SPREE: Servicizing Policy for Research Efficient Economy

The SPREE project (Servicizing Policy for Research Efficient Economy) is a three-year project within the environment theme under the European Union's Seventh Framework Program (FP7). SPREE project began on July 2012 and is due to end on June 2015 with a total funding of 2.5 Million Euros. The SPREE international consortium consists of 10 partners from 7 different member states and associated countries (The UK, Sweden, The Netherlands, Spain, Lithuania, Finland and Israel) and has two sets of partners consisting of public bodies and leading research institutes. The coordinator of SPREE project is the Research Council of Lithuania.

The aim of SPREE project is to identify potential 'Servicizing Policies Packages' and simulate their effect on absolute decoupling of economic growth and resource use, within three sectors: water, mobility and agri-food. Servicizing Systems facilitate the transition from selling products to providing services. Such transactions include renting cars instead of buying them; contracting services of irrigation instead of acquiring irrigation systems; or securing server capacity instead of procuring computers.

Servicizing can provide an incentive for suppliers to increase the durability of the products by changing their business models and redesigning products. On the other hand, consumers are provided with the economic incentive to use products in a more efficient way. The fact that both production and consumption patterns can be truly modified, due to strong economic and financial incentives, can finally lead to absolute (and not only a relative) decoupling. Servicizing policy needs to identify what must change in moving to Servicizing Systems, for example on the business side (corporate strategies, marketing and sales approach and supply chains designs) and the consumer side (psychological aspects such as the ability to give up ownership of products).

The SPREE project is constructed upon four key-elements: Conceptualization and detailed definition of Servicizing; Methodology that includes an advanced Agent Based Modelling (ABM) approach to structure and test options for Servicizing Systems and Policies; Case studies in the partners' countries; and policy agenda. The key deliverable are 'Servicizing Policy Packages' that exploit existing synergies to achieve a truly sustainable economy where economic growth is decoupled from environmental impact, while achieving societal objectives such as an increased quality of life.

Further Information

For more information and output from this research project, please see the SPREE project website or contact Dr Nihan Akyelken.