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.


Midterm report
The screening follow up and sampling are far but not quite finished, but most data are collected in a shared database (output 1.1) which forms the basis for the research. Obejctive 2, analysis and suggestions for circular governance is not very far, UoN has not delivered the promised analyses and we attempt to speed this up this autumn up to the planned governance workshop in November. The GIS map being prepared currently will provide valuable input also for policy discussions on water, waste and energy issues. Objective 4, developing an algorithm on symbiosis, is ongoing research. Research gaps on symbiosis solutions have been identified, particularly on waste water, somewhat less on solid waste. These are considerable, making a full algorithm impossible at the current stage of research, but interesting results and research questions are emerging and research papers are under way.

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