Fibrenamics and LREC Azores launch Circular Economy project for the civil construction sector
The Ambiente_Sregional Project was approved with the best classification, representing a financing of 500 thousand euros by the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism for the project to be developed in the Azores.
Fibrenamics, the international platform of the University of Minho, and the Regional Laboratory of Civil Engineering (LREC-Azores) announce the launch of a Circular Economy project for the civil construction sector that will have the Azores as a stage and a financing of around 500 thousand euros from the EEA Grants Environment, supported by the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area - EEA Grants
Named Ambiente_Sregional, this project which aims to create a platform that promotes the articulation of different entities involved in the recovery of waste in order to form value chains, will be developed in the Azores, taking advantage of the characteristic ecosystem of its islands. “Europe, Portugal and the Azores, due to their dependence on imports of raw materials and commercial products, will have economic and strategic advantages, in adopting a circular economy paradigm. However, the transition between linear to circular models is a complex process. For this reason, and taking into account the size, geographical dispersion, existence of several licensed waste operators and the good level of monitoring and knowledge about the production of waste, we considered that the Autonomous Region of the Azores corresponds to a good “living laboratory” for the implementation and testing of the operations proposed in this project, for later export of the model to a national and international level ”, explains Fernando Cunha, Fibrenamics Executive Director.
With the main objective of implementing a new model for the circular economy, the first phase of this project will serve to carry out the study and characterization of existing waste, mapping and attracting partners associated with the waste recovery process. In a second phase, demonstration models will be developed to validate the technology for converting waste into products, a process that will be led by a team of creatives. At the same time, the circularity model will be optimized in the sense of creating value chains and future articulation through a digital platform.
The weak cooperation between the various stakeholders in the construction sector, particularly in aspects related to the circular economy and the reincorporation of waste in construction products, as well as the need to invest in the development of the waste recovery market, were the basis of this project . “The idea for this project came from the previous knowledge and experience that its promoters have in the area of sustainability, also based on the work already developed and above all a well-defined strategy for the circular economy. This project will allow having a platform for the circularity of products associated with construction that integrates the different agents associated with the value chain”, says Francisco Fernandes, Director of LREC.
A team of 20 people will be directly involved in the development of the Ambiente_Sregional project, whose leading promoter is the Regional Laboratory of Civil Engineering, of the Azores, and as CoPromotors to the Fibrenamics of the University of Minho through the entity CIMPA and an Icelandic partner, the entity ReSource International.
The project will run over two years, with its start scheduled for June this year. Throughout the project, different actions for the dissemination of associated results are foreseen, namely translated into awareness actions, mobilization of partners, and presentation of results themselves.