The Horizon 2020 work programmes (WPs) for years 2018 – 2020 were designed around four main Focus Areas with a combined budget of € 7 billion: (i) Building a low-carbon, climate resilient future, (ii) Connecting economic and environmental gains – the Circular Economy, (iii) Digitising and transforming European industry and services, and (iv) Boosting the effectiveness of the Security Union.
Work related to the circular economy and the focus area on ‘Connecting economic and environmental gains – the Circular Economy‘ (budget of €941 million) will also align R&I towards these targets. This focus area, building on the Commission’s ambitious Circular Economy package, will consolidate relevant R&I initiatives and it will make a strong contribution to jobs and growth and industrial competitiveness.
Further development of a sustainable, resource efficient and competitive economy will require a transition to a more circular economic model with products, processes, services and business models that are designed to maintain the value and utility of materials and resources in the economy for as long as possible. The circular economy solutions should combine a strong environmental rationale with a convincing business logic.
The topics targeted to Circular Economy are resumed in the table here. For details please consult relevant WPs.
The European Investment Bank’s (EIB) InnovFin Advisory service received requests from the European Commission’s Research and Innovation Directorate General and from the government of Luxembourg to study issues related to risk financing for circular economy projects. The result was a report, which made recommendations about the role of financing in the transition to a circular economy.
The Commission will take forward the implementation of the Circular Economy Action Plan by improving the economics, quality and uptake of plastic recycling and reuse in the EU and reducing plastic leakage into the environment. The Commission will also develop a monitoring framework to ensure that progress towards their circular economy ambitions is on track and delivering the mutually-reinforcing benefits both for the environment and economic growth. You can read more in the Commission Work Programme 2017 “Delivering a Europe that protects, empowers and defends” issued in October 2016.
On the 2nd December 2015 the European Commission adopted the Circular Economy Package to address the growing challenge of the excessive use of resources and, in a long term, to develop a sustainable, low carbon, resource efficient and competitive economy in Europe.
If you want to know why circular economy is the ‘hot topic’ for the European Commission and how you, within the framework of Horizon 2020 and SC5, can support the transition of Europe into the circular economy, this article is for you!
Circular Economy – the concept
The idea behind the Circular Economy lies in closing the loop in a life cycle of a product. Currently, our economy is based on the following linear sequence: extraction of resources ->production of goods ->use-of those goods -> disposal of waste generated in the production and consumption process (approach known as ‘from cradle to grave’). In this approach, there is a substantial gap where valuable resources and materials get wasted and a tremendous amount of waste is generated, directly leading to environmental damage and climate change.
If we close the loop, we will arrive to the following circular sequence: production of goods -> use-of those goods -> waste management -> re-use of waste in another production circuit (approach known as ‘from cradle to cradle’). The focus of circular economy is, therefore, on the re-use of waste generated in the life cycle of a product, decrease in the extraction and use of raw materials and limitation of the amount of disposed waste.
Continue reading Circular economy – check why it is the hot topic for Horizon 2020
Innovation Deals take the form of voluntary cooperation between the EU, innovators, and national, regional and local authorities. The objective of an Innovation Deal is an in-depth understanding and clarification of how an EU rule or regulation applies. If a rule or regulation is confirmed as an obstacle to innovations that could bring wider societal benefits, the Deal will make it visible and feed into possible further action.
The Commission will launch a pilot phase and call for Expressions of Interest focused on Innovation Deals for a Circular Economy; details will be published in late spring. Up to five Expressions of Interest will be selected and will become Innovation Deals. Moreover, up to ten Deals may origin through the Horizon 2020 Calls CIRC-01 and CIRC-02 (Work Programme 2016/2017 under Industry 2000 in the Circular Economy). Applicants will be asked to outline their innovations and identify where they think EU regulatory frameworks are causing a blockage in getting their innovation to market.
Continue reading Innovation Deals for a Circular Economy : Invitation to submit expressions of interest
Luxembourg, the European Commission and the European Investment Bank (EIB) collaborate to support the transition to a more circular economy. The conference “Financing the Circular Economy”, which will take place on 10 December 2015 at the EIB headquarters in Luxembourg, aims to further engage Europe’s financial sector in the circular economy.
The circular economy is an imperative for the Member States of the European Union in order to tackle material scarcity and price volatility as well as the degradation of the natural environment. The implementation of the circular economy will lead to a systemic change, including innovative business models that require traditional and innovative financing tools. Luxembourg, the European Commission and the EIB have engaged in a partnership under the InnovFin Advisory program to raise awareness in the business and financial communities, to assess future financing needs and whether the existing financial instruments, in particular the InnovFin financial products, are fit to support the transition to a more circular economy. The outcome of this partnership will be presented at the conference “Financing the Circular Economy” organised within the framework of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Panel discussions will allow participants to benefit from the experience and know-how of the leading European public and private experts in the field. Conference participants will be able to join Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, Commissioner Carlos Moedas and EIB President Werner Hoyer and listen to Francine Closener, Luxembourg’s Secretary of State to the Economy, Claude Turmes, Member of European Parliament, and Stef Kranendijk, Chairman of the Groene Zaak (NL), as they share their views on the challenges and the opportunities that the circular economy is offering in particular to the finance sector and through InnovFin.
This conference is expected to further engage Europe’s financial sector through Innovfin Advisory into an innovative process that will lead to the know-how required to finance the transition to the circular economy in Europe, thus supporting the manufacturing industry and increasing its competitiveness while at the same time offering new opportunities to the financial sector that should become the global leader in the field.
On-line registration will soon be available. The conference will also be relayed via webstreaming, so it will be possible to follow the proceedings of the plenary sessions on line.
The European Commission is aiming to present a new, more ambitious circular economy strategy late in 2015, to transform Europe into a more competitive, resource-efficient economy, addressing a range of economic sectors, including waste.
The strategy will be fully aligned with the priorities of the new Commission. It will comprise a revised legislative proposal on waste and a Communication setting out an action plan on the circular economy for the rest of this Commission’s term of office. The action plan will cover the whole value chain, and focus on concrete measures with clear EU added value, aiming at ‘closing the loop’ of the circular economy.
The Commission is engaged in a thorough reflection on how the objective of circular economy can be reached in an efficient way that is fully compatible with the jobs and growth agenda. A Roadmap for this initiative is available.
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