The COOLSWEEP project started up by 5 European clusters belonging to the ICN (International Cleantech Network) had the mission of promoting cooperation among different regions in order to create a leading international sector specialising in reusing waste as a sustainable energy source and efficiently using the by-products generated by this conversion process, thus contributing to the dual objective formulated in the Europe 2020 strategy: to turn Europe into a sustainable economy while creating jobs based on the efficient use of its resources.
The project presented a series of challenges such as achieving a critical mass in order to compete globally, coordinating efforts in research and innovation among regions that have identified common objectives and improving the lines of financing for both the start-up of new business ideas and the activity proper to already established companies.
The COOLSWEEP project was implemented in different phases throughout 2013, 2014 and 2015:
Different technological areas related to the conversion of waste into thermal or electrical energy were contemplated in the framework of the project, including those areas enabling the recovery of the biodegradable fraction contained in waste (anaerobic digestion, dumpsite degasification) and waste separation technologies. Account was also taken of energy vectors such as biogas, biofuels, hydrogen or district heating and the use of by-products such as compost, CO2, ash, water from treatments, etc.
During the project, Aclima conducted different activities. A roadmap was established to promote cooperation between the companies, research centres and universities of the participating regions in 4 areas:
Confronting the social rejection of energy recovery infrastructures was also on the agenda.
Different specialised activities in international promotion were also organised.
Over 80 participants in the tours of reference installations in the Basque Country (ZABALGARBI, Galindo sludge ovens, TECNALIA experimental plants)
Apart from the results proper to the activities implemented throughout the project, participation in this European cooperation initiative, for Aclima, has spelled out a series of intangible benefits that, indeed, have materialised in specific opportunities, such as:
The consolidation of a stable collaboration platform providing access to European companies, universities and technological centres, positioning us in turn as an agent of reference in the Basque Country for seeking partners and allies in European projects and initiatives, and serving as the core for the creation of the Waste4Think project consortium approved in H2020, with a return of 8 million euro by way of subsidy.
Positioning Aclima as a reference in the field of energy recovery from waste, thanks to the international conference on “Waste as a Resource” organised in June in Bilbao, where over 160 delegates from 9 different countries participated, making us known and adding new partners in the waste-to-energy chain.