Waste and Biomass Valorization

, Volume 8, Issue 5, pp 1521–1530 | Cite as

Development of the Tool SymbioSyS to Support the Transition Towards a Circular Economy Based on Industrial Symbiosis Strategies

  • Roberto Álvarez
  • Carmen Ruiz-Puente
Original Paper


The European Commission is focusing its efforts on boosting the circular economy, and industrial symbiosis is one of the main strategies to be used. Businesses, consumers and administrations must learn to efficiently use resources and identify new forms of cooperation. The aim of this contribution is to present SymbioSyS, a tool based on ICT-web systems to promote the sustainable use of resources through IS strategies and to facilitate networking among companies and businesses. The SymbioSyS tool supports the following objectives: (1) The building of a large database that stores both tacit knowledge of experiences and practices and explicit information about activities (2). The detection of potential synergies for substitution and mutuality and providing a feasibility study. An ontological framework has been developed to set hierarchical classifications to process the information and identify synergies (3). The visualization and mapping of IS by georeferencing to analyse variables such as distances, transportation routes and optimal locations for new facilities. This has been implemented as a client–server model that allows multiple users to simultaneously connect and store large amounts of information; users access the application from a web-service. The tool has been tested within an industrial park community consisting of 25 small and medium sized enterprises from different industrial sectors (e.g., automotive, building sector), allowing the visualization of both types of synergies, the exchange of resources and joint waste management opportunities. The functions and performance of the tool are demonstrated through the case study.


Circular economy Industrial symbiosis ICT 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.INGEPRO Research Group, Department of Transport and Projects Technology and ProcessesUniversity of CantabriaSantanderSpain

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