After the project was extended for one year in October 2019, three more actions were added to the original five,
which will be worked on in a focussed manner:
- Creation of four thematic working groups (plastics recycling, sustainable construction, water management and smart green energy)
- Execution of a feasibility study for a joint trade fair presentation of environmental technology in the Greater Region
- Continuation beyond the end of EU funding
The GREATER GREEN metacluster is organised centrally to ensure the effective allocation of tasks and responsibilities as well as the coordination and administration. Lead partner Environmental Campus Birkenfeld acts as the central office that oversees the whole project and ensures the regional coordination of the Rhineland-Palatinate metacluster. The project partners manage the regional coordination offices and ensure the flow of information between the member clusters and GREATER GREEN. Their relay function is crucial for the success of GREATER GREEN.
The lean governance structure of the GREATER GREEN metacluster covers the heterogeneous range of topics. The core team, consisting of the cluster manager, a communications assistant and the regional managers, meets regularly every four weeks to monitor all cluster processes. The cluster manager is the central contact for partners, funding providers and decision makers. She chairs the core team meetings and the annual monitoring committee meetings. At these occasions, regular information is provided on current political and economic developments related to the environmental technology sector and the Greater Region. In addition, the on-going development of the project and the monitoring of its progress are carried out here. The development of concrete options for action is also the responsibility of the metacluster management and the regional coordination offices. The core team is supported by the member cluster managers, who are regularly involved in GREATER GREEN meetings as strategic partners and form the extended working group of GREATER GREEN. This working group meets three times a year, rotating between all partner regions and hosted primarily by the member clusters.
Press and public relations work, which is carried out by the cluster manager in cooperation with the regional coordination offices and the project assistant, ensures the awareness and visibility of the cluster and its members. Publications, press releases, flyers, brochures and other specific information material are regularly published to promote the metacluster. The team is also in charge of the structure, further development and maintenance of the GREATER GREEN website the updating of information on social media (e.g. Facebook and Twitter).
GREATER GREEN generates the necessary attention and visibility through various marketing activities and events, which are supported by professional external and internal communication.
The aim is to analyse the environmental technology sector in the Greater Region with its value chains, its specific characteristics, its geographical expansion and its flagship projects. The existing data, strategies, company databases and roadmaps of the member clusters serve as a suitable basis for harmonising the various services and expansion stages of the clusters. The study, which also includes the different legal forms, membership forms and contribution modalities, highlights where GREATER GREEN can create synergies by formulating offers to the member clusters which they themselves do not provide. In addition, gaps or complementarities in the value chains for water, recycling, biomass, sustainable building, solar and wind energy are becoming evident. It becomes clear where clusters should usefully network in order to increase the visibility of the industry as a whole.
Marketing is the central element of GREATER GREEN, aiming primarily to boost the utilization of existing potentials in environmental technology in the Greater Region. During the 2nd and 3rd project year, marketing and publicity measures as well as the events promoting GREATER GREEN as the GreenTech network of the Greater Region will be intensified.
Creation of a homepage www.greater-green.eu
With the start of the project, a trilingual (German, French and English) homepage will be created in order to disseminate information on environmental technology in the Greater Region and advertise environmental technology companies located here.
In addition to describing the project structure - the central office and the satellite offices in the partner regions – the website will list the member clusters and their contact persons. Step by step, the homepage can thus become a communication and exchange platform.
All publications of GREATER GREEN will be available on the site, including press releases, event announcements and invitations, the inventory, brochures, the presentation of the cluster network, calls for tenders, further education and training provided by the member clusters as well as a large regional event calendar for environmental technology.
Conducting GREATER GREEN meetings throughout the Greater Region
GREATER GREEN meetings are organised three times per year throughout the Greater Region. They bring together member clusters and companies to exchange and initiate cooperation on specialist topics such as water management, recycling, circular economy, renewable energies and energy-efficient construction.
Creation of a GREATER GREEN Tours App
GREATER GREEN Tours is a virtual tool aiming to connect SMEs from different partner regions.
The app is a suitable and modern communication and marketing instrument to promote networking among SMEs and to achieve an advertising effect both outside and within the Greater Region. It will also be used to promote the know-how of the environmental technology sector in the Greater Region.
Development of a GREATER GREEN umbrella brand
Visibility is achieved through clear and unambiguous (visual) language. The identity of the cluster must be clear and complementary to that of the member clusters. The development of an own GREATER GREEN umbrella brand serves this purpose. This umbrella brand emphasizes the cross-border added value of the project by highlighting the importance of the member clusters and enhancing their visibility beyond their own regional borders. This is of particular interest to the companies organised in the member clusters who want to increase their exports with the help of GREATER GREEN.
Development and provision of a GREATER GREEN exhibition case
GREATER GREEN provides visibility for the entire environmental technology industry in the Greater Region. Several indicators support the region’s claim to be a GreenTech centre in Europe. This fact will be promoted at trade fairs such as IFAT in Munich in German-speaking countries, Pollutec in Lyon for the French-speaking market and Oekofoire in Luxembourg. At these and smaller regional fairs GREATER GREEN promotes environmental technology in the entire Greater Region. A trade fair kit is available to the regional managers and the central office and can be used as required. The trade fair case contains roll-ups, brochures, giveaways and detailed information on the environmental technology sector and individual value chains in the Greater Region. Companies are invited via the member clusters to open up new markets under the umbrella brand GREATER GREEN by being present at trade fairs. GREATER GREEN offers the service of the central organization.
Development of a brochure on showcase projects in the environmental technology sector
A survey of the environmental technology sector in the Greater Region reveals the showcase projects, products and companies which are to be presented in detail in a brochure developed in three languages (English, German, French) and including a geographically well-balanced selection of value chains and flagship projects. The brochure serves to market GREATER GREEN as an umbrella brand and the individual environmental technology companies that set standards in their field or are already world market leaders.
Conception, organization and realization of annual GREATER GREEN Days
In addition to the smaller GREATER GREEN meetings, which serve to get to know individual disciplines personally, the cluster management benefits from existing events on environmental technology in the Greater Region to make GREATER GREEN better known and establish it as an important umbrella brand for environmental technology. To this end, cooperation agreements will be concluded which will also highlight and present the specific features of showcase areas of the Greater Region in a regionally balanced manner.
The GREATER GREEN meta-cluster is sustainably designed, i.e. it will pay for itself at the end of the project term. To achieve this, a range of services will be made available to member clusters and companies, complementing the existing offerings of the member clusters. The offer is jointly defined and designed by the cluster management and the member clusters based on the inventory analysis and the resulting requirements and forms the basis for the long-term sustainability of GREATER GREEN as the GreenTech network in the Greater Region. The services include, for example, an exclusive entrance to information, targeted matchmaking of potential project partners and promotion of innovative products through GREATER GREEN. GREATER GREEN strives to represent the technological capability of the entire Greater Region and thus make it interesting for the European and non-European market. Potential customers from abroad receive the first specific information about potential contractors via GREATER GREEN.
Four thematic working groups have been set up to identify the most relevant topics in the respective field for the Greater Region. On this basis, possible activities after the end of the project could be defined, which are of particular benefit to the Greater Region.
Working Group Plastics Recycling (Coordination : Luxinnovation / Plastinnov)
In the course of the project, Luxinnvoation has already carried out a study on large-scale regional cooperation in the recycling of plastics. The corresponding technologies (separation of single grades by automated plants, production of recycled granules) are quite well developed, but there is still little cross-border cooperation. In the near future, a restriction in terms of exchange to achieve higher recycling rates seems realistic.
Sustainable Construction Working Group (Coordination: AWEX / Cap Construction)
In the course of the project, there was already a lively exchange of ideas, in particular with the GREeNEFF Interreg project - e.g. on sustainable neighbourhoods in Trier. In Wallonia there is a wealth of experience, coordinated by AWEX (with Cap Construction); Luxembourg will be hosting a cross-border building exhibition (IBA) in Alzette-Belval. The working group will deal with topics such as energy efficiency in construction and the recycling of building materials.
Working Group on Water Management (Coordination : Hydreos)
As early as December 2019, the working group chaired by Hydreos met at the Cycl'Eau trade fair in Strasbourg. Mine waters (thermal use, purification) and flood protection in the Moselle catchment area were identified as possible topics for the Greater Region.
Smart Green Energy working group (Coordination : Environmental Campus Birkenfeld)
On the agenda of the first working group meeting at the Environmental Campus Birkenfeld in February 2020 were local heating systems and digital control of decentralised energy grids. Participants from the circle of GREATER GREEN - Partners discussed approaches which could be further developed together across borders.
Beyond a possible joint trade fair appearance of environmental technology, the following approaches are to be pursued in the context of a marketing study:
- Development of a network for the marketing of the Greater Region as an environmental region
- Change of image away from coal and steel to a region of environmental competence
- Development of a corresponding catalogue of measures
- Development of a joint trade fair concept and stand for environmental technology companies at major international trade fairs
For this purpose, under the leadership of htw saar, numerous interviews with key actors in the Greater Region will be conducted and subsequently evaluated on the basis of a detailed guideline.
This action aims to establish a sustainable model for the continuation of the cooperation developed in GREATER GREEN beyond the end of Interreg funding. Surveys of member clusters, companies and chambers will be conducted to identify unmet needs in order to clarify interest and willingness for a further financial contribution. Examples of similar cross-border networks in other regions will also be included in the study. At the end of the project, a concept is to be developed which proves to be sustainable in the long run. This could be along with existing institutions or - appropriate financial support provided - act independently. Solutions are conceivable, for example, as an EEIG or under the law on associations.