Re-Industrialise launches at the European Week of Cities and Regions

EIT Climate-KIC and partners recently launched the Re-Industrialise programme, gathering policy makers, business representatives, academics and entrepreneurs to discuss innovative solutions for transitioning industry regions. The event was part of the European Week of Cities and Regions, an European initiative with over 200 sessions, of which only about 10 per cent dealt with the issue of climate change mitigation. The event took place on 10 October in Brussels, at the State Representation of Hessen.

Sessions focused on the connection between experimentation and innovation. During the opening session Dr. Mike Cherrett, EIT Climate-KIC’s European affairs director warned that “policies are still too binary. We need a more mature, experimental way of dealing with regional transitoning,” adding that regions and cities can be “more agile and learn more easily”.

The idea of using regions as a test bed was echoed by the Wuppertal Institute’s Professor Dr Philipp Schepelmann, who said that the Bundesrepublik’s ongoing energy transition taps into this trial-and-error approach. “We want to push things from just being incremental projects to something more like an integrated system transition,” the German climate and environment expert said.

Schepelmann also linked back to the InnovationCity project, launched in the Ruhr at the beginning of the decade, which has so far included over 200 small-scale projects, including heat pump installation and pumped storage initiatives. InnovationCity has created 1,200 man-years of additional employment, and Schepelmann added that it has made “halving CO2 by 2020 realistic” in the area.

The event followed with enrgised roundtable discussions, providing a deep-dive opportunity on transition challenges and solutions for EU-level, industry, start-ups and two sample regions (Silesia, Poland and Lusatia, Germany). Conclusions from the discussions included the fact that transition should strengthen an exploratory process based on common ground instead of specifics. In particular, public authorities should identify transition tasks to be performed and ask the market for solutions to promote pilot scale applications, in a first step, to then support scaling-up and standardisation later on.

For further information on the Launch of the Re-Industrialise Programme, please read EURACTIV’s news article.

Or click here to get involded.

 
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