Some time ago we told you about the European Green Deal, which was strongly supported by the von der Leyen Commission from the beginning of its mandate. This European call, through the 10 thematic areas in which it is subdivided, aims to finance projects that, by taking concrete form in every sphere of the European economy, will profoundly change the negative impact that production activities and the lifestyle of citizens have on the environment, with the ambitious goal of achieving climate neutrality. To give you an idea of the great socio-economic impact that the projects funded by the Green Deal can have on Europe’s future, we will now provide a brief description of the projects in which we have been involved by our international partners.
JO Group's contribution to the Green Deal: digital solutions for consumers and the circular economy
The thematic areas of the European Green Deal call for proposals in which our European project team was involved are:
SYMBIOTICS: circular economy for the textile industry
In the sector of Area 3, we were involved in the realisation of the SYMBIOTICS project “A Systemic Methodology to Build Integrated and Optimized Textile Industry Circularity Solutions” which proposes a systemic circular economy solution for the textile industry, the second most polluting industry in the world, whose circularity potential in Europe has not yet been exploited. Based on the achievements of the consortium members in similar projects, SYMBIOTICS proposes a holistic and integrated approach that simultaneously addresses opportunities, challenges, barriers and market and policy failures in the field of circular economy. The transnational partnership composed of 23 organisations from Romania, Spain, Italy, France, Belgium, Germany and Greece, will also develop a demonstration pilot using sustainable natural fibres (hemp) and recycled fibres, as well as several digital platforms for networking among the main actors of the value chain through B2B and B2C marketplaces to enable an efficient recycling process. Based on the experience developed by IPPO Engineering in the field of gamification as a tool to educate communities, regardless of age and social status, it will aim to generate, in correlation with the activities organised by the municipalities and regional authorities involved in the project, an important cultural and behavioural change within society.
BE FIRST the project for the sustainability of the food industry
In the context of Area 10, our PMF Research participated by trying to develop technological solutions that would make the population aware of increasingly green behaviour. One of these project ideas was “BE FIRST – Behavioural Food Impact Reducing for Sustainability of Tomorrow“, a transnational partnership made up of 24 European countries, in which our company conceived a digital solution to provide users with useful advice to change their habits, raising awareness on more conscious forms of purchasing, on a healthy diet and on waste reduction, all through a gamified approach, an original and effective expedient to stimulate their interest and motivation. The most suitable digital format (online platform, web or mobile app, etc.) and the creation of specific tools (discussion areas, personal behaviour diaries, challenges, etc.) will be decided after the research phase, in order to provide a real solution based on the users’ needs. This digital solution will involve not only consumers, but also other relevant actors in the food sector, such as farms, restaurants, shops, civil society organisations, as well as institutions. Indeed, people’s behaviours are only the first step towards a larger scale change: new consumer behaviours will drive change in food production, supply chains, food policies and waste reduction. In this perspective, the digital solution proposed by PMF Research will represent a kind of international network, both for consumers, in order to change their behaviour in a green perspective, and for companies and commercial realities, so that they can get the opportunity to improve their business through discounts and collective awareness campaigns.
DECIDE-UP: Democratising the ecological transition
Another project in area 10 is Decide-Up, which aims at the active participation of citizens at all stages of the transition to a green economy. The active support of citizens is required for issues of considerable complexity, such as the choice of energy sources, attitudes towards the bio-economy, water management, the rural-urban divide, the digital divide, etc. The much-vaunted participatory processes need the active involvement of citizens from different social groups, from different sectors of society and from different sectors of society. The much-vaunted participatory processes need the active involvement of citizens from different social groups, different generations and different backgrounds, including those living in more vulnerable conditions or belonging to less privileged social groups. A series of real and virtual co-creation activities and events could enable these processes, improving the dissemination of knowledge and information and encouraging debate. Launching bottom-up processes implies that citizens’ knowledge and expectations are considered, assessed and appreciated, and that a collective learning process is initiated, involving them in discussions and exchanges requiring technical, scientific and managerial knowledge considered important to trigger the knowledge co-creation process and achieve the objective of maximum participation. VITECO proposes in this project the development of a digital platform that will allow the active involvement of citizens in processes of co-creation and co-implementation of transition paths, including the activation of citizens through peer learning sessions. Real arenas for public discussion on environmental issues.
Upcoming European calls on Green issues
Although it is no longer possible to submit projects for the Green Deal call for proposals, as the period for submitting new proposals ended on 26 January, environmental issues will certainly be central to the new Horizon Europe programme, so there will be other opportunities to turn your green idea into a European project. And no doubt JO Consulting’s experience and expertise would be very useful to you in order to aspire to have your idea funded.