Mobilise SMEs Again Series: Supporting the Circular Economy Between Belgium and Slovenia

Since when MobiliseSME matchings have re-opened through the Mobilise SMEs Again call, companies have re-applied to join the scheme that lets them send an employee to another company abroad or host one from a foreign SME.

As the matchings are taking place, the added-value of such scheme becomes once again immediately apparent, particularly once we hear the success stories and the great benefits that come from such experience.

One such story is the matching between ADS Insight, a Belgian company specialising in European legislations and projects, including the circular economy, and WCYCLE Institute, a Slovenian centre focusing on the application of the circular economy in the country.

Tina Ajdic, a senior consultant from ADS Insight, visited the Slovenian company for two weeks to deepen the relationship between the companies and join in a mutual training experience on project management and policy implementation. She joined us together with Igor Kos of WCYCLE Institute to tell us about their match.

Dear Tina, Dear Igor, thank you for joining us. Tell us, how did you decide to do an exchange together?

TA: Our company had already participated in the original MobiliseSME. Our director Aida Axellson-Bakri was even one of the testimonials for the test phase of the original project. She is very enthusiastic about the whole concept and so is everybody in our team. We had met WCYCLE on different occasions and knew they were working in our same domain, so we thought an exchange with them had real potential, and we informed them about this opportunity.

IK: Indeed when ADS Insight informed us about MobiliseSME matching program it really sounded like something we could not miss out on. We have met each other at different conferences and events in the past, for example we are both part of the Reloop Platform, and saw many opportunities for potential collaboration. MobiliseSME provided a great possibility to explore this further.

What was your objective for the exchange? What did you want to get out of it?

IK: For us this was really the occasion to know each other better and set the foundations for future cooperation. We also wanted to help each other developing analysis and planning skills. For example Tina is helping us develop a local strategy for the transition to the circular economy in the city of Maribor: her expertise in European legislation and language skills really made a difference in finalising our approach.

TA: We really wanted to know more about the market and what is happening in our sector at national level in Slovenia, particularly when it comes to the use and benefits of EU funding for the circular economy.

How do you feel you have benefited from this experience?

TA: These two weeks have provided me with much deeper knowledge in our common area of work. I had occasion to attend meeting with Igor at Ministries but also with NGOs and industries so that I could first-hand how projects and vision are translated into national practices.

IK: The exchange has really delivered for us. Besides what I mentioned, Tina has also supported us with the Winpol project and Circular Change Conference, two very important activities attend by high-profile personalities, like the Prime Minister of Slovenia and European Commissioners, on which she provided uniquely valuable insights. Moreover working with her really makes it easier for us to understand ADS Insight’s work process, so that we will able to apply together for European projects in the future.

Any final remarks?


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