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Introducing our project coordinator EUROPEAN DYNAMICS

Anastasia Garbi and Themis Kolyvas are the CIRCULOOS Project Coordinator at EUROPEAN DYNAMICS (ED)

EUROPEAN DYNAMICS specializes in delivering cutting-edge Information Technologies services and software solutions for e-government applications, operating on a global scale with a network of offices in cities including Athens, Berlin, Basel, Brussels, Copenhagen, London, Luxembourg, Nicosia, Stockholm, and more. The company excels in IT consulting, designing, marketing, and supporting software products in the realm of e-government, alongside offering outsourcing, SaaS, cloud, and managed services. By adopting the latest technologies, ED innovates in the development, support, and operation of complex IT systems and commercializes a broad spectrum of software products for e-government. The RnD department, which is the main contributor in this project, has developed a number of solutions for the manufacturing industry, security, energy and transport domains and has long experience in developing open data platforms and community building tools. These are available at https://www.eurodyn.com/rd-2/rnd-products-and-services/.

You play a dual role within the CIRCULOOS project. Could you elaborate on your involvement and the project’s objectives?

As both the project coordinator and a technical partner, EUROPEAN DYNAMICS leverages its extensive management experience and technical expertise in the CIRCULOOS project. Our primary responsibility involves expanding the capabilities of RAMP and MPMS to incorporate advanced circular economy concepts seamlessly and provide an environment to integrate the other applications and services that are needed to transform the industry to circular. Furthermore, we are leading the change in developing a cyber-secure and trustworthy data-sharing framework. Our efforts extend to driving the project’s exploitation and spearheading the establishment of a Digital Innovation Hubs (DIH) network, aiming to pioneer solutions that enhance sustainability and promote circular economy principles across various sectors.

How does EUROPEAN DYNAMICS aim to foster a circular economy with its reference architecture?

Our reference architecture prioritises a closed-loop system that fosters stakeholder collaboration and utilises data-driven insights for decision-making. The goal is to create a circular economy framework that encourages the formation of circular value chains for implementing the so-called R-strategies, facilitating efficient communication, and streamlined decision-making processes to reduce waste and ensure the prolonged lifecycle of products, especially at the end of life.  This initiative aims to illustrate how the traditional linear models can be transformed into sustainable circular systems, benefiting both the environment and the economy and promoting innovation in product development and manufacturing industry.

What specific challenges do you foresee in orchestrating and integrating circular supply chain operations?

First, we understand that convincing commercial entities to change their normal way of operations is a challenge by itself. When we talk about small business especially the problem becomes even harder because these companies usually lack the manpower, skillset or day-to-day resources needed to make the transition to something new.

Second, we are putting together an ecosystem that needs to cooperate under novel ways, by sharing data and exposing production processes, which were so far considered business silos and/or even business secrets.

All this is completely understandable, especially when put in context – an international highly competitive market. This of course doesn’t mean that the game is lost before it starts! We have a full strategy in place that will be deployed in three phases: as a first step we create technical tools and deploy them in real life situations to demonstrate how they are used in each situation at hand, and we demonstrate that data is power not only inside the factory floor but also across the value chain. We demonstrate this with early pilots which work with us to define, develop, showcase and measure this potential. As a second step we scale up the pilot implementations through our Open Call Experiments where we ask other pilots to join us and validate their concepts and our tools, and finally we have a comprehensive upskilling program to effectively onboard the more reluctant entities through a guided process.

What is your future vision of the project? 

We envisage CIRCULOOS as the first step to enabling the circular supplies chains formation at a larger scale. We start by understanding the requirements that hinder today this supply chain collaboration, and we delivering the main set of functionalities that enable businesses in a supply chain to interact and coordinate their production schedules by aligning emerging technologies which allow to share data among business counterparts in a controlled and secure environment, the democratization of complex LCA and LCCA measurments across value chains and other technologies that fill in existing gaps and most importantly we tie all these into a marketplace which is able to bring together the partners of the value chain and form successful novel businesses. This is a crucial first step because it means that (a) small businesses acquire the culture of collaboration with entities they didn’t know until now and (b) reintroducing resources like production waste or by-products to the manufacturing process is not just another option, but an integral part of operations and c) empowering the regional businesses with innovation and greener production processes. Building on this baseline we want to dive deeper into the business challenges of different sectors and address business decisions that affect the optimal use of resources, while being competitive against less sustainability-aware areas of the world.

How will the circular economy change the manufacturing sector?

Although CIRCULOOS focuses mainly on manufacturing SMEs, you can see directly from wood pilot that there is inevitably some common ground with other industry sectors. This is nothing more than an indication that when discussing circular practices there can be no isolation between industries and stakeholders. This constitutes an important mindshift for current production or construction practices. Moving away from more traditional supply models actors now need to think broader. The right resources for them may not be in the usual places, where they used to buy virgin material, but could be found in new and unexpected partnerships. We feel that CIRCULOOS is able to create such examples of new and unexpected partnerships, which, even if they don’t reshape the industry, can definitely inspire new and eager players in the market!