Almere’s city administration has an ambition to improve both resource efficiency and the circular economy within its bounds and wider region. As new economic activities focused on the production of innovative circular products aren't easy to launch, Almere co-founded and facilitated the UpCycle City competition with the province of Flevoland and Dutch central government.
UpCycle City stimulates start-ups, companies and research institutes in developing business cases that provide innovative solutions for waste upcycling and a financial plan that renders investment economical. The first contest led to two winners in June 2017: an upcycling initiative for local street furniture and concrete plant using the city's mineral flows. These have now signed an agreement with the city's Almere Urbanisation Fund, which is providing EUR 3 million in co-financing over 3 years and helping to facilitate the realisation of the winner's respective plans.
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The city administration has challenged participants to describe a business concept that adds value to residual flows produced during the maintenance urban public spaces.
The first contest winner is a collaboration of four companies that aims to to develop a sustainable concrete station using mineral flows from the city to create recycled concrete. This station is produce between 80-90% of this concrete, as well as creating green concrete with organic fibres.
The runner-up is a co-operative project between two companies aiming to manufacture street furniture from 100% bio-based and circular residual flows.