The joint project "Urban Production in the Region Bergisches Städtedreieck – Competitiveness, Innovation and District Development" establishes a collaborative regional network of diverse actors from the economy, science and society in the Bergisch City Triangle within seven subprojects. The joint project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF, in German EFRE) and the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and aims at a sustainable structural strengthening in ecological, economic and social dimensions. The project achieves this, in particular, by identifying and supporting demonstration examples with the potential to develop a broad regional impact that shall lead to the development of further innovations and projects.
In the subproject RegRess the Bergische Universität Wuppertal and the Wuppertal Institute build on the approach of cascade use (reengineering or remanufacturing) of high-grade metals. This approach, in combination with innovative business models spanning the entire value chain, holds great potential for climate protection and the reduction of resource consumption. With its high density of companies in the metalworking sector, the Bergisch City Triangle is predestined for this kind of approach. Therefore, the project aims at establishing a regional resource management of metals in order to leverage not yet identified ecological and regional economic potentials, especially in the area of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The project approaches the raising of potentials in the field of cascade use of materials in several steps by designing regionally structured, digitally supported product/service systems, e. g. recycling of high-quality components for ReUse or remanufacturing to save primary material. The analysis phase focuses on (i) regional material flows in terms of materials, material grades, or processes in order to create a regional material flow model (ii) and regional networks, actor structures, and competencies. On this basis, the project (iii) identifies possible potentials of industrial symbiosis on a technical, economic and structural level. This is achieved, e. g., by means of a feasibility study for optimized (regional) logistics processes and, based on the respective results, the development of new or modified business models (e. g. deposit systems, cascade system of regional (technical) services, etc.). The project further comprises (iv) an accompanying integrated sustainability assessment and ecological hot spot analysis as well as potential analysis of the various approaches for strengthening resource management. In addition, (v) success factors and boundary conditions for the successful implementation of resource efficiency measures at regional level are identified. Finally, for bringing the identified potentials into implementation, the project identifies possible demonstration projects and connects the relevant actors.