IRCEM's forerunner was Center for Initiation and Organisational Development (CIDO), an initiative of the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, launched in 2012. In 2016 CIDO changed into CIOS and focused its activity on the sustainable development of resources. In 2017 CIOS became one of the Coordination Group members of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform (ECESP).
In 2018, CIOS's organizational structure and image underwent an extensive process of modernization, thus giving birth to IRCEM – the Romanian Institute for Research in Circular Economy and Environment “Ernest Lupan”.
Romania's Strategy for the Transition to a Circular Economy (ROCES) 2020-2030 has been developed since 2018 with the objective of making Romania a circular economy leader in Central and South-Eastern Europe by 2030.
IRCEM is an independent non-governmental association with the aim to accomplish services and activities related to the facilitation, promotion and support of the increase of competitivity of the associated members as much as the economic regional/national competitiveness, through the development of a cooperative framework based on the promotion of a circular economy and of the eco-efficient technological development, aiming to create and ensure a sustainable environment.
IRCEM's programmes and projects are in the field of national, regional and local development within the following activity areas:
- Social development and community sustainability
- Education – training
- Entrepreneurship and circular economy (circular business)
- Sustainable development and environmental protection with an international focus.
IRCEM has 6 departments, 35 people actively involved in the institute, 20 PhD research students in various engineering fields and a spin-off. Currently, IRCEM has written and implemented projects in Horizon 2020, Erasmus +, UEFISCDI, Danube and POCU with activities that targeted more than 1,500 students.
IRCEM’s aims to contribute to community development and to the increase the quality standard of human life, through:
- Development and refinement of human resources’ set of competencies and skills;
- Stimulation to increase the number of new workplaces, mainly through the help of and for young graduates, for whom the community has already invested part of its resources and by considering social inclusion, through development and promotion of entrepreneurship and the consolidation of entrepreneurial culture;
- Attracting and maintaining youth within the Romanian economic space;
- Support of economic development in Romania, through the means of young professionals adapted to the new requirements of contemporary realities, under the aspect of: theoretic and practical competencies; professional experience; civic conscience; initiatives for reforming local, national and European work-space and to support energy and motivation in work, as a creative act. Preoccupied with the way we learn to interact with the urban environment in the context of deep and profound transformation of our perception in this imposed acceleration of new technology and about how we must learn to anticipate the next steps of change but also about reusing the inert urban space.
IRCEM has already been part of a series of nationally or EU funded research projects. Therefore, the research facilities and infrastructure that are necessary for this project are already in place. IRCEM will be able to use its well-developed necessary set of skills formed in previous research projects, to ensure good implementation of the project.
In the past years, IRCEM has taken part in more national and international projects, with significant results for higher education. For the specific kind of research foreseen in this project, IRCEM is independently able and has the required experience in mastering all the necessary skills.