For centuries, the mining industry and the consumption of coal and other fossil fuels were the driving force for the regional economy. The Prosper-Haniel mine in Bottrop was Germany's last active coal mine and is still a landmark of the region's history. Today, Bottrop and North Rhine-Westphalia continue to evolve and aspire to become one of the "greenest" industrial regions in the world.
This year, the Circular Economy Hotspot takes place for the 6th time and for the first time in Bottrop. From September 12 to 14, the former mining town and today's InnovationCity Bottrop hosts the event. In the heart of the Ruhr Area, the participants present pioneering approaches for the transformation from linear business processes to circular economy.
The Circular Economy Hotspot highlights questions such as "What is the driving force behind the transformation process?", "How can this process be financed and realized?" or "How can recyclable products and business models shape the industrial market?". These questions are addressed in workshops, exhibitions of practical examples, and panel discussions in order to make way for accelerating the transformation towards a circular economy and motivate companies of regional and international scale to induce implementation. Dr. Henning Wilts, Director of the Research Division Circular Economy at the Wuppertal Institute, takes part in the panel discussion "Reality Check – Driving Transformation in Challenging Times" on 14 September at 9 a.m. Together with other experts he discusses whether the emerging policies are heading in the right direction, if we are on the right track and what needs to be done. Henning Wilts also takes part in the Learning Lab "Circular Cities" from the Ministry for Environment, Agriculture, Conservation and Consumer Protection of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia.
The scientist presents the project "Digital Solutions for Industrial Plastic Cycles" (DiLinK) and the study "NRW 2030: Von der fossilen Vergangenheit zur zirkulären Zukunft" (NRW 2030: From the fossil past to the circular future at various stands).