Green & circular innovation for Kenyan companies (GECKO)

Project summary

The Gecko project aims to provide scientific insights and an algorithm for designing and projecting high-circular eco-industrial parks in Kenya. The project investigates if and under what conditions developing countries such as Kenya may gain environmental and competitive advantages from early entry into circular ways of organizing production and exchange of resources in symbiosis networks, thereby potentially establishing near closedloop production systems and reducing investments in expensive End of Pipe environmental infrastructures. Critically investigating the potential and scope of industrial symbiosis - where one firm’s residuals become a proximate firm’s resource - is at the core of this research project.

The project outcomes will contribute to the development of a strategy for eco-industrial parks in Kenya as part of their wider green growth strategy and will be a direct input to an ongoing Danish SSC project, which is also using the Ruaraka industrial zone as a core pilot case.

We suggest including and aligning four research areas, which have not been combined before in analyzing symbiosis potentials and dynamics:

1) Green and circular business development at the firm and interfirm (symbiosis) level.
2) Circular governance analyses at local and central levels.
3) Testing and feasibility studies of selected circular technical innovations at the firm and particular interfirm (symbiosis) level.
4) Process systems engineering (PSE) and LCA modelling and validations of circular innovations at the interfirm (symbiosis) and eco-park level.

Using and further developing a green business screening tool developed at DTU, the project investigates critically the symbiosis business case for different types of industries, highlights best practice circular governance, elaborates on selected technical symbiosis solutions and develops an algorithm for designing eco-industrial parks in Kenya.


First-year report

The GECKO project (Green and Circular Innovation for Kenyan Companies) inquires into the conditions for and possible benefits of developing countries to leapfrog into the circular economy. Specifically, we investigate the prospects of developing circular eco-industrial parks in Kenya. We use the Ruaraka industrial zone and 31 mixed manufacturing companies as a pilot case.
The project combines business innovation, technical, modelling and governance research. The main output so far is that we have engaged and screened nearly all, 26 of the 31 targeted main Ruaraka companies, and we have thus obtained 26 company screening reports. The data is gathered in our online shared platform and put into a collective database for the Gecko researchers forming the basis for further research into circular innovations within and between the Ruaraka companies. Two Circular Technology Booster and governance workshops are planned for November and March.

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