Material management is recognized by European policymakers as a mean of decreasing impacts of waste and reducing raw material inputs to the economy (Directive 2008/98/EC). Many recycling initiatives reached a plateau of using existing product cycles and recovery technology. Still, there are key waste streams and materials that need to be further addressed due to the difficulty (cost and complexity) of recycling them, their large volume and their carbon footprint.

This challenge is stressed in the Balkan Med region, where the economic crisis is still present, controlling costs is a key target, and new growth options for the regional economies and societies are sought after. For example, the added value from efficient waste management in the region, such as material and energy cost savings, is currently not always realized because stakeholders do not possess a clear view of opportunities (e.g. industrial symbiosis schemes) and indirect gains (e.g. climate mitigation potential).

a set of new algorithms will provide core intelligence for
technical and financial matching of supply and demand

To that end, the overall objective for SWAN is the creation of an innovative Balkan Med ecosystem that will develop locally and manage transnationally value chains for solid waste. It will be comprised of two parts (which sum up the project’s main outputs): a) a digital ecosystem of four IT platforms (one for each country represented in the consortium), which will separately map and collectively match solid waste sources and flows in the region. A set of new algorithms will provide core intelligence for technical and financial matching of supply and demand, incorporating viable business models; b) an industrial ecosystem of industries in the Balkans that produce and use solid waste. They will use the SWAN digital ecosystem for exploiting new recycling opportunities that may not be economically viable locally but make financial and social sense transnationally.

Our approach is thus ambitious but reflects the high profile of the partners. For example, high-profile dissemination and sustainability activities will be undertaken by the two Ministries of Environment, and the LP will provide a unique waste management facility for test/pilot purposes. As a result, we foresee a range of beneficiaries: a) resource policy makers will develop relevant strategies, quality protocols and policy instruments for savings and profit opportunities; b) waste producers and collectors will identify ways to recover value; c) industrial firms will recover material opportunities to source suitable substitutes and to achieve positive CO2 abatement; d) the wider society may see job creation, ranging from IT support for the four IT platforms, to new SMEs that will enter the resulting waste management value chains.

Hence, the new and unique added value of the project is the development of the SWAN ecosystems, the development of environmental policies and strategies for improved solid waste management, and an implementation of a pilot value chain in the region of Attica.



About Interreg INTERREG Balkan-Mediterranean 2014-2020

“INTERREG Balkan-Mediterranean 2014-2020” is a new cooperation Programme, deriving from both the strong will of the “BalkanMed” participating countries to promote cooperation in the area and the split of the “South East Europe 2007-2013″. The Programme brings together five (5) countries, three (3) EU member states (Bulgaria, Cyprus and Greece) and two (2) candidate countries, Albania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

It is the first time ever that the European cooperation addresses the Balkan Peninsula and the Eastern Mediterranean Sea together, in a joint effort across maritime and terrestrial borders, to contribute to the “EU 2020” strategy, for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth”.

The BalkanMed Programme is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) with 28.330.108,00 Euros. The total support from the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) fund accounts for 5.126.138,00 Euros.

Therefore, the total budget of the Programme, including national contribution, is 39.727.654,00 Euros.
BalkanMed is focused on addressing two key challenges: territorial competitiveness and environment. Accordingly, the Programme is built upon the following two Priority Axes:
– Priority Axis 1: “Entrepreneurship & Innovation”
– Priority Axis 2: “Environment”

Find out more about… Interreg