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Charles-Albert FlorentinThe strategy of the EcoInnovation Cluster focuses on two main areas: the circular economy and smart cities. “In the field of the circular economy, we concentrate in particular on the reuse and recycling of plastics and of deconstruction waste,” says Charles-Albert Florentin, who joined Luxinnovation at the end of 2017 to take up the role as cluster manager. “Our work with smart cities has an emphasis on materials flows.”

Inter-cluster and cross-border themes

The interest in the circular economy extends far beyond the membership of the EcoInnovation Cluster. Three workshops on the use of plastics were organised during the year together with the Luxembourg Materials & Manufacturing Cluster, each gathering a large number of companies and public organisations. “If you want to change the way we use plastics, you have to take the whole value chain into account. We invited the Luxembourg players to exchange views and good practices on the eco-design, valorisation, recycling and depolymerisation of plastics in order to identify synergies and potential for cooperation among the participants,” Mr Florentin explains. “Several research and collaboration projects are now under discussion.”

The topic was also extended to the Greater Region through the cluster’s participation in the Interreg networking project Greater Green. “A market survey on the plastics sector in the Greater Region is currently being done and we expect new interregional collaborations to emerge in 2019,” says Mr Florentin.

With support from the Ministry of the Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development, the cluster also works hand in hand with the Luxembourg Institute of Technology (LIST) to create a market for secondary products and materials coming from building deconstruction. Concrete actions related to the distribution of second life products and materials will be implemented, at the Luxembourg and Greater Region level, in 2019.

New eco-district concepts

In the context of its work on smart cities, the EcoInnovation Cluster organised a series of workshops focusing on the reconversion of the Esch-Schifflange brownfield site into an eco-district managed by Agora. Luxembourg players were

invited to suggest new concepts related to the site’s energy, water and waste management as well as to permaculture and social inclusion. “The events were a success, and I thank everyone involved,” says Mr Florentin. “The cluster will follow up the evolution of the project in 2019 and reuse the results in other projects.”

Supporting the circular economy

The main challenge in 2019 will be to continue supporting the development of the circular economy in Luxembourg, in particular in the construction sector. “New eco-buildings and districts will emerge in the coming years, and the objective of the cluster is to help Luxembourg companies position themselves on this new market,” confirms Mr Florentin. “We will also continue the development of the Fit 4 Circularity programme. Managed by us with the support of the Ministry of the Economy, this programme aims to make the products and processes of Luxembourg companies more circular. We plan to expand it to larger target groups in order to help more firms take this essential step towards a sustainable future.”

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