Background and results
From a linear to a circular economy
Our current modes of consumption and production follow a linear economy: produce - use - dispose. Resources are extracted and processed into products. After using the products, they are disposed on landfills or incinerated. Typically, at the end of their life cycles, products and valuable resources comprised therein are lost from material cycles.
The future belongs to a circular economy, aiming at manufacturing products, which, after their use phase, can be easily recycled or reused. This can be achieved through intelligent product design and innovative business models.
Benefits associated with circular economy are
- Protection of resources and the environment by improving resource efficiency and reducing waste;
- Economic growth and innovation: Boosting competitiveness by reducing production costs and ensuring supply security by minimising the dependence of imports of raw materials;
- Social benefits by creation of new jobs through development of new business models, products and services.
MOVECO closes the loop
The Circular Economy Strategy, adopted by the European Commission, aims at "closing the loop" of product life cycles through greater recycling and re-use, to bring benefits for society, environment and economy. Closing the loop of materials streams poses many challenges to research and innovation: Increasing durability, reparability and recyclability of products (extended producer responsibility), improving waste management and resource efficiency in industrial sectors, fostering industrial symbiosis and remanufacturing.
MOVECO responds to this challenge and sets its objective to improve the framework conditions and policy instruments for eco innovation and the transition to a circular economy, fostering smart and sustainable growth and reducing disparities among the regions in the Danube region.
MOVECO's benefits for the Danube region
The richly diverse Danube region is a vital link between Eastern and Western Europe. The close cooperation and concerted efforts within MOVECO promote economic growth, environmental sustainability and social engagement in various ways:
- Transnational strategy for the transition to the circular economy in the Danube region: This transnational strategy includes the identification of possible material streams for the Danube region and roadmaps for the strategy's implementation.
- Roadmap and Action Plan: to implement the transnational strategy, three cross country roadmaps of innovation group 1 (also available in German and Slovenian), group 2 (also available in Croatian, Hungarian and Slovakian), and group 3 (also available in Bulgarian, Romanian and Serbian) have been developed. These, together with the thereof derived action plan help to achieve the transition to a circular economy.
- Circular economy toolbox: For small and medium-sized enterpises, including financial, technical and information tools. Discover our circular economy toolbox!
- Online platform to support cooperation between business and research. Find out more and visit www.danube-goes-circular.eu
- Virtual marketplace to promote reuse and stimulate industrial symbiosis. Check out our the virtual marketplace!
- Mobile exhibition on best practices in the circular economy of the Danube region: The exhibition will be travelling across four countries in the Danube region (Austria, Germany, Slovakia, Slovenia). Find out more about the mobile exhibition on circular economy in the Danube region.
- Report about Experience in supporting SMEs in transition towards a Circular Economy in the Danube Region. Discover it here.
- Summary Report about Small and medium-sized companies that are engaged in a transition to circular economy. Read the publication here.