On September 21st, CIRCONNECT launched the new online knowledge platform circular design. On www.circonnect.org, leading knowledge institutions, the design sector, industry associations, regional innovation parties and government organizations share knowledge and experience gained about circular design. In this way they make this knowledge widely accessible to everyone and accelerate the transition to a circular economy.
Circular design is the driving force in a circular economy
The transition to a circular economy is urgent. Increasing scarcity of raw materials and growing challenges related to waste, nitrogen and CO2 emissions are increasingly pressing problems. Circular design is the driving force in the transition to a circular economy. 80% of the environmental impact of products is determined in the design phase.
More and more companies and designers are working on circular products, services and business models. They discover that the circular transition is also economically attractive: it provides new opportunities. At the same time, the learning process is still in full swing. Parties are therefore looking for new knowledge and tools for their circular innovation processes. CIRCONNECT collects and enriches knowledge about everything in the field of circular design. Everyone can then use that knowledge to get started: from designers and entrepreneurs to policymakers, researchers and teachers. The new online platform is one of the channels that CIRCONNECT uses for this.
From practical examples to scientific publications
There are already almost 100 knowledge contributions about circular design on www.circonnect.org. New knowledge items are added every week. The offer is wide and varies from webinars on Product-as-a-Service business models or extended producer responsibility (EPV), to training on circular design of electronics, a research report on wood waste and cases of entrepreneurs putting circular design into practice. Although the principles of circular design transcend sectors, specific attention is paid to the most important impact sectors: construction, consumer goods, plastics, manufacturing industry and food & agri.
Pieter van Os (programmer CIRCO): “An important challenge for CIRCONNECT is that we will bring the knowledge of all these partners to designers and companies in an accessible way. There are many thick reports and in general people do not want to read them. We tell them: this is in the report and if you are working on this subject, it is useful to address it.”
Benefit from each other’s knowledge and experiences
15 organizations have now united within CIRCONNECT. They share their knowledge and insights about circular design on the platform and with their supporters.
These parties are: Professional Association of Dutch Designers (BNO), Branch Association for Furniture Industry and Interior Construction (CBM), CIRCO (a program of TKI-CLICKNL), Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, the Knowledge Institute for Sustainable Packaging (KIDV), Midpoint Brabant, Northern Innovation Lab Circular Economy ( N.I.C.E.), the Federation of the Dutch Rubber and Plastics Industry (NRK), East NL, Province of Overijssel, Rijkswaterstaat, TNO, TU Delft, Acceleration House Netherlands circular! and Zuyd University of Applied Sciences.
Bart Ahsmann (director CLICKNL) emphasizes the value of CIRCONNECT: “CIRCONNECT is an important initiative. It is time to broadly share knowledge and experience about circular design. Knowledge that the creative industry can use in the development of circular business models. And from which all sectors and stakeholders can benefit.”
Martin van Dord (Innovation Agent NRK and ChemistryNL): “The circular plastics chain will be the spearhead for us in the coming years. Designers (and engineers, constructors, etc.) play a major role in this because they determine whether a product is circular or not. The right knowledge, tools and connections are crucial for this and CIRCONNECT offers the platform for this. Our companies have a lot of experience with chain collaboration and are happy to share their knowledge of the market, materials and processes. To develop beautiful, meaningful products together with designers and to realize the circular plastics chain.”