Launched at the Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform (CESP) Conference in Brussels on 20 February 2018, the European Resource Efficiency Knowledge Centre (EREK) is a European network of experts in resource efficiency and the circular economy, and a platform for provision of support to European businesses on these topics. The EREK network of business support providers connects practitioners and experts from regional, national and international levels, thus enabling them to use existing information on resource efficiency to better support SMEs, and to promote resource efficiency in their regions and sectors.
Initiated by the European Commission, EREK provides tools and access to knowledge to SMEs, as well as information on best available technologies and circular business models. EREK’s tools and services can help SMEs to better control their energy, water and material costs, check their compliance for upcoming regulations, become less dependent on suppliers and receive information on funding sources and technology providers.
EREK’s services are targeted at both businesses and business support organisations and include:
- A Self-Assessment Tool for SMEs, covering the following sectors: office and administration, chemical and process engineering, construction, food processing, hotel and restaurant, manufacturing of machinery and equipment, metal and plastic processing, textile and clothing, timber and woodworking, waste management and recycling, and wholesale and retail;
- A database of resource efficiency improvement measures, good practices and technologies covering all aforementioned sectors and more;
- A database of resource efficiency support programmes for SMEs across the European Union and COSME participating countries;
- A Network of SME intermediaries (i.e. business support organisations providing services in resource efficiency);
- A collaborative website presenting all above services and allowing interaction between network members;
- Capacity-building activities.
A number of national and international events are organised within EREK. The next event will take place on the 22 May 2018 in Prague and will be dedicated to the Technical assistance and tools for identification of resource efficiency potential in SMEs.