Project summary

Circular economy (CE) is essential for the future of Europe due to the lack of raw materials and to the evolving environmental problems. REPLACE -REgional PoLicy Actions for Circular Economy- has the goal of integrating, deploying and capitalizing on lessons learnt through the H2020 project SCREEN by engaging policy-makers and managing authorities with the common objective of improving Regional Operational Programmes (ROPs) to enhance CE performances, aligning with the European Commission's Circular Economy Action Plan.

REPLACE aims at improving management, implementation and monitoring of regional policy instruments targeted at facilitating the transition towards a CE, while boosting sustainable development: the main operative target refers to the development and application of policies and actions focusing on identification, valorization, assessment and financing of circular value chains, resulting in new local and interregional projects. REPLACE will develop a replicable framework for regional benchmark on circularity excellence level.

REPLACE wants to fulfil a synergic use of funding for CE, connected to RIS3, to enhance innovation and competitiveness, as well as economic and employment performances while increasing effectiveness of policy instruments.
In fact, REPLACE has an innovative horizontal cross-cutting approach, not focusing on one or more specific aspects of CE, but dealing with the lack of an effective and shared strategy for CE at regional level.


from 1 Aug 2019
to 31 Jul 2023

Environment and resource efficiency

What policy instruments does the project address?

The policy instrument aims at supporting regional companies to engage in the 7 thematic areas of specialization of the RIS3 to accelerate the shift towards a circular and sustainable economic model.

The main target is to assist the competitive repositioning of the regional industry by financing projects promoting innovation while opening global perspectives, with policies and actions focusing on upgrading the industrial capabilities (i.e. financing and investments, cooperation between industrial and research sectors).
Which partners are working on this?
  • Lazio Region
The policy instrument has been changed due to the finalization of the previous programming period 2014-2020.

HWWI and City of Hamburg will influence the Policy Instrument 'Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg: Hamburg Climate Plan - Priority Axis 2 Reduction of CO2 Emissions - thematic objective 4'

Hamburg's new ERDF programme pays tribute to the goals of the Regional Innovation Strategy III and the Hamburg Climate Plan. Both papers were developed in a broad participatory process together with representatives from business, science and society and are an essential basis for government action in Hamburg.
Hamburg decides to address the Hamburg Climate Plan of 2019 as its policy instrument, because the HCP is updated on a regular basis and not depending on funding periods. It is therefore a more flexible instrument with greater leverage, which can be more easily influenced by project results.

Launched in 2015, the HCP sets the goals to reduce the city’s CO2 emission by 80% by 2050 and is the core political instrument for holistically steering subordinated regulations in all sectors:  it influences finance instruments, transport and mobility planning, the port development plan, land use plans, public procurement procedures, waste management, all construction measures in design, building phase, technical specifications, energy consumption in construction and operation phases.

The Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg is a so-called City State, that is, it is not only a city but – like Berlin as well – one of the sixteen German states (“Bundesland”) and – on the European level – a NUTS 1 and 2 region.

The Hamburg Climate Plan is thus a regional development policy.

Said climate plan is the most comprehensive document within Hamburg outlining the transition to sustainability.

The city has a long history in climate planning, reaching back until the 1990s. 

The Hamburg Climate Plan of 2015 (and its update from 2019) is the first one integrating both mitigation and adaptation. Climate planning in Hamburg follows an adaptive management approach: Linear planning and forecasting methods asking questions under constant (environmental and societal) conditions seem highly inadequate vis-à-vis climate change.

Rather, climate planning in Hamburg follows the circular logic: develop, implement, monitor, adjust. Based on this methodological understanding of climate planning, the Climate Coordination Office at the Hamburg Ministry for the Environment recently presented an update to the Hamburg government in December, 2019

Which partners are working on this?
  • Hamburg Institute of International Economics
The main objective is to develop new efficient policy instruments to achieve sustainable development in the Region by fully exploiting circular economy and its substantial potential.

REPLACE tools and benchmark methodology allow to monitor and to study the results of current actions in the field of circular economy, enabling a virtuous assessment and review loop of the most suitable and profitable policy instruments.

The improvement of the ROP is targeted at increasing economic competitiveness, improving living conditions of local and regional communities by supporting the development of circular businesses and the transition of the productive sector while increasing interregional cooperation and enhancing internationalization.
Which partners are working on this?
  • North-East Regional Development Agency
The Agenda addresses current social challenges in numerous fields, such as: water, renewable sources, food and health. It builds on existing qualities and knowledge to realize innovative solutions for regional economic development. Even if circular economy is a relatively new spearhead, a growing group of business municipalities, knowledge institutes and local governments are aware and support the need for a change in the economic model to assure a more resilient future.

The policy instrument is enhanced and upgraded through the addition of circular economy as a crosscutting theme to foster and produce sustainable economic development in our territory.
In fact, Fryslân is committed to bring an ambitious contribution toward the global goal of handling efficiently both natural resources and raw materials.

Moreover, we consider the transition toward a circular economy as a great opportunity for our SMEs to grow, earn money and create new jobs by embracing this new business model.
Fryslân is a compact region endowed with a transparent economic structure in which business players know each other. This characteristic allows and helps the closure of loops. Fryslân possesses strong knowledge bases on agriculture and water: these are important pillars in our Northern Innovation Agenda and are also very relevant for the transition.
Which partners are working on this?
  • Province of Fryslân
The objective of the ROP is to increase the competitiveness of Lodzkie region while ensuring, in parallel, the improvement of living conditions for its inhabitants by securing a sustainable and circular development.

The implementation of circular economy is expected to benefit both companies and inhabitants through the generation of
new growth opportunities in terms of jobs, safer and more ecological investments and ideas.

The main improvement of the policy instrument reflects the
need for more flexible and synergic policy actions capable of meeting the demands of the SMEs to reach the dual objectives of improving competitiveness while activating circular value chains, leading to sustainable growth. 
Which partners are working on this?
  • Lodzkie Region
The ROP addresses circular economy by supporting the implementation of collaborative research and innovation in the field of ecological transition; and, by sustaining both the creation of innovative circular companies and the transition of existing industries and value-chains.

The enhancement of the ROP will focus on improving efficiency of call for proposals dedicated to circular economy, and on the implementation and support of cross-regional value chains to internationalize the economy.
Which partners are working on this?
  • Nexa - regional agency for investment development and innovation
The ROP is oriented toward the reinforcement of competitiveness and the creation of job, supporting a knowledge-driven and sustainable society. In this context, the transition towards a circular economy is a priority. 

Although circular economy interests all domains of the society, it is clear that no positive outcome can be reached without the collaboration of the enterprises.
In fact, the improvement of the ROP will focus on the priority axis dedicated to the SMEs, introducing  important stimuli for their transition toward the circular economic model.

In addition, Centro firmly believes that it is essential to
combine the diverse regional potentialities in order to reach a tangible shift, fully supporting REPLACE objective of capitalizing on cross regional circular synergies by supporting the implementation of cross-regional circular value chains.
Which partners are working on this?
  • Centro Region commission for coordination and development
The ROP aims at boosting sustainable economic development and creating job opportunities, supporting regional employment and helping SMEs in becoming more competitive, innovative and circular; accordingly to the Regional Innovation Smart Specialization Strategy (RIS3) 

The ROP will be improved by inserting
circular economy dedicated actions while adopting more efficient procedures to align the policy instruments with the real needs of the industrial and business sectors, enhancing policy efficacy while boosting the shift toward the circular model.
Which partners are working on this?
  • Crete Region