CLEAN is approaching the second phase of the project and we would like to know how is our interregional work and network affecting and benefiting different local stakeholders. Therefore, we have made a series of interviews to find out more about their thoughts.

Two local stakeholders from Savinjska region (Slovenia) respond to our questions: Jurij Stritih from Stritih Consulting, a business providing consulting services in the field of sustainable development, and Janez Gorenšek, Director of Institute for Applied Mycology and Biotechnology IAMB Institute.

Why did you decide to take part in CLEAN?

 Jurij: It was relevant to my work.

Janez: We decided to take part in this project, due to the invitation of Regional Development Agency of Savinjska Region. We participate and work on different kinds of interdisciplinary projects. As we are committed to sustainability, we were glad to participate in such project.

Have you participated in any staff exchanges or study visits?

Jurij: Yes, I visited Sundsvall (Sweden).

Janez: We participated in the conference in Celje (Slovenia) as one of the speakers on the conference, also we joined study visits in Caen (France) and Iasi (Romania). All study visits, were very fruitful, educational, with great opportunity to observe good working approaches and practices. It was pleasant to actually meet staff that work on their respective projects. 

Have you learnt any lessons from other stakeholders? Or, have you shared your expertise with them?

 Jurij: Visiting Sweden was an interesting experience, to be able to compare what they are doing and what problems they are facing with that of Slovenia. Meeting the other stakeholders also gave me a clearer understanding of the situation in different parts of Europe. I also presented on the topic of good practices in energy efficiency in Celje.

Janez: There were some good lessons and practices during visits. The good thing of this is to see other ways of approaches and solving different types of problems, regarding environment we are coming from. Connection and interaction among heterogeneous type of organisations involved in is much of help, to broaden our perspectives and bring different ideas into to our environment. Our expertise in fields we are developing, is little more technologically demanding, but we look forward in near future to be able to share to at least one stakeholder in this project.

How are you benefiting from this international network? Is CLEAN impacting your work?

 Jurij: It has broadened my knowledge and given me some perspective on the situation in Slovenia and the EU.

Janez: Benefits are shown especially in networking, idea exchange and future cooperation planning with compatible partners and stakeholders. Future projects (also our own development) are based on the aim of even greater energetic efficiency, reducing poverty and carbon footprint. CLEAN is definitely impacting our work, with some new insights on the needs on this field, and also adopting some approaches in our future plans of activities. 

What do you expect from the CLEAN partnership?

 Jurij: Continued cooperation and exchange of good practices.

Janez: Our expectation is to develop connections with different kinds of organisations that are working on the field sustainability and low carbon technologies and also other stakeholders, which can be potential future partners in forthcoming projects on this field.