circular.frugal.regenerative: A Boost to Innovation for a Sustainable, Resilient Economy and Climate Protection in East Westphalia-Lippe, South Westphalia and the Bergisch City-Triangle

  • Project no.353092
  • Duration 03/2024 - 02/2027

Recent crises, like corona, wars and extreme weather events, have highlighted the weaknesses of the German export-oriented economic model and illustrate how the dependence on fossil fuels and vulnerability of supply chains to disruption have led to serious socio-economic consequences. Hence, a transformation in economy, society, and politics is needed to effectively address systemic crises in climate, resources, globalisation, biodiversity and health.
The project team consisting of InnoZent OWL, owl maschinenbau, Wirtschaftsförderung Kreis Soest, Neue Effizienz and the Wuppertal Institute developed the innovative approach of CE:FIRE in a preliminary study which combines circular economy with frugal innovation and explores opportunities for regenerative economic activity.
Regenerative economy goes beyond sustainable economy: economic activities should not only aim to have no negative impact on the environment and society, but actively strive to achieve a positive overall impact on the environment, society and the economy.
Frugal innovation focuses on the core function of a product by simplifying complex products with the aim of reducing resource consumption and thus also costs. This results in frugal, easily repairable quality products.
Circular economy minimises resource extraction and emissions through nearly closed-loop material cycles, for example, by bridging gaps between manufacturing companies and waste management and other actors. The project covers the model regions of East Westphalia-Lippe, South Westphalia and the Bergisch city-triangle. The Wuppertal Institut develops future visions with manufacturing companies within a practice-oriented developmental model.

During the project, the Wuppertal Institute works with manufacturing companies in the model regions of East Westphalia-Lippe, South Westphalia and the Bergisch city-triangle to develop a model that shows companies how to move towards more regenerative, frugal and circular business. This will result in an interactive, digital guide to facilitate companies' transformation. During the project companies will be advised on how to adapt their business models. Additionally, workshops will be organised, to connect regional actors in order to initiate tangible cooperation between research institutions and companies and foster long-term alliances for transformation amongst business, politics, administration, and society.

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