On 1 February 2022 from 14:00 to 16:00 CET, the Policy Learning Platform is hosting an interactive webinar on financial instruments for the circular economy.

With the Green Deal and the new European industrial strategy for a globally competitive, green and digital Europe, the necessity of the transition of the economy towards a more circular one has reached all levels of competitiveness policymaking. Also, businesses are increasingly working on their business models and process in order to reduce their environmental footprint and addressing increasing linear risks (scarcity of resources, unsure supply, volatility of prices…) by seizing circular opportunities.

However, as it is the case for any significant transformation, the challenges for SMEs are still big and support is needed to minimise the risks of investing into new business models and/or technologies.

What to expect

The objective of the webinar is to present some approaches on how regional and local authorities can adapt their funding frameworks to promote and foster the circular transition of the economy and which types of measures are used to foster the circular transition of businesses in general and SMEs in particular.

The event will be moderated by our Thematic Experts in SME competitiveness Luc Schmerber and Mart Veliste. The following topics will be introduced and presented during the webinar: 

  • Fostering the circular economy and green jobs in Bologna (Italy)

Marino Cavallo, from the Metropolitan City of Bologna (Italy), will present the relevant activities and policies from the Metropolitan City of Bologna.

The Metropolitan City of Bologna is a partner in the Interreg Europe project GRESS, which aims for improving awareness on the opportunities for SMEs the in green & blue economy. The objectives of the project include: increasing the number of participants and improving the quality of training programmes for green start-ups; attracting more SMEs to participate and succeed in public procurements of green products and services; improving access of SMEs to risk capital outside the local region; making cities and regions more attractive for young entrepreneurs in green sectors; introducing improved incentive schemes for green start-ups; enhancing the performance of ecosystems; increasing the number of competitive start-ups and spin-offs within the green economy; and improve their chances of survival.

  • Stuttgart Climate Innovation Fund (Germany)

Hauke Diederich, from Klima‐Innovationsfonds Stuttgart, will showcase the Climate Innovation Fund, part of the EUR 200 Mio. Climate Protection Action Programme of the city of Stuttgart.

The fund pursues the approach of supporting Stuttgart with novel and creative solutions on its way to becoming a climate-friendly city and making it visible as an innovative city of the future. With projects from science, business and civil society, new approaches are to be demonstrated, tried out and made tangible. Stuttgart would like to support both the transfer of innovative solutions into practice and the scaling of pilot projects in a large city.

The projects should pursue a novel approach or, in the case of technical innovations, surpass the state of the art. The Stuttgart Climate Innovation Fund supports a variety of types of innovations: Technical (e.g. new or improved products), process-related (e.g. optimised implementation), economic (e.g. new business models), social (e.g. consumer behaviour) or organisational (e.g. new ways of integrating different stakeholders), innovations as well as diverse combinations of such approaches and completely new ideas.

  • The Finnish Innovation Fund: Sitra (Finland) 

Kari Herlevi, Project Director at Circular economy focus area, will showcase Sitra: Finland’s fund for the future.

Sitra is an accountable and independent future-oriented fund. One of Sitra’s goals is that ‘the economy is renewed in a manner that aims at increased competitiveness in compliance with the principles of sustainable and responsible development.’

One of Sitra’s domains of intervention in terms of project funding is the circular economy. Sitra is thereby, among other activities, contributing to accelerate the development of circular economy solutions created by Finnish companies and developing tools that companies can use to establish circular economy business models.

Register today and get your questions ready for our speakers!

Image credit: EUREGA project