Publishable summary: Although financing is key to the development and implementation industrial symbiosis projects (IS), it remains understudied. There are some indications that IS projects represent unusual investment opportunities but there has not yet been an attempt to systematically identify the strengths and difficulties of IS projects to obtain funding or to identify suitable funding opportunities for IS projects.
Moreover, there are no recommendations on the actions IS developers can take to mitigate these difficulties and leverage strengths, as well as appropriate ways to communicate with funding bodies. Therefore, there is a need for more knowledge on funding practices and possibilities relating to the financing of IS projects. The objective of this deliverable is to fill the above-mentioned knowledge gaps and enable improved funding conditions for IS developers. Relatedly, the main outcomes of thireport include:
i. A compilation of strengths and difficulties of obtaining funding for IS projects;
ii. A framework that guides IS developers in deciding which type of funding is best suited to the
IS project based on its level of risk and investment size;
iii. A compilation of recommendations to improve the chances of obtaining IS funding. These recommendations are grouped two groups: those that focusing on: a) risk mitigation, and: b) on communication and relationship management;
iv. A guideline for improving funding conditions for IS developers that connects points (i), (ii), (iii) into a three-step process depicted in Figure 1. This process guides IS developers towards financing options and recommendations that are relevant for their IS project.
v. Some basic suggestions and recommendations dedicated to funding bodies, which could help realise more IS practices by improving availability of supportive financing.
vi. A review of the funding situation of IS developments within the Coralis contexts and, when relevant, possible recommendations for improving funding conditions.
To deliver these outcomes, the study gathered and synthesized findings from the scattered literature on IS, and to a lesser extent CE, financing as well as a series of interviews with 19 representatives of IS developers (mostly from within but also outside Coralis partners) and 16 representatives from
funding bodies in Sweden, Denmark, and Turkey. The data collected from semi-structured interviews was analysed in detail to produce results according to the main objectives of this deliverable i.e., identifying strengths and difficulties of obtaining funding for IS projects as well as developing
guidelines and recommendations for improving funding conditions for IS developers. A key finding is that IS projects have many strengths and weaknesses in common with non-IS projects when it comes to obtaining financing and that financiers judge them in a similar manner as other
industrial developments, using conventional financial criteria. However, there are some strengths and weaknesses which are more specific or pronounced in IS projects, such as the possibility to obtain favourable funding conditions because they deliver environmental benefits and that IS projects may entail higher dependencies and/or require more than two parties to seek funding together. The strengths and weaknesses identified were grouped into several categories, including techno-physical, financial, relational, political, and sustainability-related. Another finding is that IS projects cannot be considered as a homogenous concept and can differ greatly both regarding their strengths and weakness and regarding their suitable financing sources. Three key aspects were found to determine the most appropriate funding sources: the stage of development; the level of risk, and; the size of the investment. The stage of development can be broken down into the pre-IS stage and the IS development stage. The former includes the pilot and testing phase and is not the focus of this deliverable, so only some few recommendations are presented for this phase. At this stage public funding is especially important for developing IS solutions. For the IS development stage, sources of funding are chosen mainly based on whether the two parameters of IS project – risk, and size of the investment – are respectively found to be high or low and large or small. Therefore, four categories of IS projects were constructed and presented: basic, substantial, innovative, and transformational. These were connected to prioritized sources of funding and recommendations. Moreover, within the pool of cases investigated in this study, retained earnings appeared to be the dominating source of funding for IS projects, especially if they have a relatively low to medium investment size, highlighting a common need for internal communications and lobbying efforts to secure financing. This is closely followed by government grants. In the interviews with the funding bodies, it became clear that to obtain funding and improve funding conditions, IS developers mainly need to take two types of action: first, to take measure that can effectively mitigate risks, and; second, to successfully communicate with potential financiers.
Therefore, recommendations connected to these two areas are presented, focusing on the strengths and weakness of IS projects to obtain funding. Internal and external communications for financing can certainly be assisted with the help of indicators, as IS projects currently report on the same financial performance indicators as non-IS projects, which are to a great extent aligned and show only some differences between funding bodies. Environmental- and sustainability-related priorities,
however, vary greatly between funding bodies making different indicators relevant. There is currently an ongoing process to consolidate them as part of the EU taxonomy for sustainable activities. Because of this ongoing process, it is especially important for IS developers (and industrial developers in general) to follow this process and to understand what indicators will be asked for by financiers in the near future. These outcomes of this study are relevant to companies within and outside Coralis consortia, as well
as facilitators on the local, regional, and national levels seeking to know more about the strengths and difficulties of obtaining IS funding and the possible ways of improving the conditions of IS financing. Finally, due to the scarcity of academic publications on these issues, researchers can also benefit from the findings of this deliverable.

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