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Innovation and investments

MaterialDistrict: a unique match-making platform for innovative materials

Material District

MaterialDistrict is a unique platform for innovative materials which empowers global innovation by match-making material needs with material solutions in the name of circularity. R&D and design professionals of all industrial sectors use this platform to discover new material solutions daily via MaterialDistrict's independent collection of materials, annually at MaterialDistrict Rotterdam and periodically throughout the year with travelling MaterialDistrict Expo, MaterialDistrict Talks and MaterialDistrict Pop-Up events.

12 Mar 2019 to 14 Mar 2019
Materialdistrict 2019
City: 
Rotterdam
Country: 
Netherlands

MaterialDistrict Rotterdam 2019 is the leading event for R&D and design professionals within six sectors, including textiles and fabrics. Circularity is among the priority themes to be treated.

19 Mar 2019

EREK will hold its first webinar on 19th March 2019. The event will be co-organised by ADEME and will focus on the lessons learned from delivering resource efficiency support programmes in Europe. It will focus on the cases of France, Scotland, and Estonia, with speakers from those countries.

SK-Tex, a Slovakian recycling company, transforms old clothes into insulation products

SK-Tex product EkosenHMC

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Country: 
Slovak Republic

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SK-Tex takes old clothing and turns it into products that can be used in cars, furniture and buildings. The company has been in operation since 1998, beginning as a textile raw materials trading company before developing into a recycling company.

DyeCoo uses reclaimed CO₂ as the dyeing medium, in a closed loop process

DyeCoo

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Netherlands

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DyeCoo, based in Weesp, the Netherlands, has more than 15 years of experience in CO₂-based textile processing technology. By replacing water with CO₂ for the dyeing process, no wastewater is generated. Furthermore, DyCoo uses reclaimed CO₂ from existing idustrial processes, making it a closed loop operation.

19 Feb 2019
Circular Economy Competences

On 19 February 2019 the European Parliament and ACR+ hosted experts and practitioners from local and regional authorities, training providers, NGOs and academia across Europe. 

C-SERVEES

C-SERVEES Platform

C-SERVEES is a network aiming at activating Circular Services in the Electric and Electronic Sector through the development, testing, validation and transfer of new circular economic business models based on systemic eco-innovative services that include:

  • eco-leasing of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE),
  • product customization,
  • improved management of waste of electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE),
  • and ICT services to support the other eco-services.

ICT tools (relying on QR codes) will be developed as the driver of the proposed eco-innovative services to take full advantage of the potential and synergies of two major revolutions of our time: the circular economy and the Industry 4.0.

C-SERVEES will contribute to transform the E&E sector into circular and 4.0, raising new opportunities for end-users (such as their involvement in design or the access to a product as a service) and for social and solidarity economy (conducted by NGOs employing people at risk of social exclusion to repair and prepare WEEE for re-use). The techno-economic, environmental and social viability of the new circular economy business models will be validated through demonstrations dealing with four target products: washing machines, toner cartridges, telecom equipment and TVs.

 

Di-Plast: developing digital quality control for recyclate PM material flow

Plastic recyclates

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Country: 
EU

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Use of recycled plastic material (rPM) in North West Europe is homogeneously low. In packaging and building, the highest plastic-consuming sectors, only 8% of plastic employed is recyclate (Plastics Europe 2016). This is often due to the lack of information on purity and composition of recycled plastics. The Interreg NWE research project Di-Plast develops digital technology to enable complete documentation and quality assurance of recycled plastic material flows.

African Circular Economy Network - Connecting Europe to 'Circular Africa'

African Circular Economy Network

The African Circular Economy Network (ACEN) is a registered Non-Profit Organisation in South Africa (195-590 NPO).

Its vision is to build a restorative African economy that generates well-being and prosperity inclusive of all its people, through new forms of economic production and consumption which maintain and regenerate its environmental resources.

Research
The research activities of the ACEN will investigate issues, document findings relevant for the African context and its needs. Researchers will be drawn from ACEN members, academics and other stakeholder partners across Africa, but also Europe, Asia or America, where needed.

Training and Awareness
The priority of ACEN is to raise awareness and undertake training amongst key sectors of the African economy: public (government, educational institutions), private (corporates & SMEs), and civil society (non-governmental organisations) to promote the concept, benefits, principles and practice of the Circular Economy.

Networking and Events
ACEN believes that solutions to current challenges require inter-disciplinary skills, multiple stakeholder involvement and regional, African as well as international partnerships. It therefore aims to create platforms where specialists can collaborate to exchange ideas, experiences and solutions. ACEN has hosted several stakeholder engagements to date to enable a global reach. Members from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (UK), Pavia University (Italy), the South African/European Union Partnership (South Africa), the World Economic Forum (Switzerland) and Green Alliance (UK), to name a few, have joined the discussion.

Knowledge Sharing
ACEN currently disseminates and shares knowledge about the circular economy through LinkedIn and Facebook, and in the future, will also use other online channels to develop a strong base of knowledge and information and extend its reach throughout South Africa and Africa.

The network is active in over 24 countries. In 2017 it co-organised the first Circular Economy Conference in Africa with the European Union and the South African Government (World Economic Forum Africa, Durban). It is engaged with the EU to discuss approaches on ways to be inspired by the African continent and enable more circular strategies (less negative impact), and  with training, research and knowledge sharing with corporate and universities.

05 Mar 2019
TedxSustainableTransition logo

Join five inspiring speakers to hear the latest thinking on circular economy at TedXParcduCinquantenaire, to be hosted hosted by the European Commission on the 5th of March in Brussels.

07 Mar 2019

On 7 March the European Commission will host a workshop to inform stakeholders about the product environmental footprint, its development and possible contribution to a Single Market for Green Products.

Overcoming challenges to recycle EPS fish boxes into new food-grade packaging

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Spain

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The LIFE EPS SURE project aims to offer a technically, environmentally and economically viable solution that allows EPS fish boxes to be collected, washed and converted into new PS food contact packaging, thus closing the loop.

AquaponieBXL: wasteless urban farming, where food grows on water using nutrients from fish waste

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Belgium

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AquaponieBxl is introducing aquaponics across Brussels by building urban farms where vegetables grow on water using fish waste as fertiliser.

How recyclable is this packaging, once in consumers' hands? PREP Design makes a thorough assessment.

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Country: 
United Kingdom

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PREP is a tool used by brand owners and packaging designers. By entering all the packaging characteristics in the platform software, a detailed report lists what happens to it when recycled by consumers and to which extent it is recyclable in real-life conditions.

Enablers and Barriers to a Circular Economy

Enablers and Barriers to a Circular Economy

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Author: 
R2Pi Project
Publication Date: 
09/2018
Country: 
EU

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Contact: 
Raymond Slaughter

The report provides a simple, yet rich overview of the barriers and enablers of circular economy business models as identifed by stakeholders, drawing upon a range of interviews, workshops and events, and a survey conducted with representatives of the European business sector.

Within businesses, stakeholders have identified high-level commitment accompanied by long-term perspectives, the personal drive and attitudes of staff, as well as the promise of enhanced competitiveness as key in supporting the transition towards circularity. Yet, from an internal company perspective, a number of factors were highlighted as getting in the way of the transition. Difficulties in financing new business models, taxation systems, resistance to change and the perceived lack of consumer demand are key examples of obstacles that hamper the circular transformation.

Importantly, stakeholders have provided interesting insights into possible solutions and recommendations able to overcome the challenges posed by circular economy barriers: tax incentives, the development of wealth-measurement systems other than GDP, material passports and quality standards, to name a few. Future solutions should also focus on ensuring safe areas for innovation out of tendering calls, green public procurement and increased financial support.

 

31 Jan 2019
Plastic waste

This event organised by the Aldersgate Group will debate the progress made over the last five years on the circular economy and plastics agenda, how to ensure that momentum continues, and what should be key priorities for European policy makers after the European elections and change of Commission.

ECO.NOMIA | The Portuguese Circular Economy Information Portal

Eco.nomia logo
Country: 
Portugal

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Contact: 
Secretary General for the Environment
Portuguese Agency for the Environment

The ECO.NOMIA portal, created in 2016, is one of the components of the Portuguese Action Plan for Circular Economy (2017), adopting the role of a knowledge-sharing space. It is a one-stop-shop for all things circular, in Portuguese, aimed at citizens, companies and investors. Not only does it explain the principles, advantages and opportunities of the circular economy, it also provides examples and information on financing, learning opportunities and national and international events.

 

6 guidelines to empower financial decision-making in the circular economy

6 guidelines to empower financial decision-making in the circular economy

6 guidelines to empower financial decision makers

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Author: 
Elisa Achterberg, Rens van Tilburg
Publication Date: 
12/2016
Country: 
Netherlands

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Contact: 
Harald Friedl

The paper aims to outline the new role financiers have to play to accelerate the transition towards a circular economy. How can they change their own operations to better align with those of circular entrepreneurs? How should they judge the risks and opportunities that are presented by circular business models? What new dangers and securities do these new business models bring? What role can they play in this new economy?

This guide will help financiers thrive in the circular economy through 6 practical guidelines:
  1. Assess Different Securities
  2. Emphasise Relationship-based Financing
  3. Value Natural Capital Gains
  4. Become a Knowledge Partner
  5. Have a Long-term Vision
  6. Become a Financial Chain Director

The system shift to the circular economy fundamentally changes the role of both the entrepreneur as well as the financier. In order to overcome this change, entrepreneurs and financiers need to find each other in this new economy. 

 

Master Circular Business with the Value Hill

circular business value hill

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Author: 
Elisa Achterberg, Jeroen Hinfelaar, Nancy Bocken
Publication Date: 
09/2016
Country: 
Netherlands

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Contact: 
Harald Friedl

Although the opportunities for investing in circular business models are widely available, current investment methods do not match the needs of these particular businesses. To finance these business models, both companies as well as the financial sector need to adapt. Businesses need to create an attractive business model for financiers, and financiers need to change the way they perceive the risks and opportunities associated with these models.

To help businesses position themselves in a circular context and develop future strategies for doing business in a circular economy, Sustainable Finance LabCircle EconomyNuovalenteTUDelft, and het Groene Brein got together to create the Value Hill.

The Value Hill proposes a categorisation based on the lifecycle phases of a product: pre-, in- and post-use. This allows businesses to position themselves on the Value Hill and understand potential circular strategies they can implement as well as identify missing partners in their circular network. The Value Hill provides an overview of the circular partners and collaboration essential to the success of a circular value network.

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