In the Dutch province of Limburg, Letters of Intent were signed between a number of SMEs that collaborate with each other in terms of the raw materials they use and the waste products they produce. The signing of the cooperation agreements took place in the presence of our team member Marco Siemerink, commissioner Bert Kersten (Sustainability and Energy), chairman Jan Zuidam of the Limburg Employers Association (LWV) and sector manager sustainability and society Bart Tonnaer of the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO.nl).

The collaboration between the companies takes place in the context of the SILVER project, using a methodology that aims to accelerate innovation in the industry. SILVER stands for: Symbiosis in Limburg and Accelerating Realization. The process is in principle very simple: companies from all sectors are brought together in informal workshops with the aim of sharing as much information as possible about raw materials, waste, energy, services, knowledge and other innovative ideas. This provides new forms of cooperation between businesses and institutions.

The basic idea is simple: to use raw materials and waste products that you produce as a company as smart and responsible as possible (and working together on this issue with other entrepreneurs). This will not only contribute to a sustainable future, but you can also increase your profits. According Bert Kersten, innovation is the foundation for growth. Over the past year and a half, the SILVER partnerships already yielded some 5 million in savings.

SILVER is a partnership between the Province of Limburg, LWV and RVO.nl. The project started in 2013 launched. Since then, some 70 companies have signed up. A recent workshop floor was good for a whopping 298 matches. Team members of www.biobased-business.eu are helping the participants to find solutions for the many obstacles they encounter.

Source: www.zuidonline.nl; Maarten van Laarhoven

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