The 2nd workshop of the LIFE MATHER Project ‘Full material and chemical monitoring data and disclosure for the protection of the human health and environment’ was successfully held on 24th October in Royal Olympic Hotel, Athens, co-organized along with the 6th Consultation Forum of the LIFE REWEEE Project ‘Development and demonstration of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) prevention and reuse paradigms’. Consortium partners from both LIFE Projects presented different aspects related to the use of web-based ICT applications to monitor effectively the entire life cycle of Electrical & Electronic Appliances from the stage of assembly and production up to their end-of-life management, such monitoring supporting the drive towards environmentally friendly and sustainable appliances. Apart from delegates from the two research consortia, experts and business people from both the public and the private sector joined the day.
The first session of the event started off with a welcome address by Prof. A. Kokosis on behalf of NTUA – IPSEN, who hosted the event , followed by a presentation of the EU LIFE Program by D. Homatidis, Environmental Officer at the Greek LIFE Task Force, which stands as the National Contact Point for LIFE Projects in Greece.
Next, Prof. A. Kokosis introduced to the audience the use of LCA as a forward screening approach for creating business opportunities and enhancing competitiveness (e.g. through ecolabeling) in relation with monitoring life-cycle of materials and chemicals used in production of consumable goods and specifically electrical and electronic appliances. The approach was correlated with a primary objective of LIFE MATHER Project, namely the implementation of a highly innovative ICT tool for collecting, monitoring and making accessible and interoperable chemical data of the components and materials used in mass market products like appliances.
Subsequently, P. Basta on behalf of Whirlpool EMEA (coordinating beneficiary of LIFE MATHER Project), presented the progress of the LIFE MATHER Project in relation with its scope, objectives and deliverables. She was followed by the presentation of the LIFE REWEEE Project by K. Kalafata, representing Appliances Recycling SA (coordinating beneficiary) emphasized the development of the two WEEE re-use centres which are operating for the first time in Greece, as part of the REWEEE Project implementation actions.
The second session of the event dealt with experts’ contributions in developing ICT web-based tools and platforms for monitoring production and end-of-life management of electrical and electronic appliances, in line with policies and regulations and based on ‘zero waste discharge’ principles. In particular, M. Psycha on behalf of NTUA – IPSEN (associate beneficiary of LIFE MATHER Project) described in detail the functional aspects of the LIFE MATHER Demo Platform (available at https://platform.matherproject.eu/), as an ICT tool for chemical data monitoring and disclosure towards the protection of the human health and the environment. Next, C. Chroni, representing Harokopio University (associate beneficiary of LIFE MATHER Project) presented the REWEEE Platform (available at https://reweee.hua.gr/en/) as a web-based tool for the donation of second hand appliances, towards minimisation of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment.
Participation of networking projects where ICT is utilised to link bio-based industries and innovation potential, A. Nikolakopoulos on behalf of NTUA – IPSEN, presented the basic fundamentals of an open innovation platform that stimulates business and innovation potential of the Bio-Based Sector in Europe,as developed in the framework of the BiOPEN Project, co-funded under the BBI Joint Undertaking of H2020.
The event closed with an open discussion and concluding remarks. The discussion dealt with environmentally friendly and sustainable design, management and treatment of EEE products. Prof. A. Kokosis, along with P. Basta and A. Dalamagas (as chairman of the Ecological Recycling Society and the RREUSE network, both associate beneficiaries of LIFE REWEEE Project) shared opinions with attendees regarding the expansion, operational cost and potential future commercialisation of ICT tools, as well as issues related with the market demand in terms of developing more durable, state-of-the-art and potentially re-usable products.