International Synergies has developed and implemented the world’s leading facilitated industrial symbiosis model (NISP®), based on demand-led engagement with business and other organisations. Awarded for Eco-Innovation, this model uses information provided by companies as well as available public data sets.

Facilitated industrial symbiosis in the NISP® model

International Synergies has over 1000 industrial symbiosis case studies and output reports which provide comprehensive, externally verified data on successful synergies including:

  • Economic successes (cost savings, revenue generated, investment attracted)
  • Environmental aspects (avoided CO2 emissions, landfill/waste, water and resource use)
  • Social benefits (jobs created and safeguarded, pollution reduced, training and education)

European CEN Workshop Agreement (CWA)

In 2018, International Synergies were delighted to chair the European CEN Workshop Agreement (CWA) launched by IRP Co-Chair Dr. Janez Potočnik to develop a European pre-standard for industrial symbiosis.

The UN supported International Synergies capacity building and implementation with National Cleaner Production Centres (NCPCs) in Sri Lanka, Egypt and Peru; and in 7 African nations. Specific work in industrial parks/areas has included work in China (delivery of industrial symbiosis in the Tianjin Economic Development Area -TEDA – the world’s largest industrial park and in 3 additional provinces), in industrial zones in Egypt and the UK.

Regional economic development through intelligence-based industrial symbiosis

International Synergies has developed a methodology to design an integrated closed-loop system of circular economy/resource efficiency opportunities for regional economic development (including industrial parks and economic development zones). International Synergies has wide experience in the development of economic development opportunities for eco-industrial areas, informed by information regarding the local context, and existing and neighbouring industries.

Projects include:

  • Birmingham City Council – Tyseley Environmental Enterprise Zone – a geographic area-based intervention as defined by post-codes within the context of existing development sites and current businesses.
  • West Midlands regions – evaluating resource efficiency in the food and drink and metals sectors in the West Midlands within the context of changing market drivers and legislation.
  • Hubei province, China – evaluating opportunities to strengthen existing industrial base while reducing carbon emissions through industrial symbiosis.

EIP principles

Applying eco-industrial park (EIP) principles supports and develops the local economy by identifying opportunities for the existing businesses to be more resource and energy-efficient, while identifying under-utilised resources (materials, energy, water, or another asset) aligns with opportunities to attract new investment to the region.

The methodology we developed for these projects is known as RED IBIS: Regional Economic Development through Intelligence Based Industrial Symbiosis, powered by SYNERGie®4.0 software. Industrial symbiosis delivers resource efficiency.

We draw on extensive UK and global experience in resource and energy efficiency, waste management, industrial processes, and innovative ‘clean’-tech technologies.  International Synergies’ extensive experience and proprietary database SYNERGie®, documents our experience working to implement EIP principles. We further draw on global experience in over 40 countries identifying potential for EIP-based sustainable growth opportunities.

RED IBIS methodology

The RED IBIS methodology identifies opportunities along the following three time-horizons:

  • Today (immediate term): where both the supply of (waste) resource, and potential solution (technology or user) exist in the area, and all that remains is their introduction and facilitation of the opportunity.  This may require further engagement with local knowledge and innovation assets where the resource needs testing or transformation to be reutilised.
  • Tomorrow (medium term): where the supply exists, but the required application (solution provider) does not exist locally. This may create the business case to attract inward investment, where solution providers can be offered the opportunity to reduce input costs and assure local supply by locating in a specific area; these benefits can be longer lasting and more impactful than a short-term deal on business rates.
  • Future (medium – long term): Linking to the local strategy and development framework, an integrated vision for the area as an eco-industrial park is developed building on innovative growth opportunities, local research infrastructure, and strategically important resources and skills. Innovation is fostered by involving local universities, companies with new technologies, and drawing on national innovation networks.

Resource and market research

International Synergies consultants have extensive knowledge of industrial processes and manufacturing techniques, combined with an understanding of the latest processing technologies and innovations.  We can identify immediate, medium and long-term business opportunities for companies: bringing together producers and users of waste resources with innovators, the research community and entrepreneurs and keeping resources in productive use for as long as possible.

We have successfully completed research projects looking at the flows of resource streams in order to optimise usage in the short, medium and long term, whether it be for economic development opportunities, feedstock analysis or identifying alternative raw materials.

International Synergies is also a key contributor to collaborative research projects including:

  • DG GROW funded ‘Cooperation fostering industrial symbiosis: Market potential, good practice and policy actions”,
  • Horizon 2020 SHAREBOX ‘Secure Management Platform for Shared Process Resources’ and
  • Innovate UK ‘Novel materials for the Built Environment’.

We developed the world’s leading facilitated industrial symbiosis model - NISP®