Industrial Symbiosis to use production wastes as resources. Case study in Frankfurt am Main

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The Objective

The objective of this project was to develop a concept for an industrial cluster in the region of Frankfurt.

The main focus was on the big industries existing in the region and understand what kind of needs do these big corporates have in their production processes, what kind of raw materials do they use and how can an exchange of waste/ second raw materials between the industries be managed

Several solutions and recommendations on the self-sustainable and financially independent cluster in Frankfurt have been given. A multi-sector approach based on the assumptions of the circular economy has been found to be an optimal solution.

How was systems innovation tools and techniques applied?

A lot of brainstorming was conducted within the whole project lifespan. It was done via Skype calls. In the initial step, there was an urgent need to do preliminary research about area, region, topic, etc in order to narrow down the challenge and formulate the idea clearly. At the beginning, the idea was to implement a multi-sectoral approach, investigate different sectors, their individual impact on the environment and try to find possible ways to connect them. Later, after a progress meeting with the challenge owner, we focused on a single sector (Chemical industry) and circular economy.

During our personal team meeting (2 members in Bonn connected via Skype with 3 others in Frankfurt) the Pentagonal problem tool was applied and discussed in detail. This allowed us to understand more clearly our position and the exact role in the project. However, the most difficult task at this point was to make a concrete problem statement due to its complexity and multiple actors/levels involved.

Later, the Actor Tree was created individually by each group member and then discussed during the group call. This tool was taken into account at the later stage of the project due to several changes in the concept towards sustainable innovation cluster. When dealing with the Actor Tree, most actors were already identified in previous research and therefore quite easily allocated on the tool. The tool helped us to synthesize the role of cluster members, partners and other contributors.

What are the outcomes of your group project? 

  1. Characteristics of climate change in the region of Frankfurt
  2.  Analysis of different sectors of economy and their impact on climate change.
  3. Key features of successful cluster
  4. Applied circular economy examples in the region of Frankfurt.
  5. Recommendation for the sustainable innovation cluster

Full presentation can be download below.

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