Accelerating the shift towards climate neutrality
TRANSFORMER project considers entire regions as living laboratories, Transition Super-Labs, in which new ways of transformation towards a climate-neutral future can be developed, tested and implemented.
The TRANSFORMER is a Horizon Europe project that works with four regions, the Ruhr Area, DE, Emilia Romagna, IT, Lower Silesia, PL and Western Macedonia, GR, on the transition from fossil-fuel-based to zero-carbon local economies.
TRANSFORMER Super-Labs bring together all relevant stakeholders of a region: universities, municipalities, companies, and civil society organisations to work in new cooperation formats and design project ideas for transformation to long-term climate neutrality.
TRANSFORMER aims at developing a roadmap that will include milestones for implementation, financing and funding opportunities for other Super-Labs to be developed and replicated, to serve as the core of a regional climate neutrality concept.
TRANSFORMER will create a self-sustaining community of Super-Lab practitioners replicating the concept of Transition Super Labs further, with the aim to build a path towards climate neutrality.
We met in Bologna
Bologna, Italy • 28 - 30 March 2023
At the end of March 2023, we had a second consortium meeting in Bologna, Italy.
More than twenty people from the project attended and discussed several topics; on how we can help involved regions to build their Transition Super-Labs (TSL), what knowledge and resources they would need for this implementation, what would be included in the Knowledge Hub to support further replication and to the Toolkit for capacity building.
We also explored new ways of regional transformation that can be incorporated into TSLs, like focusing on hydrogen potential.
During the meeting, we had input from Gerd Schönwälder, who worked at the European Commission's DG Research and Innovation (RTD) and, together with others, developed the call that resulted in our pilot project on "transition super-labs" (TSLs).
Gerd presented the general idea behind the TSL concept - the need to focus attention on some critical barriers and obstacles so as to accelerate the transition to climate neutrality. He stressed that technical solutions alone were not enough but that social, political and even cultural dimen-sions needed to be taken into account as well.
Each region had a presentation about their ambitions and challenges towards fulfilling the common goal - climate neutrality and regional transformation of transport (except Ruhr): railway, freight and cycling, as well as reducing pollution and using renewable energy sources. Their focus during the last six months was focused on coalition building in TSLs and creating regional use cases. We did research on the TSLs predecessors and are working on a feasibility study and roadmap. Also, we are developing the Toolkit and designing the Knowledge Hub. For communication and dissemination purposes, we created the strategy, and we are disseminating and sharing all updates from the project online and through events while working on a Transformer Hub.
On the second day of the event, we had the opportunity to visit a biomethane and composting site to see the innovative solutions for how to process the partially sorted household waste from 600 thousand houses into useful outcomes. The site, owned by local municipalities, supplies gas into the grid for 2000 families and compost suitable for biological agriculture. For all of us it was a practical example of so much needed transformation from fossil fuels to environmentally friendly resources. Our project can benefit from examples like this when preparing real-life applications and disseminating best practices.
On the third day, we participated in at ENoLL workshop, strengthening our skills.
These organisations work together to reach our goals:
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