Industrial and urban symbiosis (IUS) involves collaborations among diverse actors and sectors that improve resource productivity and foster eco-innovations. IUS practices and networks are already operational in Sweden and clearly show how the concept enables competitive development of more circular and bio-based economies. Alongside, there are organisations and individuals with significant knowledge and experiences that can help advance new developments. However, there is still a large potential to scale up IUS practices and associated environmental, business and development benefits.
IUS practices hold a significant potential to create additional business-, environmental- and socio-economic-value, opportunities for productive utilisation of non-product outputs and other cross-sectoral collaborations are often inadequately explored and pursued. Therefore, scaling up IUS practices requires facilitation. Public and private actors that can facilitate IUS developments commonly exist in Swedish regions. These actors need to be motivated and should be assisted in gaining relevant knowledge and capabilities to serve as effective facilitators. However, today there is no structure that can provide knowledge-based support to a wide group of potential facilitators.
The Swedish Network for Industrial and Urban Symbiosis aims to assist practical development of IUS practices in Sweden by providing knowledge-based support to businesses, public bodies, and knowledge institutions and improving communication and cooperation among actors working with the concept.
Specific objectives of the network include:
- Facilitating knowledge and experience exchange among relevant actors and regions;
- Capacitating actors interested in supporting IUS development in local/regional contexts;
- Extracting and disseminating lessons from operational networks and/or development efforts;
- Conducting research in relevant fields and disseminating results to key actors;
- Raising awareness about Swedish IUS practices at national, nordic and international arenas.