Considerable funds sourced in Axis 1 (Research & Innovation) of the ERDF Lombardy Regional Operational Program (ROP) 2014-20 have been assigned to 33 beneficiaries by the call “R&I HUB”. The total amount of the assigned grants is as high as 114 M€, corresponding to 12% of the resources available for the whole ROP. Considering also the additional resources from the beneficiaries, total investment surpasses 250 M€.

Each beneficiary consists in fact of a partnership that mandatorily includes SME’s, big enterprises and Research Centers. This condition aims at favouring technological transfer between academia and enterprises.

The call has been closed last October and, since then, the approval of the resulting 33 Partnership Agreements has been carried out until lately.

The funded projects are framed in the 9 Smart Specialization Areas of the Lombardy RIS3: among these, the “Eco-industry/Environment” area was awarded a good bunch of 5 projects, totaling 18.4 M€ of grants that contribute to a total investment of 41.7 M€. In detail, the selected projects are:

1) PRINCE - PET Repolymerization Italian Network Compact Extrusion (partnership leader: Istituto Italiano dei Plastici s.r.l.)

2) FANGHI - Advanced techniques for the management of sewage sludge in an innovative Lombardian hub (partnership leader: A2A Ambiente s.p.a.)

3) LombHe@t - Lombardian energy hub (partnership leader: A2A Calore & Servizi s.p.a.)

4) BIOMASS HUB - BIOMethAne for a Sustainable Society: development of an Italian Circular Economy lab for biomethane (partnership leader: Agromatrici s.r.l.)

5) CE4WE - Circular Economy for Water and Energy: energy supply and water resources management in a Circular Economy perspective (partnership leader: University of Pavia)

Biomass and plastic sectors, both mapped in CircE as promising sectors for the transition from linear to circular economy, are represented in three out of the five selected projects. Congratulations to the winners!