The Digital Transformation is a key factor on the way to a sustainable circular economy for North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW). Digital Technologies can improve resource efficiency, contribute to effective commercialisation and distribution through new market- and business models, increase recycling-quotas, and enable new approaches to closing cycles of materials. This issue is of specific relevance to NRW as the "digital readiness" of this market is currently very low, a finding that may pose a severe threat specifically to small and medium companies in the near future. Unlocking digital potential through cooperation between companies and institutes through applied research can support the closing of this gap, and even secure existing jobs or create new ones. However, to realise this goal it is imperative to match, combine and strengthen relevant competences. As a significant step for reaching it, the Research Unit Circular Economy will create a capable network through this grant to develop a competitive application for EFRE.NRW.