South Birmingham Firm leading the way in international development of Green technologies

This week Senior Officials from South Korean Industrial Group KICOX visited Birmingham to learn how the city’s industrial strategy could help shape the development of industrial parks in South Korea. First port of call was a meeting with local firm International Synergies who are global experts in industrial symbiosis. The South Korean visitors were particularly keen to know how industrial symbiosis methodology can be used to support economic development, reduce carbon and expand the role of green technologies. Selly Oak Member of Parliament joined them as well as Foreign Office Officials and Mr Andy Sellars from Innovate UK.

Industrial symbiosis is the deployment of waste from one source or business to productive use for another source or business. The aim is to reduce waste and costs and generate revenue by adding value to underused or discarded resources and create a ‘circular economy’. 

International Synergies, based at Kings Norton Business Centre, is the world’s leading expert in the application of industrial symbiosis, having implemented many ground-breaking projects all over the world. In the past 10 years, their work has involved successful collaborations in more than 20 countries across 6 continents including Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Finland, France, Mexico, Netherlands, South Africa and Turkey.

The company originally pioneered this unique form of brokerage as a tool for economic development in Tyseley, in order to harness the area’s potential and become an exemplar for the low carbon economy.  Tyseley is now in the midst of developing the UK’s first biomass plant to be fuelled entirely by waste wood which is set to produce 10.3MW of electricity and divert 67,000 tonnes wood waste generated by local construction projects away from landfill.

KICOX who have signed a Memo of Understanding with International Synergies is particularly interested in developments in the Tyseley Environmental Enterprise Zone as it manages 51 industrial parks across South Korea and is looking at ways to further improve economic and environmental performance and the development of green technologies.

Steve McCabe MP said:

“I was very pleased to meet the South Korean Delegation as well as well as Andy Sellars from Innovate UK and discuss the potential for further cluster developments in Birmingham. We sometimes fail to recognise the amazing talent we have here right on our own doorstep. International Synergies is the world leader in industrial symbiosis and it is great that other countries are coming here to see how it is done. Every time we convert waste into something useful we become more efficient and help the environment. This is cutting edge stuff. I want the government to throw their weight behind this approach because this is how we create jobs for the future.”

Peter Laybourn, Chief Executive of International Synergies, said:

“We are delighted to cement our relationship with KICOX through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding that will lead to cooperation between our two organisations in this very important field of industrial symbiosis.  Birmingham continues to be the ‘home’ of industrial symbiosis and has attracted industrial tourism to the extent of putting over £1million pounds into the local economy on top of the huge cost savings, additional sales and jobs generated by local companies who have participated in this approach.”

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