SPIRE-SAIS: Skills Alliance for Industrial Symbiosis (SAIS) - A Cross-sectoral Blueprint for a Sustainable Process Industry (SPIRE)

  • Dates: January 2020 – December 2023
  • Leader: TU Dort­mund University
  • Grant agreement number: 612429-EPP-1-2019-1-DE-EPPKA2-SSA-B
  • Funded by:


SPIRE-SAIS aims to develop a blueprint for an European agenda and strategy for new competencies in Energy Intensive Industries (EII), which can be used to meet new competence needs for cross-sectoral industrial symbiosis (IS) and energy efficiency on a continuous and short-term basis.

Economic, digital and technological developments, as well as increasing energy efficiency and environmental demands, present the European (and global) Industry with many challenges, not least of which is to continuously update the qualification, knowledge and skill profile of the workforce. Against the background of multi-faced, cumulative and constantly changing economic challenges and digital development, human resources policy could only be successful by integrating all the relevant actors and stakeholders. A Blueprint strategy for human capital development through a Cross-Sector Skills Alliance on Energy Intensive Industries (EII) will be developed within a (social) innovation process involving a broad range of key stakeholders from the eight sectors of the SPIRE public-private partnership: Steel, Chemicals, Minerals, Non-ferrous Metals, Water, Engineering, Ceramics, and Cement.

The alliance of related sector associations or technology platforms, training providers, and research partners is characterised by a huge competence based on a long list of projects for energy efficiency, industrial symbiosis (IS) and related Vocational Education and Training (VET). This project will deliver a consolidated approach for addressing industry sectors overarching skills demands and challenges, focusing particularly on the people and skills necessary for industrial symbioses and energy efficiency. It will develop concrete and practical strategies and programmes (modules and tools) in anticipation of skills demands.


SPIRE-SAIS is setting up a blueprint for an ongoing and short-termed implementation of new skills demands concerning cross-sectoral industrial symbiosis (IS) and energy efficiency. Main goals are:

  • Proactive identification of skill needs within both companies and education and training institutions
  • Identification, development and promotion of successful sectoral recruitment and upskilling schemes
  • Establishing a database of industry occupations, job roles and skill requirements
  • Securing political support measures
  • Developing Key Performance Indicators


CIRCE will support the project by its decent knowledge and expertise in energy efficiency research and the related human resources strategies and solutions.

Particularly, CIRCE will actively participate as co-leader in the development of the blueprint and will contribute to identify how VET systems and frameworks at national and EU level currently deliver skills concerning industrial symbiosis (IS) and energy efficiency (EE) of the EIIs sectors involved, based on its experience in tailor-made training, on-line courses (both open and tailor-made), and complementary formation to workers allowing them to obtain a certification equivalent to vocational training diploma based on their professional experience.


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