Background

Common challenges & shared solutions

Interreg, or officially, ‘European territorial cooperation’, is part of the structural and investment policy of the European Union. For more than 20 years, it has been supporting transnational cooperations between regions, towns and cities influencing everyday life. For example in the fields of transport, employment and environmental protection.It aims to jointly tackle common challenges and find shared solutions in fields such as health, environment, research, education, transport, sustainable energy and more.

Interreg is one of the two goals of the EU Cohesion Policy in the 2014-2020 period and it is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). It has a budget of EUR 10.1 billion invested in the several cooperation programmes responsible for managing project funding. One of the programmes is INDU-ZERO that focuses on sustainable housing in the North Europian Sea Region.

Blueprint of fully automated factory

Renovation packages towards energy neutrality are to be the solution for quick and inexpensive sustainability improvements of existing homes. 

Special renovation packages are helping more than 22 million homes in north-western Europe to quickly become energy neutral and future-proof. Fourteen organisations from six countries are working together to design a factory that can produce these renovation packages at an industrial scale. The European Union has approved the plan and has made available a subsidy of over €2 million. The aim of INDU-ZERO is to develop a blueprint for a fully automated factory within three years. In addition, sites are to be selected and businesses sought that will build and operate the factory.

Total packages

The aim of the design is to produce standard renovation packages at an industrial scale (at least 15,000 per year). The packages will contain various components that are necessary to make homes sustainable, such as insulation material for walls and roofs, heat pumps, solar panels, energy converters and ventilation systems. The components will be put together in a way that is as circular and bio-based as possible. The aim is to be able to offer the total package of measures for half the current price.

For this approach, a European Interreg subsidy has been obtained worth over €2 million. The participating parties jointly match this amount through compulsory co-financing. This brings the total project budget to almost €4.4 million. The project, that started in September 2018, will take three years and organisations from The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, United Kingdom, Norway and Sweden are partners.