EIS aims at promoting innovative interventions in the field of environmental protection with an innovative tool for local companies and operators.
The "Eco-Innovation Sicily" initiative aimed at promoting innovative and integrated interventions in the field of environmental protection and industrial development in southern Italy, focusing on the definition of eco-innovation technologies and methodologies in two strategic sectors for the national economy: the recycling industry and the sustainable tourism. With reference to the first sector, an industrial symbiosis platform was launched in Sicily Region, aimed at accelerating the transition of the Italian economy towards the circular economy. It is an innovative tool for local companies and operators allowing to identify the symbiotic opportunities present in the region and, therefore, to activate transfers of resources between the productions of different sectors, in which waste of an operator's production process becomes raw material for the production process of others. In detail, the portal allows a match between supply and demand of materials and by-products, in order to optimize resources in the area. This tool makes the individual actors interact within a network of knowledge and relationships, its functioning is based on the uploading and updating of appropriately classified and georeferenced data into a database. The platform operates as a dynamic information system with a cooperative approach. The platform consists of: the Platform Manager (Enea), registered/Associated User and and Website allowing interaction with the enterprise.

Resources needed

The project was financed by the national Law N. 191 dated 23rd December 2009 and modified in 2011. The Work package 1, WP1, provides for the creation of a prototype of a platform to support productive work for the finalization of "industrial symbiosis" actions. The WP worth about 600.000 euro.

Evidence of success

Results show a positive assessment on the technologies and innovative methodologies developed and also on the satisfaction all stakeholders involved had – such as: PA, companies, Trade ass, citizens. Positive assessment also indicated by the Eco-Innovation Observatory in its Country Profile of 2014, and by National Carbon Footprint Program. Project brought the creation of the first IS network in Italy SUN - 34 partners including research instit, universities, trade ass, ministries etc

Difficulties encountered

The greatest difficulty encountered in these years of project practice is attributed to the absence of specific legislation, at European and national level, furthermore has to be highlight a lack of specific line of contribution by national or regional founds on the Circular Economy

Potential for learning or transfer

It is important to note that the "Eco-innovation Sicily" project, in addition to being recognized as an international best practice (Hirschnitz-Garbers et al., 2015; Markianidou 2014; OECD 2014), acted as a forerunner for ENEA that was able to apply the results of research related to symbiosis in other Italian and even international production and territorial contexts. Thus it was possible to highlight in a holistic way many of the main obstacles that Italian companies encounter in actions aimed at implementing these inter-company synergy paths in our country. These first industrial symbiosis activities in the Italian territory were completed with the drafting of four operating manuals of industrial symbiosis in two strategic sectors for the regional and national economy. The platform itself and the methodologies developed have a huge transfer potential as are easy to be replicated and implemented in different areas and countries.

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Main institution
ENEA - Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development
Sicilia, Italy (Italia)
Start Date
January 2011
End Date
December 2014


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