Digitally Enhanced Circular Economy Approaches for SMEs

  • Project no.351796
  • Duration 01/2019 - 12/2019

Industrial waste streams of SMEs have to be treated more effectively to close material cycles. Currently, the use of recycled material in processing industries is very low. In Germany for example, the share of recyclated material used in production is approximately 14 per cent across industries, while 86 per cent is primary material. This originates to a great part from a lack of information creation and flow in the markets. Origin, current location and composition of supply and recyclate are neither traced nor tracked leading to market failure. At the same time, small and medium processing companies have major difficulties in participating the recycling markets as they often produce a high diversity of smaller sums of potential recyclated material so that in sum high amounts of valuable material is lost.

SMEs are often very lean concerning their organisation, with few (if any) people being able to address problems not linked to immediate value creation processes in the company. Slack for discovering and exploiting new markets often does not exist. Company owners, decision-makers etc. thus need support in acquiring knowledge and finding approaches to create and utilize valuable recyclated material instead of turning it to waste because of lacking means and knowledge.

The project CycleSME addresses the problem mentioned above by training and mentoring SMEs from the production in using digital applications like apps to improve their chances of participating in the recycling markets or to establish resource-efficient circular business models. SMEs from industry will be enabled to validate, sort and market their production waste in a form that valuable recyclated material are retained, so that they may sell them on the market rather paying for disposal.

EIT RawMaterials Academy