WorkPackage 6

Short-Circuit Economies

Typology: RTD Leader: Patrick Van Den Abeele


This shows the workload for workpackage 6 in the course of the 5 years of the project.

Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

What’s new in WP6?

January 2015 : agroecological networks workshop wil be organized as side-workshop before the conference “Resilient Cities : novel tools for local authorities” on the 13th january

October 2014 : WP6 partners meet in Rome to discuss the development of practical tools to help from an adaptive governance perspective the WP6 local authorities in their efforts to support Sustainable and Resilient Economic Activity Locally (SREAL)

October 2014 : WP6 Academic partners travel to Rome to collect field data on the Rome case studies

June 2014: a first academic paper produced by the WP6 academic partners entitled “Evaluating adaptive governance as a transition strategy for urban resilience and urban sustainability” has been sent for review

April 2014 : milestone MS36 on product-service-systems is online : it is composed by 3 different documents :

1. A report reviewing supportive instruments that can be put in place by local authorities to support transition from business and consumers towards PSS solutions
2. A list of 80 inspiring PSS examples in the world
3. A methodology to organize workshops gathering different urban local stakeholders to generate ideas of PSS applications responding to urban challenges

January 2014 : 4 regional SREAL case studies have been defined among the WP6 local authority partners :
1. Bruxelles : Réutilisation temporaire de bâtiments pour stimuler des activités économiques durables – Développement d’un processus de réutilisation temporaire de bâtiments dans les zones du programme de Contrat de quartier durable à Bruxelles pour favoriser l’installation d’activités économiques durables et résilientes.
2. Rome : Industries créatives et culturelles -Reconversion d’un ancien site industriel récemment décontaminé dans la municipalité de Manziana au profit d’entreprises locales et résilientes. L’idée d’un potentiel incubateur pour entreprises du secteur créatif et culturel est actuellement en discussion avec un potentiel entrepreneur.
3. Rome : Circuits courts économiques alimentaires Développement d’un réseau facilitant une agriculture durable et locale dans la région de Tuscia Romana. Projet spécifique de création d’un incubateur agricole de 30 ha de terres dans la municipalité de Bracciano. Le but de l’incubateur sera de soutenir l’agriculture urbaine et de lutter contre le phénomène de périurbanisation excessive (affectation de terres autrefois agricoles à des projets de construction résidentielle). La production est destinée à être distribuée localement.
4. Londres : Entreprises locales et communautés locales – Consacrer de terrains actuellement inexploités dans la municipalité de Barking & Dagenham à Londres pour explorer des manières innovantes d’impliquer les communautés locales dans le soutien aux entreprises locales (par exemple, gestion communautaire des infrastructures vertes, Community Food Growing – communautés produisant elles-mêmes leur propre nourriture, …)

January 2014: The term “Short Circuit Economies” in WP6 research is replaced by “Sustainable and Resilient Economic Activity Locally” (SREAL). It is an important new orientation for the WP6 research as Short Circuit Economies reflected only activities linked to food systems and was not sufficiently relevant to cover all the projects led by each local authority partners within WP6 to transition towards economic resilience and the local challenges that are targeted (stimulating creative and cultural industries, recycling workshops, community interest companies, product service systems…).

December 2013 : first deliverable produced by WP6, document D6.7 entitled “Plan of work for developing a strategy to support Sustainable and Resilient Economic Activity Locally (SREAL)

June 2012 : first WP6 group meeting in Brussels (task 6.1)
September 2012 : WP6 conference call meeting held on the 4th of September
- Task 6.2 : Stephanie Sandland from UEL joined the WP6 group to work on the cleantech study. Ecodesign study will start end of the month in Brussels
- Task 6.3 : a preliminary literature review of Product-Service System is being realized in Brussels
- Task 6.4 : Biclazio will send a questionnaire to all WP6 partners to collect information on best practices as far as creative and cultural industries are concerned
- Task 6.6 : UEL started its researches on the different European sustainability rating system schemes, on SME recognition of the rating systems and on the green/local procurement codes
October 2012 : WP6 conference call 2d of october – Stuttgart annual consortium meeting


Overall objective:

To research, develop and test the impact of different approaches to supporting short-circuit economies and increased reliance on local goods and services.


  • To research the potential for improvement on clean-tech processes and eco-design/re-design;
  • To research and develop government and agency programmes which will encourage local businesses to develop a Product Service System (PSS) approach to business development and programmes which would provide specific support for ‘localised’ business sectors such as the creative industries or specific geographical areas;
  • To research and develop an innovative, easily understood and visual rating system to rate the contribution of local businesses to local economies and to encourage local purchasers to use the ‘local’ rating as one of the criteria to consider in the case of supplier selection;
  • To develop an interactive online marketplace where local authorities, businesses and consumers can advertise their requirements and services and join with other local suppliers to tender for public procurement contracts;
  • To analyse the results of the different approaches for supporting short circuit economies and to prepare a coherent vision, strategy and guidance tools that would enable adaptive governance, collaborative decision-making, and behavioural change towards resilient and sustainable European cities.

Description of work and role of partners

Overall WP Leader (IBGE/BIM)

T6.1 Kick-off Meeting (IBGE/BIM)
Lead partner: IBGE/BIM Partners involved: All partners in WP6

As a number of different approaches to supporting short-circuit economies will be explored by different partners and cities involved in WP6, it is important to organise an initial WP meeting at the start of the project in order to understand the different aspects being studied, the potential for synergies, to decide on a joint framework for measuring impact and results and to discuss from the outset how a coherent overall strategy/guidelines will be developed at the end of the project. All partners involved in WP6 will also discuss at this meeting how WP6 fits within the overall project framework, what are the final deliverables and outcomes of the WP, the role of all participants, WP co-ordination plans (bi-monthly conference calls, meetings etc), reporting requirements and the work plan for the first year of the project. Significant synergies are expected to emerge with other WPs and this aspect will be discussed and connections established from the outset.

T6.2 Research on clean-tech processes and eco-design (IBGE/BIM)
Lead partner: IBGE/BIM Partners involved: IBGE/BIM

A product-service system (PSS), also known as a function-oriented business model, is a business model , developed in academia, that is aimed at providing sustainability of both 19 consumption and production. How to support PSS in local communities is one of the first aspects supporting short circuit economies which will be studied in WP6. However in order to implement and exploit Product Service Systems at an optimal extent there are two basic conditions which have to be met. Firstly, production processes need to be ‘cleaned-up’ and secondly products need to be ‘eco-designed’. This way local businesses become more competitive and sustainable and are ready (if they choose so) to take the next natural step, adopting a Product Service System strategy. T6.1 involves research on:

  • methodology for assessing regional potential (improvement and/or missing links in the value chain) for clean processes and eco-design/re-design;
  • methodology for assessing gaps in existing instruments (regulatory, market-based and communication) at federal, regional and local authority level;
  • Elaborating a proposal for additional instruments to support clean processes and eco-design.

T6.3 Research on PSS approach (IBGE/BIM)
Lead partner: IBGE/BIM

T6.3.1 This will involve specific research on:

  • various existing definitions of product service systems (PSS), selecting the most appropriate one for the case study regions, guaranteeing the best result for this project;
  • classifying all different existing types of PSS according to sector as well as concept (structure and components);
  • screening of potential additional sectors other than eco-construction, food, renewable energy, water, green chemistry, green and white biotechnology;
  • analysis of key barriers and critical success factors of adopting PSS in each of the sectors (preliminary study to be completed by field work specified below);
  • strength, weakness, opportunities and threats in adopting PSS in each of the sectors;
  • creative research and development on potential PSS applications: “out of the box thinking”, taking into account that for many current consumer needs the time is ripe to rethink how they can be met;
  • developing a method to measure the extent to which an economy (detailed per sector) has shifted from products to PSS;
  • modelling the influence on employment as a function of the extent to which a local or regional economy has shifted to PSS in a global context.

T6.3.2 Research and development on specific issues:

  • development of a tool for Life Cycle Analysis for Product Service Systems in the following green sectors: eco-construction, food, renewable energy, water, green chemistry, green and white biotechnology;
  • analyzing existing tools or procedures to develop Product Service Systems in the following green sectors: eco-construction, food, renewable energy, water, green chemistry, green and white biotechnology. Development of a tool, procedure, information or formation (only the best option to be elaborated at full extent) which is applicable in a government communication strategy;
  • proposal of a labelling system for product service systems;
  • research on current status on government intervention regarding PSS (or servicizing, which is the USA equivalent);
  • research on those countries which currently take the lead in Europe: description of government strategy and use of regulation, marked-based instruments and communication of the 3 best ranked countries;
  • similar research regarding the 3 best ranked countries outside Europe;
  • similar research regarding Brussels (in its federal context), or another European city (in its context);
  • Research on European directives and regulations (existing and in progress) regarding government intervention in product service systems; 20
  • research and development – involving an inventory and description of full range of potential instruments promoting PSS (existing or to be developed) from the point of view of authorities, taking into account the different actors (citizens, companies and finally government itself);
  • market-based research – this is a straightforward and effective solution might be to install higher taxation for products as opposed to services. Research has to be done evaluating all possible market-based incentives.
  • communication/information - results should at least reach those manufacturers that might see the provision of services as key to their future. While it is difficult to imagine that any manufacturer can succeed without offering some services, these need not form the basis of a competitive strategy. Success can also be achieved through excelling at either product leadership or operational excellence. Special attention has to be paid to the question what would be the best channel for authorities to inform potentially interested companies on the opportunities that PSS offer in terms of competitive advantages. Furthermore they have to be informed about the tools to design them. Currently little guidance is available for manufacturers in this situation. The study should address this crucial issue as extensive as possible;
  • research on potential candidates (potential suppliers of PSS) for projects for testing and demonstration;
  • listing suitable candidates for testing how companies will perceive government communication on PSS and studying how they do react in the areas of:
  • energetic performance of buildings (assuming performance risk for their projects)
  • sale of function of a chemical rather than sale of the chemical itself
  • re-manufacturing of products
  • resource management contracting (performance-based approach to waste management)
  • reversed logistics product packing
  • take-back service, return guarantee
  • Reversed logistics of building materials on construction sites
  • building contractors building and maintaining
  • performance-based pest management services
  • organic vegetables and fruit subscription.

T6.3.3 Testing and demonstration projects on potential suppliers of PSS (conception, implementation, follow-up). The main objective of the overall study is to provide the government with the necessary tools to influence consumer and producer behaviour towards PSS. The purpose of the testing and demonstration projects is to elicit:

  • how potential PSS supplying companies perceive the communication (message) about PSS
  • whether there is sufficient demand or support from the private sector for government action
  • evaluate the potential communication channels from the point of view of companies
  • internal processes that may be involved in companies shifting towards PSS (market research-internal PSS development team-customer participation in process-trial delivery-feedback)
  • how this internal process can be linked to LCA-analysis.

T6.3.4 Field research (interview, questionnaire, actual testing of some particular PSS) on potential users of PSS to establish how can a cultural shift of consumers (including industry and government) preferring having a need met by a service instead of by owning a physical product is accomplished. This experimental research and development needs to be conducted in close interaction with consumers in a way that the experience of consumers (including industry and government) is fully collected, analyzed and valorised.

T6.4 Research on support programmes for ‘localised’ business sectors such as the creative industries or specific geographical areas. (BIC Lazio)
Lead partner: BIC Lazio Partners involved: City of Rome, La Sapienza, EBN

The creative industries are one of the fastest growing sectors in the world with annual growth rates between 5 and 20%. Today creative industries account for about 8% of GDP in the UK and creative industry clusters are considered to rival the financial services sector in terms of job creation and economic importance. Creative Industries are by their very nature often embedded in the cultural and economic fabric of their communities. To be successful, creative companies depend on a high density of creative talents and “creative ecosystems” that enable knowledge exchange and open innovation. In this task, BIC Lazio will build on earlier research and that of other innovation support programmes for the creative industries implemented in other cities to make detailed recommendations on a programme of measures to increase the impact and contribution of the creative industries within the context of shortcircuit economies in the participating cities of Brussels, Seville and London.

T6.5 Analysis of outputs of other WPs and opportunities for supporting creation and growth of local ‘green’ businesses (BIC Lazio)
Lead partner: BIC Lazio Partners involved: IBGE/BIM, EBN

In addition to looking at specific support programmes for the creative industry sector, this task will examine support programmes to assist ‘green’ or ‘Eco-SMEs’. Actions will include:

  • in order to increase the potential impact of the project both for SMEs involved in the project and for non-participating SMEs, EBN will lead efforts to :
  • assess opportunities for exploitation of new IPR generated in any of the RTD work packages. This task will be implemented in line with the measures proposed for dissemination/exploitation of project results as explained in WP9 and Section 3.2. In summary all new knowledge generated will be evaluated in terms of potential for exploitation and opportunities for exploitation will be discussed at Steering Committee meetings every 6 months. It is anticipated that substantial new knowledge will be generated through this project and therefore the potential for exploitation and a wider economic impact are substantial. EBN and the BIC network (including partners BIC Lazio and the Knowledge Dock BIC in UEL) are specialists in IPR, technology transfer and exploitation and are therefore well placed to lead this action.
  • assess the potential for new services or opportunities emerging from the other WPs in TURaS e.g. need for landscape companies to supply parks with bio-diversity solutions (WP2), opportunities for local food producers to use derelict sites on commercial basis (WP3), opportunities for renewable energy, waster, water, transport solutions (WP4), commissions for local artists for local events etc.;
  • identification and selection of geographic areas or specific industry sectors which are optimal to promote the start up of eco-SMEs. It is proposed to develop a framework and methodology for the Environmental Local Development Elaboration of a survey on territories having high potential for Environmental SMEs (mapping high value areas and missing links or value chains from a resilience and product perspective, suitable for eco-SMEs) in the Metropolitan areas. This will involve:
  • developing and demonstrating a methodology for identifying missing crucial links or value chains from a resilience and product point of view
  • selection of Pilot Projects in the territories of the participating partners
  • pilot project areas
  • draft a survey on stakeholders and operators working in the Environmental industry and assessment of their potential for eco-SMEs purposes for each pilot area
  • establishing permanent working groups among the local stakeholders/partners;
  • Definition of action plans to build up the gap between regional policies on public-private partnerships:
  • consolidation of links between local networks (in terms of SMEs, Institutions, research Centres) and TURaS partners
  • organisation of local workshops on design of action plans.

These action plans will implement a local process that can be seen as workshops where to find what is new, but also where to propose “on time” solutions for improving both competitiveness and to promote (economically, environmentally, socially, culturally and institutionally) sustainable development. The action plans’ processes will be the natural raw material for politicians and decision makers useful to shape, to design regional policies adequate for the promotion of considered local productive agglomerations and of course for the exploitation of local common goods for competitiveness.

T6.6 Research and development of rating system (UEL)
Lead partner: UEL Partners involved: Seville Municipality, IBGE/BIM, BIC Lazio

In times of economic crisis, many local authorities, businesses and communities would like to support ‘short circuit economies’ and local businesses as a way of sustaining local jobs and economic prosperity. Simultaneously with the increasing awareness of the impact of climate change, consumers, businesses and local authorities are increasingly aware of the need to support sustainable business practices. Marrying these two aspirations together, short-circuit economies is about increased reliance on local goods and services as a way both of supporting sustainable and resilient local economies but also about reducing the environmental impacts of over-reliance on imported products. The challenge for many local consumers and businesses is knowing which local businesses are really contributing to the local economy – in terms of both supply chain and environmental processes and standards. To overcome this difficulty, UEL will lead research into a system for rating the contribution of businesses to the local economy (supply chain analysis, employment, turnover, sustainability) and marry this with existing standards for rating the environmental impact of individual businesses (ECAS etc). A new innovative, easily understood and visual rating system to rate the contribution of local businesses to local economies and to encourage local purchasers to use the ‘local’ rating as one of the criteria to consider in the case of supplier selection will be researched, developed and tested in the participating areas of London, Seville, Brussels and Rome.

T6.7 Research and development of interactive online marketplace (Seville)
Partners involved: UEL, Seville Municipality, IBGE/BIM, BIC Lazio, EBN

Based on the ‘AMBIESENSE’ approach to supporting local businesses through kiosks and mobile technologies developed in Seville, in this task a 'neighbourhood' marketplace will be researched, developed and tested as part of the development of the overall TURaS platform foreseen in WP8. The idea is that all businesses large and small in a local neighbourhood would register on this interactive marketplace by category (with particular emphasis on eco-businesses and creative industries). Tying together tasks 6.2, 6.3 ,6.4 , 6.5 and 6.6 all businesses would be rated in terms of:

  • use of local suppliers;
  • use of environmental practices in particular the Product Service System approach (using existing industry ratings system or in the case of PSS developing a new rating system and introducing relevant government awareness and support measures);
  • contribution to local economy (no of jobs in area).

The web platform will be developed in local language and will be accessible from the local council site, from local business support organisations as well as from the TURaS main site to be developed in WP8. Local councils, businesses and indeed consumers can use the local platform to tender for services. A particular emphasis will be placed on publishing details of new services or opportunities emerging from the other WPs in TURaS. The site will be interactive so consumers could rate their experience. The platform could be linked to mobile technologies and kiosks in tourist/high transit areas. Where platforms already exist, TURaS would not replicate these but focus on introduction of ratings system as detailed

T6.8 Analysis of results, development of a coherent strategy for supporting short-circuit economies, recommendations for exploitation at city, national and European level (IBGE/BIM)
Lead partner: IBGE/BIM Partners involved: All WP partners in particular U STUTT

Based on an analysis of the results and impact of the measures tested inT6.1 to T6.7, IBGE/BIM will lead all task leaders in the development of a coherent vision, strategy and guidance tools for supporting short circuit economies that would enable adaptive governance, collaborative decision-making, and behavioural change towards resilient and sustainable European cities. Therefore, a coherent strategy for supporting short-circuit economies should be developed, mainly from an innovation economics point of view, integrating the other relevant items. Crucial elements are the “social technologies” of institutions, culture , norms, laws and networks being central to growth.


Id Short-Circuit Economies
M6.33 Clean processes and re-design/eco-design programme guidelines for local authorities

Expected by: M12
M6.34 Rating system for local green businesses

Expected by: M18
M6.35 Online platform

Expected by: M24
M6.36 Analysis and conclusions of results on clean-tech processes, eco-design, PSS approach, localised business, green businesses and other WPs
Publication of analysis and conclusions
Expected by: M30
M6.37 Final evaluation, adaption and fine-tuning of a methodology for elaborating overall strategy/guidelines followed by kick off strategic planning process
Publication of methodology
Expected by: M36


Id Short-Circuit Economies
D6.7 Guidelines for local authorities: Report on clean processes and re-design/eco-design programme guidelines for local authorities
Expected by: M12
D6.8 PSS programme guidelines for local authorities, creative industry programme guidelines for local authorities and green industry guidelines for local authorities
Expected by: M36
D6.9 Coherent vision, strategy and guidance tools for supporting short-circuit economies that would enable adaptive governance, collaborative decision-making, and behavioural change towards resilient and sustainable European cities
Expected by: M36