On May 3, 2022, the first virtual Policy Learning Event on circular economy policies "Policy Going Circular. Exchange of Regional Best Practices Toward the Circular Economy." was coordinated and moderated by the scientific director of the project, Associate Professor Silvia Barbero, Politecnico di Torino.

The event hosted several invited speakers, regional and European policymakers, circular economy and systemic design experts, who addressed the four main topics on which the conference focused:

- The role of Managing Authorities in driving the Circular Economy in regional territories;

- The value of waste for the resilience of production cycles;

- Impact of Pandemic on Retrace outcomes. How COVID-19 impacted industry sustainability and GPs;

- Circular Economy and Climate Change. Territorial development to tackle the climate crisis.

Federico Porrà, Policy Officer Circular Economy at the European Commission, Directorate General for the Environment, presented the “European Action Plan for the Circular Economy” focusing on the value of waste for process resilience in sectors that use more resources and where the potential for circularity is highest.

Emilie Congiu-Balleste, Project Manager of Neo Terra, a regional roadmap dedicated to the energy and ecological transition in Nouvelle Acquitaine. She discussed the regional commitment, adopted since 2019, to transition to a regional circular economy that focuses on eleven key actions.

Tiziana dell'Olmo, Regional Officer of the Piedmont Region at the Directorate for the Competitiveness of the Regional System, presented the advancements and update of the Smart Specialization Strategy of Piedmont and in particular focused on the impact that the RETRACE project had on the update of the ROP of Piedmont, published in early 2022.

The invited speakers' panel discussions were joined by the speeches of the RETRACE regional partners members: Amina Pereno, PhD, Politecnico di Torino; Maria Txakartegi, Leartibai Fundazioa; Ovidiu Savu, North-East RDA. In addition, three experts responsible for three GPs of Circular Economy, particularly relevant at regional but also European level, with a high degree of transferability, contributed.

The event was an opportunity to show the first results of the project to the business stakeholders of the different European regions and to the local, regional, national public administration, promoting the systemic approach for an update of development and growth policies towards a circular economy that can also be the driver of recovery strategies, proposing innovative circular strategies to build more resilient European regions.

The second Virtual Policy Learning Event will celebrate on 15th June organized by Leartibai Fundazioa, centre of entrepreneurship and innovation located in The Basque Country, Spain.

For more information please check our project website.