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Morphogenesis of Industrial Symbiotic Networks

Erika Džajić Uršič

The study deals with Industrial Symbiosis (IS), a term used to describe a network of diverse organizations that make use of different by-products to improve their facility to achieve common goals, improve environmental conditions or improve business and technical processes. Industrial symbiosis is understood as a technological material as well as a social relationship between so-called social actors, which are involved in the exchange of secondary resources.

The author proposes a model for the evaluation of the possibilities to establish such industrial symbiosis with a study benchmark of seven industrial symbiotic examples used to build a qualitative multi-criteria decision model for the evaluation of the industrial symbiotic network model. With the data obtained from the best-known industrial symbiotic cases in the world, the author examines the importance of social actors’ involvement in industrial symbiosis both in their industrial and non-industrial technological processes.

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3 Outlining research of social aspects

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The analysis of existing topographies is generated from several industrial symbioses cases around the world. The construction of this fact has been possible by following an analysis with a method to »guess« cause-effect relationships, in regards to a critically realistic perspective.

The metaphysical world of industrial symbiotic networks is embedded in the qualitative aspect. That was followed by observations through select literature by network theories, published interviews, and articles. With the examples of industrial symbiosis in this study, the ideology of industrial ecology was also collected, where the physical world of industrial symbiosis was built into a quantitative aspect of industrial symbiosis. Also, we can find a lot of published mass flow analysis and framework economic analysis about industrial symbiosis.

Due to the early stage development of the industrial ecology and later industrial symbiotic science, there is not much available in terms of literature, sources, and theories on how industrial symbiotic networks are developed and built. There is, yet, not enough literature on social aspects of this phenomena. The best way to obtain reliable and complete data would be to collect evidence and facts from the real world and by using open field observations. Adopted is a post-positivist critical realistic approach that allows a great range of observations (Doménech 2010).

In this study, the outlined social aspects in industrial symbiosis are not only technological or logistical system, but transcend the boundaries of various systems, and are also a social system. Hence...

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