Ready? Set! GO! The NEW-MINE project kicks off!

Dear readers,

Here is our first blog article: some impressions about the kick-off event!

The NEW-MINE Kick-Off Event took place at the Greenville Center of Cleantech in Houthalen, Belgium. Greenville is an incubator for green technology offering a range of services. The incubator is located on an old coal mine, where you can actually learn a lot about Limburgs´ mining history. They even offer tours, so if you are around, it’s definitely worth a visit. The site has a long history, so it’s not a coincidence that NEW-MINE project chose it for the kick-off. Actually, the NEW-MINE project officially started on September 1, 2016 by recruiting a diverse group of young researchers from all over the world. You can take a look at all newly recruited Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) as well as their field of research here. Now, six months later, this project team is ready to start working on the complex issues related to Enhanced Landfill Mining (ELFM).

At the eve of the NEW-MINE kick-off, the European Enhanced Landfill Mining Consortium (in short EURELCO) organised various events. EURELCO can be considered as the umbrella organization of NEW-MINE, and besides NEW-MINE another EU project was introduced: the COCOON project was initiated! While NEW-MINE focusses on the technical part, COCOON aims at improving policy implementation in landfill mining. (If you want to know more about these projects or find out who else is working on landfill mining, you can always check out the EURELCO website.) For this joyful occasion, EURELCO members came together for a general assembly meeting at Greenville and Hilde Vautmans, Member of European Parliament, presented her ambitious ELFM EU Action Plan to the gathered press. Participating as ESRs has given us the chance to see how the decision making processes take place, while we could meet all the supervisors and discuss urgent matters with the whole group.

The next day, all recruited ESRs presented themselves and their background to the NEW-MINE project consortium. Also, the project management team gave an overview of flowsheet of the project and explained its communication strategy. As a result of this, the ESRs started writing their first blogposts! The rest of the Kick-Off Event took place at the Novotel in Leuven, where the ESRs got various trainings on cost-benefit analysis, technology, IPR (Intellectual Property Rights) and information dissemination.

Of course not all of the Kick-Off event was dedicated to education and organization. We also had quite a lot of fun having a great Kick-Off dinner and trying some awesome Belgium beer. The Kick-Off dinner took place at the restaurant Ter Eycken, where all supervisors, ESRs and the management team got together in an informal context. We all got to know each other a little bit better, had great food and excellent service. So if you are ever in Leuven and want to go for a nice dinner for two, pay Ter Eycken a visit and say „Hi“ from the NEW-MINE project.

After dinner, most of us went to a bar called The CAPITAL close by. They serve over 1000 different kinds of beers and we all got a taste of the rich variety Belgium beer has to offer. The next evening all ESRs got together at Giovanna’s place for pasta al pesto. Here you could really feel the international spirit of the group. We listened to a bunch of different music from all over the world, Georgia taught us the Greek national dance Sirtaki, some were speaking English, others Spanish or German.

NEW-MINE now plays a big role in all of our lives and the Kick-Off Event showed that we have a great team of researchers organized by a great management team, working with important partners towards success in Enhanced Landfill Mining. Motivation is high, let’s keep it up!

About the authors:

Giovanna Sauve (GS)

Giovanna is our ESR 13 and her research project aims at assessing the environmental impacts of ELFM solutions by an integrated LCA and RA methodology. Originally from Rome, she obtained her Bachelor degree in Politecnico di Milano and obtained her double Master’s degree in KTH Royal Institute of Technology, in Stockholm, and Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, in Barcelona.

Paul Einhäupl (PVE)

Paul is doing a policy and social impact assessment on ELFM, which is our ESR 15. He grew up in Berlin, where he also studied industrial engineering at the Technische Universität with visits to Mexico and Portugal. Before becoming part of the NEW-MINE team, Paul was working at a Collaborative Research Center on sustainable manufacturing.

What can you expect from this blog?

This blog serves as one of many communication channels for the NEW-MINE project. (You can also find us on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.) Our plan is not to publish our scientific results here, but rather give you an insight on events we are participating or research exchanges with industry partners we undertake. In the near future, each work package of NEW-MINE will be introduced here, and from there on we will see where the next four years of research will take us. We hope you will stay with us and check out what´s new in NEW-MINE from time to time.

New-Mine kicks off!