A Danish company is in the process of patenting an innovative CO2 scrubbing technology that could produce environmental and financial benefits for the brewing industry. The technology, known as ECO2Brew, and first developed in Denmark in 2006, has been tested in full-scale production at the breweries of Danish beer Carlsberg. The test phase was conducted as part of a project supported by the Eco-Innovation Initiative of the European Union.
The technology captures the CO2 produced during the brewing process and prepares it for re-use, creating a circular process that minimises waste. Previous technologies have been water and energy intensive. ECO2Brew, however, uses no water and operates at reduced levels of energy consumption compared to conventional plants. The extracted, scrubbed CO2 exceeds industry standards and can be returned to the brewing process, or used in the production of other carbonated drinks.
The potential water saving at the Carlsberg brewery is 12.9 million litres annually. For a typical-sized plant, the water savings are estimated at 4 million litres per year, with the energy savings foreseen to be 40,000 kilowatt hours per year - reducing running costs by 15 percent.
For more information, visit the ECO2Brew website.
Water Board Limburg (WBL) is responsible for the transport and treatment of municipal and industrial wastewater and the treatment of sludge in Limburg province (The Netherlands). In 2011, WBL tendered for a new sludge hydrolysis plant at their waste water treatment plant (WWTP) in Venlo. The goals of the plant included increasing biogas production, reducing sludge generation and speeding up the process – resulting in both energy savings and cost reductions.
The board published a tender for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of a new sludge hydrolysis plant. Following a pre-qualification, a competitive dialogue was used to improve the tender specifications and provide space for innovative proposals to be developed. The use of functional specifications also gave bidders more freedom to design novel solutions.
The winning bidder developed a technology to significantly improve the efficiency of sludge treatment. Not only does the new plant match all the goals WBL set out, it also reduces the anaerobic digestion time. Through the procurement process, an affordable thermal hydrolysis sludge treatment technology that lowers the costs and the CO2 emissions of sludge treatment was achieved. The new technology is cheap enough to be used in smaller waste treatment plants. This process saw WBL nominated for the Procurement of Innovation Award 2014.
For more information, visit the European Commission case study.
The CHARM Pre-Commercial Procurement project (PCP) project is searching for innovative solutions to make road transport safer, faster and more reliable in Europe. The project, funded by the European Union under the 7th Framework Programme, will focus on improving Traffic Management Centres, creating a more flexible and adaptable traffic management system. Specifically three PCP challenges have been defined.
The first challenge is the development of a programme that can manage large traffic networks, including at national level. The second is a module that can identify and predict future road events, such as accidents, car breakdowns, and traffic queues. The final PCP challenge focuses on the implementation of intelligent infrastructure and the coordination of different information sources.
The project is currently underway, and private sector contracts have been awarded. A summary of each of the bidders’ proposals - including an outline of the innovative solutions put forward - is available online. The project involves partners from the Netherlands, Belgium and the United Kingdom, and will run until September 2016.
For more information, visit the CHARM PCP website.
Citymart is a user-driven solution-oriented public procurement platform. The marketplace for cities provides a stage where cities present their challenges as open tenders, and companies and organisations propose solutions. Citymart directly connects companies, social entrepreneurs and research centres with cities seeking viable, innovative solutions to environmental and social issues. This approach provides start-ups and small and medium sized enterprises (SME) the chance to recommend their ideas and gain access to public procurement opportunities.
ICLEI member Barcelona (Spain) used the platform to obtain several urban solutions, including reducing bicycle thefts and monitoring pedestrian flows. In 2013 Deputy Mayor Sonia Recasens partnered with Citymart to deliver the Barcelona Open Challenge with a USD $1.5 million budget to procure six high-impact solutions. Winning submissions have now been selected and may be accessed via the Barcelona Municipal Services website [in Spanish]. By joining the #citiesshare alliance, Barcelona has assisted other cities in accessing innovative solutions, knowledge and good practice while establishing itself as a leader in opening sourcing solutions.
To date, more than 50 cities have adopted the Citymart procurement platform, including ICLEI members who have overcome a mixture of challenges including: Madrid (Spain): Enhancing urban mobility; Glasgow (United Kingdom): Co-designing solutions with local residents; Tartu (Estonia): Maximising data to improve public transport; Malmö (Sweden): Revitalising with collaborative consumption; Valencia (Spain): Engaging citizens in service delivery in cities.
For more information, visit the Citymart website.
A pre-commercial procurement (PCP) to create high-performance computing infrastructure for brain research has been launched by Forschungszentrum Jülich. The PCP is part of the Human Brain Project’s drive to set up a High Performance Computing (HPC) Platform, which requires innovative supercomputing technology. The project will build the hardware and software infrastructure, utilising the supercomputer’s capabilities to run cellular model simulations approaching the size of a full human brain.
Three bidding consortia have each been awarded a contract to provide research and development services for the first phase of the PCP. The central element of the HPC Platform will be the supercomputer, the project’s main production system. The computing infrastructure will be made available to the project consortium and the wider community. Over the next decade, the computer will be built in stages, until it has the power required for cellular simulations that mimic the human brain.
According to the project’s vision, “interactive supercomputing” capabilities will allow the supercomputer to be used like a scientific instrument, enabling experiments to take place on virtual human brains. These requirements will inform the system design, including the hardware architecture, run-time system, mode of operation, resource management and other aspects.
For more information, visit the Forschungszentrum Jülich website.
Six health care purchasing bodies from five European countries have published a competitive tender, inviting companies to propose products and services that will aid the elderly. The solutions sought include a fall detection and alert system; a treadmill for rehabilitation and analysis of walking disorders; a walking course for preventing falls and maintaining independence; a bed thermoregulation system; and a chair enabling users to maintain independence, reducing effort for aides.
Notice of the competitive tender was published in the European Union Official Journal on 30 September 2014 by the organisation RESAH, coordinator of the HAPPI project (Healthy Ageing - Public Procurement of Innovation). The specifications are available in three languages: English, Italian and French. Bids can be addressed in any of these three languages, however the application documents must be provided in French only.
A Helpdesk in English and Italian has been created to support bidders with the application process, especially small and medium enterprises. The helpdesk provides information on how to create an account and download the HAPPI tender documents, how to ask a question on the FAQ page, as well as information on how to upload an offer to the platform.
For more information on the call for tender, visit the HAPPI website.
EcoProcura 2014 host city Ghent (Belgium) demonstrated its commitment to sustainability at the conference by signing a strategy on sustainable public procurement (SPP) and a Charter that obliges the city to spend 10 percent of its ICT budget on innovative solutions. The City’s SPP Strategy aims to reduce environmental impacts while growing the local and social economy through the employment of advanced procurement approaches.
Daniël Termont, Mayor of the City of Ghent, said: “Sustainability is in all that we do, exemplified by our aim to achieve a climate neutral city by 2050. Moreover, Ghent wants to be a ‘smart city’ that employs creative solutions to everyday problems, and unites citizens to learn from one another. Ghent is a firm believer in the important role procurement plays in making our city more sustainable and in obtaining innovative products and services.”
Representatives Aline de Tremerie and Mieke Peters presented Ghent’s exemplary strategic approach at the opening plenary of the conference, outlining how advanced techniques are implemented when purchasing various products and services. The City provided an inspiring blueprint for public procurers to emulate, emphasising the benefits inherent in sustainable and innovative procurement.
For more information, visit the EcoProcura website.
Experts and practitioners in the field of sustainable public procurement (SPP) and public procurement of innovation (PPI) are invited to comment on the latest edition of the Procura+ Manual. The authors are particularly looking for input regarding the document's interpretation of the current legal framework in Europe. Additionally, feedback on specific sector reviews, such as construction, ICT, catering, etc., is also welcome. The deadline for commenting is 24 October 2014.
Aimed at public authorities, the manual provides clear guidance on how to implement sustainable procurement in practice, regardless of size or experience. It contains general information on management, cost and legal factors as well as key criteria product groups with high sustainability impact. The revised edition aims to provide a practical interpretation of new procurement rules, in this way supporting procurers to undertake and advance SPP and PPI.
Those who provide comments will be included in the Acknowledgements section of the publication. It should be noted that the current draft suffers from formatting issues – those who wish to comment are directed to ignore these problems, as the finalised version will undergo a design quality check. All comments should be provided to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, visit the Procura+ website.
The ENIGMA project, in conjunction with the European Commission and the Covenant of Mayors, will hold a webinar on municipal innovation procurement on 2 October 2014, highlighting how new purchasing mechanisms can help local authorities make public services more innovative. The event will primarily focus on two procurement procedures - Public Procurement of Innovation (PPI) and Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) - both of which can contribute to local efforts to improve energy efficiency and decrease carbon emissions.
PPI occurs when public authorities act as a launch customer for innovative goods or services. These are typically not yet available on a large-scale commercial basis and may include conformance testing. PCP is an approach within the public procurement of innovation, developed specifically for the procurement of R&D services rather than actual goods and services.
Funding available for these procedures at the EU, national and regional levels will be discussed with participants. Vasileios Tsanidis of the European Commission will provide an introduction to innovation procurement and the EU financial support for PPI and PCP, while Caterina Sampol, AQUAS, Barcelona (Spain), will discuss PCP for local and regional innovation. The webinar will last for one hour.
For more information, visit the ENIGMA website.