CO-EFFICIENT is aiming to advance innovation and already available technologies for energy efficiency and use of renewable resources in operations and production processes of Mediterranean SMEs. In comparison to large companies, SMEs are generally slow to adopt energy efficient solutions as there is not enough communication and coordination between the R&D sector and SME systems, which evidently prevents technology and know-how transfer. The premise, on which this project is based, is that a permanent collaborative framework for energy efficiency and use of renewable resources linking SMEs, the R&D sector, as well as other institutional stakeholder in the Mediterranean area, will be able of improving collaboration between SMEs and the R&D sector and inducing important behavioural and technological changes in the field of energy efficient operations and production processes. The framework, applied in all partner countries through the establishment of local LL pilots, will coordinate cross-border living labs active in all partner countries and seek to involve R&D organisations, SMEs, and other stakeholders to co-create new solutions for better use of energy in production and operations.
The Living-lab framework will result in creation of user-centred, open innovation ecosystems based on a systematic user co-creation approach integrating research and innovation processes. It will be used to produce solutions to increase the energy efficiency of operations and production processes, reducing GHG and atmospheric pollutants emissions and foster the use of Renewable Energy Sources. The intention of the project is to create a permanent and sustainable collaborative framework that will continue with operations also after project ending, gradually also spreading to new regions and countries in the Mediterranean, but also beyond, according to the interests and connections of stakeholder.
Transnational value added of the CO-EFFICIENT project reflects through a coordinated action carried out by regional institutions deeply rooted in their territories and intensively interacting with each other in order to produce transnational synergies. The key strategy is identifying specific needs of SMEs in the MED area and providing key solutions to them in the form of customised work methods and supporting tools by linking them into a transnational framework.
The project's activities are organised in the following five work packages.
WP 1 - Administrative and financial management of the project / coordination of the partnership
Management and coordination of activities which assures the correct advancement and monitoring of the project from the financial, technical and strategic aspect.
WP 2 - Information, awareness raising and capitalisation
Communication activities implemented internally to assure the continuous flow of information among the partnership, and externally, to boost impacts and transferability of project's results to target groups, increase the stakeholder's awareness, disseminate outcomes and provide visibility to the project. The CO-EFFICIENT web portal is the key communication, dissemination and capitalisation tool closely linked to partner and pilot coordination.
WP 3 - Collaborative framework for energy efficient SME systems
Focused on the set-up of the framework and methodology for living lab creation it will build on the understanding that SMEs innovate in different ways than large enterprises and establish a collaborative framework by identifying and involving SMEs, R&D organisations, and other institutional stakeholders to provide a better innovation ecosystem for SMEs in the involved regions.
WP4 - eServices for energy efficient operations
Testing and development of eServices for SMEs in order to improve the energy efficiency of operations, especially in the context of supply chain relationships resulting in the set up of the first international living lab addressing three energy efficiency related fields: distributed planning and re-planning, business document exchange, and transport consolidation.
WP5 - Frame of reference for energy efficiency and use of renewable resources in production and operations
Second international living lab collaboratively developes a Frame of reference for energy efficiency and use of renewable resources in production and operations. It supports SMEs in the identification of key production processes and operations that could be improved as far as energy efficiency or the use of renewable resources is concerned. The Frame of reference will be comprised of a mapping methodology, indicators to monitor processes and procedures, benchmarks, and best-practice cases.