to reduce the floating solids of the sea with satellite treatment technologies, minimize the risk to bathers' health and reduce DSUs, from the waters of Barcelona and Berlin. The HEAT-R initiative is the proposal launched by David Comellas, which aims to recover energy with thermoelectric technology, generating other sustainable energy, with a scalable module and adaptable to any fireplace. Lastly, Meritxell Abril has explained the DEMINE project, which combats waste generated in the environment by abandoned mines.