The Circular Economy – A Model for the Future
Munich – Companies and research institutions from the countries of the Danube region¹ are now able to exchange products, materials and resources for reuse on a new online platform, and to build cooperation networks to promote the circular economy. This platform (http://danube-goes-circular.eu/), including a virtual marketplace, was launched by the European Interreg project MOVECO, with partners from ten countries in the Danube region. The international consortium also offers interested stakeholders a toolbox for implementing circular economy concepts in businesses and organisations, while also informing them about relevant topics, such as extended producer responsibility schemes in the various countries.
The four modules on the new platform are based on the motto “Let’s make the world a more circular place!” The first module is a market for reusing products, secondary resources and materials. This virtual marketplace seeks to close material loops within the countries of the Danube region. “The waste of one producer can become a valuable resource for another”, explains MOVECO’s deputy coordinator Antonija Božič Cerar at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia. “On the platform, companies can co-create networks and industrial symbiosis. Registration is already open!”
The second module primarily addresses research and development institutions and offers opportunities for cooperation within the circular economy. In this section, interested stakeholders can exchange views on relevant topics and find new partners for projects in this area. Further, in the “Ideas and Discussion” section, they can contribute by sharing their expertise and also find solutions to their own challenges.
The Circular Economy Toolbox, the third module, is intended to support enterprises and organisations in implementing the circular economy. The complete publication of the toolbox is scheduled for August 2018. It offers an overview of circular economy principles along with various training materials, including information on cooperation opportunities as well as assessment and financing instruments for circular projects.
In the fourth module, the MOVECO partners provide comprehensive information on the various extended producer responsibility (EPR) schemes in the Danube region. This section summarizes the state of legislation in the respective countries and indicates local contact people with expertise. The aim of EPR is to ensure that manufacturers and producing companies take responsibility for the entire life cycle of their products by optimizing the recyclability or reusability of products already in the design phase. Since this approach is the circular economy in action, MOVECO provides regular and detailed information on this topic.
All modules of the new online platform offer an automatic translation function² and will be further developed by the MOVECO consortium.
Funded in the framework of the European Union's Interreg Danube Transnational Programme, MOVECO (www.interreg-danube.eu/moveco) is a project that raises awareness of the circular economy among companies, research institutions, public authorities, economic development institutions and citizens. Since December 2016, twelve project partners and four strategic partners from ten countries in the Danube region³ have been working together to promote knowledge about the circular economy and to improve the framework conditions for circular products and business models in the Danube region. The project is coordinated by the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
About the Bavarian Research Alliance (BayFOR)
The Bavarian Research Alliance (www.bayfor.org/english) – funded by the Bavarian Ministry of Science and the Arts – supported the MOVECO consortium in the application process. In the ongoing project, BayFOR is involved as a scientific project partner and is responsible for the project’s external communication.
BayFOR’s purpose is to promote Bavaria as a centre for science and innovation within the European Research Area. It supports and advises Bavarian scientists and stakeholders from the private sector in securing European funding for research, development and innovation. The focus is on the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020. As a partner in the Enterprise Europe Network for SMEs, BayFOR provides specific advice for SMEs interested in EU research and innovation projects. BayFOR is a partner institution in the Bavarian Research and Innovation Agency (www.research-innovation-bavaria.de).
¹ The platform primarily addresses the countries of the Danube region (Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia). However, registration is also open to interested stakeholders from other countries.
² The platform is available in English as well as Bosnian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Romanian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian and Ukrainian.
³ The project consortium consists of representatives from the following countries of the Danube region: Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia.
Grit Ackermann (MOVECO coordinator)
Tel.: +386 1 5898 418
Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia
SI-1504 Ljubljana, Slovenia
MOVECO Communication Office
Tel.: +49 (0)89 9901 888 -174
Bavarian Research Alliance (BayFOR) GmbH
80538 Munich, Germany
Project co-funded by European Union funds (ERDF, IPA).