Horizon Europe call on circular systemic solutions

The European Commission's Horizon Europe Framework Programme has launched a call for the circular economy and bioeconomy sectors, with particular reference to circular systemic solutions under the Circular Cities and Regions Initiative (CCRI).

Circular systemic solutions should identify, analyse and, where feasible, quantify the economic, social and environmental benefits and trade-offs/challenges related to their implementation and demonstration. They should include the monitoring and evaluation of the transition towards a circular economy and identify their strengths, weaknesses and causes. They should analyse the regulatory obstacles and drivers encountered and provide clear and precise policy recommendations to improve the circular economy. Each circular systemic solution should address environmental externalities and contribute to preserving and, where possible, increasing the well-being and health of the local communities involved in the transition towards a circular economy.

It is crucial that the circular systemic solutions implemented and their business models have high replicability and scalability potential. This is fundamental for enabling circular systemic solutions demonstrated in specific areas to be replicated in others. During their implementation and by the end of their life cycle, the selected proposals are expected to share with all stakeholders clear and comprehensive guidelines on the circular systemic solutions adopted, including their strengths and challenges. They should also provide information on key barriers identified to avoid their emergence at early stages of replicating existing solutions. Proposals should ensure that all evidence, information and project outcomes will be accessible through the CCRI website (including business models and other studies).

It is essential that proposals also ensure complementarity and cooperation with existing and future relevant European projects on the circular economy and the circular bioeconomy, with particular reference to local and regional projects, and avoid overlaps and repetition.

Proposals for topics should set out a credible pathway to:

  • develop the circular economy and bioeconomy sectors;
  • ensure natural resources are used and managed with due regard for sustainability and circularity;
  • prevent and remove pollution;
  • unlock the full potential and benefits of the circular economy and the bioeconomy, with clean secondary raw materials, ensuring competitiveness and guaranteeing healthy soil, air, fresh and seawater for all. This should be underpinned by a better understanding of planetary boundaries and wide deployment and market uptake of innovative technologies and other solutions, notably in primary production (forestry) and bio-based systems.