The EU funded SPREE project held its 6th workshop at the Jerusalem Institute, where researchers from the SPREE consortium’s seven countries – Britain, Sweden, the Netherlands, Spain, Lithuania, Finland and Israel – wrapped up their 2014 activities and began looking ahead.
SPREE – an acronym for Servicizing Policy for Resource Efficient Economy – is an ambitious project concerned with creating the conditions for sustainable modes of production and consumption through the transition from selling products to providing services (servicizing). It aims “to bring the community closer to achieving a truly sustainable economy characterized by decoupling of economic growth and social prosperity from inefficient use of resources.” To achieve this, it has been focusing on three sectors: water, mobility and agri-food. The EU-funded project (Framework Programme 7) is run by the 10-partner consortium; in Israel the partners are JIIS, which is managing the project, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Tel Aviv University.
During the 3-day workshop, the research teams analyzed the 9 country-specific case studies they have been working on that involve three “servicizing” systems: grey water recycling and rain water harvesting services in the water sector; car and bike sharing in the mobility sector; and crop protection management in the agri-food sector. Furthermore, ABM (Agent Based Modeling) outputs and insights, employing empirical data from derived from the case studies, were discussed and then integrated into the design work of the second layer of the servicizing policy package, the "effective package"' in the sectors under discussion.
Five high-level governmental representatives from the Israeli Ministry for Environment Protection and the Ministry of Economy were invited to the parley to hear about ABM as a tool for assisting policymakers in policy design. Dr. Igor Nikolic from Technical University Delft, in Holland, gave a powerful presentation about the advantages of using ABM in order to simulate different future scenarios and evaluate the influence of policy actions. The session also included a short introduction of the Policy Packages approach (by Dr. Moshe Givoni) and the way it uses ABM to evaluate the policy instruments’ effects, the relations between the instruments and unintended effects.
The SPREE project was initiated at JIIS and is coordinated by Yael Marom, head of International Projects at the Institute.