The region of Brussels-Capital (BE) and the Province of Noord-Brabant (NL) were recognised in the 10th AER Regional Innovation Award on 30 November in the framework of the series of events on “Investing in the future: new perspectives for the regions”. The award ceremony was hosted by BNP Paribas Fortis and handed over by the AER President Dr Hande Özsan Bozatli and Mr Jean-Luc Vanraes, President of AER Committee on Economy and regional development. In this edition, the Award aimed at recognising initiatives in the field of circular economy.
The jury decided to recognise two projects in the framework of the Regional Innovation Award:
2016 AER Regional Innovation Award
to Brussels-Capital Region (BE)
for the initiative “Brussels Regional Program for a Circular Economy (BRPCE)”
2016 Special Recognition prize
to the Province of Noord-Brabant (NL)
for the initiative “Green Chemistry Campus: Biorizon’s Waste2Aromatics”
Congratulations to the winning regions. The Regional Innovation Award is at the heart of AER’s constant effort to promote regional initiatives and to expand the knowledge sharing across the continent.
Brussels-capital leading on circular economy
The programme is a regional integrated strategy of 111 co-piloted measures covering both transversal, governance, territorial and sectorial topics for delivering circular patterns at city level.
European cities clearly expressed a need for developing a broader and more coherent vision (inclusive approach) that covers all key resources and support actions while fixing priorities and setting measurable targets for delivering circular patterns within cities.
The BRPCE offer a direct answer to this by providing an integrated economic strategy englobing 111 measures for delivering circularity at city level. It’s the first public/private bottom-up initiative of this size implicating 3 different regional ministries, 15 different publics administrations, and more than 200 local stakeholders.
Noord-Brabant accelerating biobased innovation
The Green Chemistry Campus, on the premises of SABIC in Bergen op Zoom, is a business accelerator for developing biobased building blocks for the chemical industry. The Campus enhances the success rate of biobased entrepreneurs and thus contributes to the realisation of a biobased economy.
One of the programs at the Campus is Shared Research Center Biorizon, initiated by TNO (Netherlands) and VITO (Flanders). It’s aim is to develop technologies to produce aromatics from organic waste. Aromatics are one of the main feedstocks of the chemical industry, constituting 40% of the total market. Currently, these are exclusively produced from fossil sources, generating considerable CO2 emissions. Biobased aromatics reduce dependence on petroleum, lead to lower CO2 emissions, enable the transition to a circular economy and offer profitable and sustainable prospects for the chemical industry and its supply chain.
One of the projects in Biorizon focuses on turning waste into valuable raw materials for the chemical industry. Biodegradable waste, nappies, compost and sieving material is converted to aromatic compounds, such as those used in the production of plastics. This innovative Waste2Aromatics project, a consortium of 12 companies, will bring the commercial production of cost-competitive bio-aromatics, along with the circular economy, significantly closer.
For more information:
Regional Innovation Award winner:
Circular Economy Advisor
Ministry of Environment
Head of Department “Economic transition”
Brussels Environment Public Administration
Special recognition prize:
Dennis van der Pas
Manager Green Chemistry Campus & member of steering committee Biorizon
+31 (0)6 51 35 99 94