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Research and Innovation

Research and Innovation

Institut Cirkulární Ekonomiky

The Institut Cirkulární Ekonomiky (Institute for Circular Economy) is the Czech Republic’s foremost circular economy non-profit focusing on innovative environmental management. Together with its partners, the Institute works on projects that further the transition from a linear towards a circular system.

These include analytical and educational programmes as well as project management tools for various organisations and individuals, such as:

  • Annual Waste as Resource conference for local authorities
  • Zajimej.se, the Czech language web portal on circular economy
  • Uplatni.se portal connecting companies with students looking for internships and thesis in circular economy

Additionally, the Institute also engages private companies and public sector institutions with research, events, workshops and policy development in the Czech Republic.

Cirkularni Hub Praha

prague circular hub logo

The Prague Circular Hub is a joint initiative by the Institut Cirkularni Ekonomiky, Alliance for Renewable Energy and the Brno Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Its vision is to build a cultural and innovation centre which seeks to acquaint the general and professional public with circular economy. With discussions, seminars, conferences, as well as pilot projects aimed at testing new research methods in the field of circular economy, the Prague Circular Hub contributes to the active transformation into a circular system.

While the Hub has already completed a Prague Circular Scan with the support of Circle Economy, it continues to organise regular ‘buzz talks’ and conduct further research to promote the adoption of circular business models in the Czech capital.

Ringmajanduse Forum

In 2018, the Estonian Environmental Management Association established a Circular Economy Forum, which now already counts several companies among its members and receives support from the national Ministry of Environment.

The Circular Economy Forum is an open platform for communication and cooperation to raise business awareness of the circular economy and support wider application of circular business models.

The forum is aimed at companies operating in Estonia that have an interest in applying circular economy principles in practice. Alongside regular events, the forum also publishes good practices from Estonian industry.

To join the forum, email ekja@ekja.ee with the following information:

  • Company name
  • Name and contact details of company representative
  • What is your interest in circular economy?

Circular Hungary Program

circular hungary program logo

The Hungarian Foundation for Circular Economy established a Circular Hungary Program in 2018, the objective of which is to promote the acceleration to a circular economy transition in Hungary. The program aims to identify obstacles and gaps as well as improve the conditions and environment at technological, regulatory, market, consumer behaviour and financing levels for circular products, practices and projects. This is a business-led initiative, with more than 12 corporations already signed up to take part.

Companies, organisations, institutions and local governments can join the Circular Hungary Program. More information and membership conditions can be found here (in Hungarian)

Waste and Resources Action Plan

wrap logo

The WRAP (Waste and Resource Action Plan) is a UK catalyst active in the space between citizens, government and businesses that focuses on maximising the value of waste by increasing the quantity and quality of materials collected for re-use and recycling. It does so by conducting research, brokering voluntary agreements and implementing campaigns to empower consumer action.

Research

  • Barriers to Recycling at Home helped hundreds of local authorities build an evidence base and coherent strategy to get communities engaged and committed to recycling.
  • Switched on to value identified £1 billion of unused electronics in UK homes, and demonstrates that extending the life of electrical products could save businesses £400 million a year.
  • Reducing Food Waste by Extending Product Life motivated supermarket Tesco to source fresh produce more quickly, helping them to offer their customers products that stay fresh for longer.  
  • Valuing Our Clothes provided the first comprehensive insight into the financial and environmental impact of clothing. It revealed that UK households own £30 billion worth of unused clothing.

Voluntary Commitments

  • The Courtauld Commitment 2025 is an ambitious voluntary agreement that brings together a broad range of organisations to make food and drink production and consumption more sustainable. It builds on the success of the Courtauld Commitments 1, 2 and 3 in preventing waste and avoiding carbon emissions. 
  • The Sustainable Clothing Action Plan (SCAP) brings together industry, government and the third sector to reduce resource use and improve the sustainability of clothing. The agreement targets every stage of the clothing journey, bringing together retailers, brands, re-use and recycling organisations, charities and NGOs, which collectively make up over 40% of UK clothing sales.
  • The UK Plastics Pact aims to create a circular economy for plastics. It brings together businesses from across the entire plastics value chain with UK governments and NGOs to tackle the scourge of plastic waste.

Consumer campaigns

  • Love Food Hate Waste  in partnership with major UK supermarkets. The campaign gives individuals the information they need to recognise and tackle food waste.
  • Love Your Clothes offers practical advice to help people make the most of their clothes, as well as demonstrating the benefits of repairing, re-using and recycling them. 
  • Recycle Now provides information and advice to help individuals recycle more. It is the national recycling campaign for England, used by over 90% of English local authorities.

Vlaanderen Circulair

vlaanderen circulair

Vlaanderen Circulair (Circular Flanders) is the hub and inspiration for the Flemish circular economy. It is a partnership of policymakers, companies, civil society, and the knowledge community taking action together. Its six core activities are:

  • Networking partners to tackle circular economy challenges
  • Creating knowledge with the Circular Economy Policy Research Centre to streamline policy-related research into policy measures for the circular economy in Flanders
  • Speeding up innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Assisting pioneers
  • Connecting local, Flemish, federal and European policymaking
  • Embedding circular principles across Flemish civil society

Key to the Circular Flanders approach are several pillars with a great deal of potential, which bridge and bring together different sectors. Currently, these are circular purchasing, circular cities, and running circular businesses. 

Cradlenet

cradlenet logo

Cradlenet is a multi-stakeholder association founded in 2009 to disseminate the Cradle2Cradle concept across Sweden, which has become the country's foremost circular economy network.

Cradlenet aims to accelerate Sweden's transition to a circular economy among companies, organisations and people in order to provide inspiration and momentum, and knowledge about developments in circular thinking.

With all seminars free of charge, Cradlenet members have access to further networking events and knowledge research.

Cradlenet is a non-profit association operating out of Stockholm, and with local networks in Umeå , Malmö and Gothenburg.

Nederland Circulair!

nl circulair logo

Versnellingshuis Nederland Circulair! (Netherlands Circular Accelerator) is a business support network created by VNO-NCW / MKB Nederland, their regional affiliates and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water. Despite much interest in the circular transition, creating a successful enterprise that effectively keeps resources and products in use longer is not that straightforward due to a lack of knowledge and too little collaboration with stakeholders.

The Versnellinshuis helps overcome these challenges by:

  • improving the preconditions for circular entrepreneurship through dissemination of financing opportunities, promotion of market incentives and discussion on regulatory barriers at regional, national and European levels
  • matchmaking entrepreneurs across regions and value chains to stimulate sustainable solutions.

In addition to hosting a website for circular innovators to connect directly, the Versnellingshuis launches 5 groundbreaking projects and fosters 3 regional collaborations yearly and contributes to a circular transition with the following programmes as well:

  • Holland Circular Hotspot: network for international promotion of Dutch CE activities
  • VANG: knowledge and best practice exchange for local authority waste managers
  • Plastic Pact NL: bringing 75 value chain players together to stimulate less plastic and more recycling.

For a brief overview, view the video below:

Swedish Lifecycle Center

swedish lifecycle center logo

The Swedish Life Cycle Center is an initiative by the Swedish Energy Agency, hosted by Chalmers University of Technology, which strengthens collaboration and engages more organizations to apply a life cyle perspective in Sweden.

The platform, designed for academia, industry, research institutes and government agencies, has been active for 20+ years, counts 14 partners and is supported by 7 government agencies. In 2018, it organized 80 meetings for 370 lifecycle professionals.

The lifecycle center accomplishes its objectives with partnerships for several activities such as: network conferences, seminars, webinars, education, initiating research projects, collaboration and communication activities.

UK Circular Plastics Network

UK circular plastics network logo

The UK Circular Plastics Network (UKCPN) brings together diverse users of plastic products to reduce plastic waste entering the environment through a programme of networking and knowledge-sharing events, and related support activities.

UKCPN facilitates:

  • Eliminating the volume of plastic waste arising from within the UK.
  • Raising awareness and sharing best practice to improve the rate of UK plastic recycling.
  • Sharing best practices to reduce confusion among citizens and highlighting user-centred design.
  • Showcasing innovation focused on reducing the amount of plastic ending up in the environment.

With support from UK Research and Innovation, UKCPN forms part of the Plastics Research Innovation Fund (PRIF), which is engaging Britain’s best scientists and innovators to help move the country towards more circular economic and sustainable approaches to plastics.

The two-year programme brings together those with solutions to the problem and facilitates circular supply chain engagement with those solutions. The UKPCN will host more than 12 events during this period and launch a website for the community to interact directly, while also publishing a directory of companies active in this sector as a landscape map accessible to all members.

UKCPN also has signed up as an engagement partner of the UK Plastics Pact.

Circular Oslo

Circular Oslo - Circular Regions

Circular Oslo promotes multi-stakeholder collaboration to accelerate the circular transition in the Oslo Region by sharing knowledge and expertise for reduced material consumption, while supporting regional activities having positive social, economic and environmental impact. To achieve this, Circular Oslo:

  • encourages and inspires by identifying and highlighting municipalities, organizations, projects and initiatives that implement circular solutions and innovative business models
  • develops and provides access to tools, workshops, and educational resources for public entities, communities, NGOs, businesses, entrepreneurs, and students to better understand and implement circular solutions
  • collaborates with similar initiatives whose values and mission align
  • strengthens links with other regions, both nationally and internationally.

In 2019, Circular Oslo has begun mapping circular economy policy actions from the Nordic region and wider Europe to support the development of a national CE strategy for Norway.

Iberian Circular Economy Foundation (FEC)

Fundación para la Economía Circular

The Circular Economy Foundation (FEC) is a private, Iberian ambit foundation working in areas related to circular economy, sustainability, resource use and environment.

FEC has launched PIPEC, a multi-participant Iberian platform (Spain, Portugal and Andorra) whose aim is promoting the Circular Economy and its potential advantages such as sustainable development, eco-competitiveness of companies, new proximity employment, reduction of dependence on raw materials, energy and material efficiency, reduction of the ecological footprint, promotion of local and quality production, prevention and minimization of waste, protection of natural capital, increased ecological resilience and the reduction of carbon emissions.

FEC has launched this platform in order to involve all actors in the life cycle (or value chains), with the aim of discussing the possible orientations and co-build innovative economic initiatives. PIPEC is structured in: "Multiparticipant" Working Groups and Sectorial Platforms.

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.

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.

Circul'R

circular economy consulting
Country: 
France

Language for original content:

Contact: 
Matthieu Witvoet

Circul'R is an international network of circular economy startups.

Its mission is to unlock the circular economy's potential by connecting innovative startups with companies so that they can co-create solutions to accelerate their transition towards the circular economy.

Its main services are:

  • raising awareness (conferences to explain circular economy by presenting the most innovative circular solutions),
  • learning expeditions (bringing people on the field to meet with circular economy entrepreneurs and their projects),
  • consultancy (business opportunities, funding, etc.),
  • Circul'R Club (bringing together large companies and startups with the objective of co-creating concrete projects in the field of circular economy: waste management, eco-design, new business models, etc.).

Circular Economy Platform of Ports (LOOP-Ports)

LOOP-Ports
Country: 
Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain

Language for original content:

Contact: 
Rocío García Molina
Jorge Lara López

LOOP-Ports aims to facilitate the transition to a more circular economy in the port sector, providing an innovation ecosystem around port activity fostering circular economy initiatives, and facilitating the exchange of experiences and good practices. This network will focus on high-emitting materials, mainly metals, plastics, cements and biomaterials and has begun the following activities:

  • Compilation of a wide range of examples of circular economy activities already implemented in the port sector at EU level as well as some additional best practices around the world;
  • Analysis of the main drivers (legal, policy, finance, market structures,...) to identify the opportunities for intervention and to formulate specific recommendations in order to boost the development of circular economy activities in port ecosystems;
  • Preparation of tailored training materials and development of training pilots to improve skills, knowledge and innovation capacities both within and among different port clusters;
  • Establishment of a database with all the information collected from the EU ports (following the variables considered relevant to map EU ports in terms of circular economy);
  • Developing a web tool for circular economy showing project results, enabling the exchange of information among the members of the network, stakeholders and the general public;
  • Creation of a pan-EU network of ports focused on circular economy activities, including workshops/roundtables with stakeholders to gather interests, points of view and expectations;
  • Development of business models - real-use cases selected during the project - analysing their replicability in other ports with similar characteristics.

All port stakeholders are welcome to join the Circular Economy Network of Ports, which is funded by the EIT under its Climate-KIC Programme.

Circular Economy Industry Platform

Circular Economy Industry Platform

What is the Circular Economy Industry Platform about?

Circulary is a web tool managed by BusinessEurope and its national members that contributes to the EU’s agenda on circular economy.

It continuously brings new examples of innovative ways in which industry, SMEs and other business add to the circular economy in Europe, and features over 150 prime examples of industrial best practice in circular economy as of November 2018. At the same time, it highlights the regulatory and non-regulatory challenges these businesses still face to upscale their current initiatives or to start new ones. As such the platform is a unique bottom-up business-led hub of knowledge and expertise.

Why should your company engage?

  • To showcase what your company is already doing on circular economy. By showing the extent to which business is already engaged into this transformation process, you will help make EU policy fit-for-purpose.
  • To raise your concerns on barriers and obstacles. The analysis of common trends in barriers and obstacles that you and other companies face to become circular will help draw the attention of policymakers.
  • To make your voice heard on upcoming EU policy initiatives. By gathering your “on the ground” practical experiences, BusinessEurope will be in a stronger position to advocate the business voice towards European institutions.
  • To develop your network. The platform is a unique way for you to connect to other companies on circular economy, either by being contacted by others because of your expertise or by being able to see what is happening elsewhere.
  • To access the EU / Brussels debate on circular economy. Based on what we receive from you and others, BusinessEurope intends as much as possible to organise events, consultations and promotion of the platform and its participating community.

 

The Luxembourg EcoInnovation Cluster - Promoting circular economy

Luxembourg Ecoinnovation webpage
Country: 
Luxembourg

Language for original content:

Sector:

The Luxembourg EcoInnovation Cluster, managed by Luxinnovation, the National Agency for Innovation and Research, is an active network that brings together and supports various players of the clean technologies sector with the ultimate goal of turning the concept of circular economy into a reality in Luxembourg. The cluster's objectives are the following:

  • diversify the activities of the Luxembourg companies thus allowing them to gain and to develop new capabilities in the clean technologies field;
  • contribute to the development of new environmental solutions in the field of eco-technologies and sustainable construction;
  • raise public awareness to the uptake of “green technologies”;
  • build public-private partnerships in order to develop new collaborative projects of common interest;
  • encourage networking between public and private actors at the national and international level.

The cluster provides the following services:

  • access to practical and technical information related to specific questions on eco-innovation;
  • advice on national and European funding opportunities for clean technologies;
  • value-added information on emerging technologies and markets.