ECO industrial park network for the Alpine Regions Leveraging smart and Circular Economy
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Industrial Parks suffer from an image of polluters, but also from increasing energy costs and a lack of knowledge about the circular economy approach. ECOLE wants to change this to accelerate the transition to a circular and resource-efficient industry in the Alps. To achieve this, the project will establish a systemic thinking community model, including policy recommendations as well as action plans prepared by local communities to integrate circular economy in their local industrial sites. Ultimately, ECOLE will contribute to transforming industrial parks in the Alps into more circular, resilient and sustainable eco-industrial parks, better prepared to face climate and economic crises.


  • 2021 – 2027
  • Carbon neutral and resource sensitive Alpine region
  • SO 2.2 - Promoting the transition to a circular and resource efficient economy
    • AG1 Research & innovation
  • 11/2022
  • 10/2025
  • 2.591.200 EUR
  • 1.943.400 EUR


ECOLE will help to solve problems Industrial Parks (IPs) face to become integrated circular Eco- Industrial Parks (EIP), i.e for industries to introduce at all levels the principles of the circular economy (CE). Indeed, this challenge affects in particular industries, but also infrastructure providers, public authorities, sectoral agencies, business support organisations (BSO), which deal with and provide services to EIP (energy, waste/ sewage collection, development and support) in the Alpine region. In fact, IPs suffer from an image of polluters, but also from the increasing cost of energy/production inputs and lack of knowledge on integration of CE approach both in the value chain, and in daily activities.

To change this, cooperation is central because only a systemic change will speed up the transition to a circular and resource efficient industry in the Alps. This is why working together with industries, infrastructure providers, public authorities, sectoral agencies, BSO and universities, ECOLE will provide IPs a CE integrated approach both for their value chains and their support functions.

To achieve this, we will use the community approach and establish a systemic thinking community model (STCM), which will co-design action plans to implement collected tools in the pilot sites. We will start by delivering the community model for EIP after reviewing different frameworks, policies and tools. Local communities will prepare their action plans to integrate CE in their sites. We will then develop a set of solutions, promote them together with actualised action plans. Finally, we will recommend adaptation of policies and strategies to speed up the adoption of the CE principles in EIP.

In three years of cooperation we expect to transform industrial parks into more circular, resilient and sustainable EIP in the Alps, able to face climate and economic crises.


Consorzio ZAI Interporto Quadrante Europa (Lead partner)
  • Lead partner
  • Italy
  • Veneto (ITH3)
  • Verona
Trieste Economic Development Agency
  • Italy
  • Friuli-Venezia Giulia (ITH4)
  • Trieste
Development agency Sora Ltd.
  • Slovenia
  • Zahodna Slovenija (SI04)
  • Škofja Loka
Regional Development agency of the Ljubljana
  • Slovenia
  • Zahodna Slovenija (SI04)
  • Ljubljana
Energy and Innovation centre of WEIZ
  • Austria
  • Steiermark (AT22)
  • Weiz
Wirtschaftsagentur Burgenland GmbH
  • Austria
  • Burgenland (AT11)
  • Eisenstadt
Landshut University of Applied Sciences
  • Germany
  • Niederbayern (DE22)
  • Landshut
Italian-German Chamber of Commerce
  • Germany
  • Oberbayern (DE21)
  • Munich
Grenoble-Alps Metropole
  • France
  • Rhône-Alpes (FRK2)
  • Grenoble
  • France
  • Rhône-Alpes (FRK2)
  • Bellignat
Lombardy Foundation for the Environment
  • Italy
  • Lombardia (ITC4)
  • Milano
TUM International GmbH
  • Germany
  • Oberbayern (DE21)
  • Munich
  • 45.417040910.9270576
  • 45.649648513.7772781
  • 46.1639070514.306674164430577
  • 46.0493114.460760009231374
  • 47.215317515.630937950000003
  • 47.830380316.53244757088359
  • 48.5562781512.197818522803118
  • 48.1299611.5309879
  • 45.18874315.7391967
  • 46.25058535.6313305
  • 45.4892079.1936874
  • 48.157175111.5513352


  • A Systemic thinking community (STC) model for the integration of circular economy (CE) in industrial parks

    The STC model will be based on the circular and smart city approach, structured in a way to enable industrial parks to face complex challenges and multiple interests/influences. Built upon the benchmark of different community models, it will combine elements taken from circular economy, smart city&EIPs development. It will also contain other projects’ outputs proven valid, integrated with fundamentals from policies & strategies in the Alps and in Europe, which impact CE and Eco Industrial Parks.

  • Guideline for Circular economy principles in Eco Industrial Parks in the Alps: pilot actions report

    The output will relate the pilots' experimentation in the selected industrial parks (10). Action plans prepared by the local STCs will be implemented using the relevant toolkit chosen in WP1. Specific key performance indicators (KPI) will be set for the different pilot actions types integrating the CE approach such as governance, digitisation, energy efficiency, value & supply chain. They should be all kept in the systemic, circular & resilient thinking approach.

  • Alpine set of jointly developed solutions for industry stakeholders combined with policy and strategy recommendations to boost the circular economy transition in Alpine industry

    The Alpine set of solutions and the updated actions plans will provide concrete solutions based on pilot actions (WP1 & 2) for EIP but also sectoral agencies, supporting SMEs & enterprises in their transition. They will be directly targeted to the industry stakeholders, while the recommendations on CE and industries will be directed to policy makers at different levels (from local to transnational). They will focus on the upscale CE in industries in a systemic approach supported by STC network.

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    04 - 05 Jul 2023
    Transnational Partners Meeting in Ljubljana
    Project: ECOLE
    ECOLE Transnational partners meeting in Ljubljana
    24 - 25 Jan 2023
    Kick-Off Meeting in Verona
    Project: ECOLE
    ECOLE Project Kick-off meeting in Verona