Businesses can maximise value from the resources they already own by turning waste into wealth, and circulating products and materials in closed loops, first smaller (reuse), then larger (recycling). Hence the name – circular economy – for a new economic model that benefits businesses and citizens, while also regenerating natural resources so that this win-win-win cycle can be sustained.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is the key enabler: IoT and circular economy are both about a complete system reinvention, and they are both about smart, informed management of assets. Pioneer companies used circular design already before the digital era but now with the use of IoT technology the game changes entirely: it creates the data- and feedback-rich systems that allow circular designs and business models to thrive.
DG CONNECT has expertise on the technologies to make circular manufacturing and recycling "Internet-ready". The special role that DG CONNECT can play in EU circular economy policy is based on our understanding of the central role of information flows in enabling the material flows throughout the economy. What is new – and proposed here – is to look beyond the narrow sectoral solution. The systemic "closed-loop" thinking, as a new idea, has to be integrated into the mainstream IoT understanding of the entire IoT value chain.
Date: 26 October 2017
Time 14:00 – 17:00
Venue: European Environmental Bureau (EEB)
Moderator: Rob van Kranenburg, Tagitsmart Ecosystem Manager
Interested partners from the TagItSmart Consortium
Representatives from DG Connect, DG Environment, DG Grow, JRC
Representatives from the European Parliament
Representatives from the Estonian EU Presidency
Representatives from innovative projects on circular economy making use of IoT
Questions for discussion
• How can we find common building blocks that integrate a vision on Digitization in and through DG Connect, DG Environment, DG Grow?
• Can the product passport be such a building block? What is the new model for a digital, dynamic, real-time labeling approach?
- - Bring together CONNECT, ENV and GROW colleagues to develop a conversation around an IoT-enabled Circular Economy
- - Get interest from different (even if converging) industries (telecom, IT, service industries…)
- - Identify those exemplary organisations that 'think' and 'work' horizontally (i.e. against the vertical nature of most IoT developments today)
- - Promote a dialogue on the complementarity/synergies between IoT & the Circular Economy
- - Include the Blockchain paradigm into discussions on object tracking and tracing
Possible impacts and synergies:
- • Enhance a digital society with online purchasing and procurement;
- • Improve possibly market surveillance;
- • Trigger a sound competition between products through immediate comparisons based on CE-related information;
- • Build on/enhance effectiveness cf. existing instruments such as EU Ecolabel or Green Public Procurement (GPP) criteria”.
Rob van Kranenburg