A very WARM WELCOME to the CASCADE Project!

People having a circular economy vision will make the world a better place. We will give an opportunity to improve the business models for future generations!

This Erasmus+ project CASCADE’s core objective is to empower digital service companies (SMEs) to develop IT-enabled innovative circular economy (CE) solutions as projects, including platform business models, sharing economy/collab consumption, product-as-a-service, in B2C but also B2B. 

Digital circular project incubator

10-week digital circular project incubator training program for digital service companies (SMEs) will be developed that targets the full life cycle of innovative circular projects and how to develop a circular project from cradle-to-cradle principles. 

The training program will consist of five modules: 

Inspiration and breaking barriers for circular economy: What is CE (in a modern understanding) about? What are main barriers that hinder the stakeholders of the future eco-system in establishing a circular system? What can CE offer to SMEs economically and in terms of innovative digital project ideas? At the end of the module, the user has identified a vision or gap that his project will try to fulfill or close.

System Innovation methods: How can ideas for circular economy projects be developed by into a concrete project outline, based on the project ideas? Here, a vision or gap is developed into a concrete, realizable project idea.  

Funding and financing options: If needed, what national and international funding opportunities are there for SMEs for innovative digital circular economy projects based on the developed project outline. The user gets here an overview of possible funding opportunities and can get an overview of his options as well as get more detailed information.  

Project management basics: In case a circular project application is successful, SMEs also need a solid foundation in project management skills. The focus will be on the distinct project management requirements in an externally funded/financed project. An overview of successful and effective project management will be conveyed in a short, clear and easy to understand way. 

Proposal management: What are key success factors for “putting the pieces together” for a successful project funding/financing application? The last module is designed to enable users to write a proposal that is eligible for funding. The module teaches them everything they need to know for the application process as well as helpful tips that can be taken into account. 

In addition to the training program, a digital environment will be developed, where the digital training materials will be offered for free. The digital environment will focus on maximum compatibility with existing platforms and systems (e.g. online-usage, integration into learning management systems, download). Also, it will encourage and enable interregional and intersectoral cooperation.

Cascade Kick-off!

After the virtual kick-off meeting took place online, the first transnational project meeting took place in Graz on the 26th and 27th of May.
Consortium partners attended the meeting in person and virtually. During the two-day session, the project coordination guidelines, the visual identity of the project, definition of work strategies and methodologies to develop the modules that will be created so that SMEs can access training efficiently through the digital environment were presented.
We met in a hybrid version as not all partners made it to Graz. On the first day we started by discussion project management issues, had a look at our wonderful new website and discussed the general content of the five results. After the official part was done, we headed to the city center of Graz and had a guided city tour. Afterwards we had dinner at a typical Styrian restaurant, enjoying the traditional food of the city. Full and tired from the eventful day, everyone went back to the hotel to meet up again fresh the next morning at bit management or online. We spent the day discussing the exact concept for result 1, with Thinking Circular from Germany as the lead partner. In the end, a satisfactory result was achieved, which we will continue to work on in the following weeks. 
Stay tuned!