The Coolsweep project aimed to create synergy among 6 European regions, generate shared business opportunities and identify lines for joint innovation in the field of energy recovery.


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 globallycoordinating 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:

  • Global and regional analysis –Preparation of maps and prospective studies to identify regional strengths and weaknesses and the keys to demand in this market on the global level.
  • Strategy integration and cooperation – Definition of joint action strategies in new businessesR+D+i and international promotion.
  • Mentoring – Collaboration among regions to support the creation of new clusters in less advanced regions.


Waste to energy

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.



  1. (Coordinator) Oslo Renewable Energy and Environment Cluster OREEC – Norway
  2. Copenhagen Cleantech Cluster    CCC – Denmark
  3. Lombardy Energy Cluster   LEC – Italy
  4. Basque Environment Industry Cluster –  ACLIMA
  5. Umwelttechnik-Netzwerkbetriebs GmbH – ECO WORLD STYRIA ECO – Austria
  6. Danish Business Authority, Research and Analysis Division FORA – Denmark
  7. Riga Technical University, Institute of Energy Systems and Environment RTU – Latvia

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:

  • New cooperation models for international promotion
  • New waste classification and separation technologies
  • Optimisation of incineration and co-incineration processes
  • Recovery of new waste streams for biofuel production


Confronting the social rejection of energy recovery infrastructures was also on the agenda.

Different specialised activities in international promotion were also organised.

  1. WtE experts’ congress in Milan
  2. 3 direct missions: Canada / Kazakhstan / Latvia mission in the framework of ECOTECH fair
  3. Copenhagen International Conference
  4. And the Bilbao International Conference organised by Aclima in June, which was a success, with…
  • Over 160 registered participants (from 9 countries)
  • 30 speakers
  • 35 entities in the B2B encounters

Over 80 participants in the tours of reference installations in the Basque Country (ZABALGARBI, Galindo sludge ovens, TECNALIA experimental plants)


 Conclusion of the COOLSWEEP Project in 2015

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.