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The Interreg Baltic Sea project Baltic Industrial Symbiosis

With industrial symbiosis as a working methodology, the goal is to preserve resources in the cycle for as long as possible. In the Interreg Baltic Sea project Baltic Industrial Symbiosis, Trøndelag County Municipality has worked on facilitating collaboration between stakeholders.

The world's natural resources are under increasing pressure, and climate change has made its presence known. Fortunately, significant measures can still be taken to halt further development, especially in the industry. This is precisely what Per Erik Sørås, working at Trøndelag County Municipality, focuses on.

"Simply put, industrial symbiosis involves local cooperation where waste from one industrial actor is used in the production of another industrial actor. This can make it more attractive for new companies to establish themselves in a limited geographical area while creating strong local brands," explains Sørås.

A prime example of this can be found in Orkanger.

"There is a silicon smelter that uses power to melt silicon-containing rocks. This results in a surplus of energy. Not far away, a factory is being built to slaughter chickens and produce meat. The warm water from the silicon smelter is used in meat production to save energy," Sørås explains.

Sharing experiences

The Baltic Industrial Symbiosis project spans across multiple countries around the Baltic Sea, and Sørås has been the project manager for Norway and Trøndelag County Municipality since the project's inception in 2019. His primary task has been to facilitate a forum for communication among different clusters and groups to exchange experiences across borders.

"Sharing experiences between countries and clusters has been our main focus, but we also work on enhancing regional expertise. We aim to enrich and inform municipalities in the development of industrial symbiosis. Therefore, we have established training programs that we offer to various stakeholders."

To achieve successful results, the actors must have ample room for collaboration. In this regard, the county municipality acts as a facilitator for dialogue and dissemination, and they also provide some funding. Interreg has been crucial in getting the work started, but...

"We cannot assist everyone, and therefore, national resources and prioritizations are required. The current national programs are too small, and it takes a long time to develop new ones."

This is one of the reasons why the project also engages with authorities.

Steep learning curve

When the Baltic Industrial Symbiosis project concludes in December, they will finalize a project report. However, Trøndelag County Municipality will not only have that as an outcome.

"This project has given us a real boost. We will continue to develop what we have learned through this collaboration. And we will continue to stay in touch with other actors in the Baltic Sea region," concludes Sørås.

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