Industry & Business

Unlocking the Value of the Circular Economy

Unlocking the Value of the Circular Economy

Unlocking the Value of the Circular Economy
February 03
15:02 2020

Irish Manufacturing Research (IMR) launched CIRCULEIRE – the National Platform for Circular Manufacturing – at the 2020 National Manufacturing & Supply Chain Conference & Exhibition, which was held recently at the CityWest Convention Centre in Dublin. The IMR initiative aims to help Irish manufacturers and their supply chains to unlock the value that resides in an Irish circular economy.

CIRCULEIRE is a cross-sectoral industry-led public-private innovation network. Its objectives are to demystify, de-risk and deliver tangible financial benefits of the circular economy and enhance internal circular economy knowledge and capability for Irish manufacturers and their supply chains.

“CIRCULEIRE’s vision is to accelerate the transition towards a zero-carbon circular economy in Ireland by using manufacturing and its supply chains as a role model for the circular transition across the entire Irish economy,” according to Dr Geraldine Brennan (pictured), Circular Economy Lead at IMR.

“The full potential of the circular economy has yet to be identified, never mind realised,” she said.

Having joined IMR to design and deliver the organistaion’s flagship Circular Economy initiative the National Platform for Circular Manufacturing (CIRCULEIRE) as well as develop IMR’s Sustainable Manufacturing research offering under the theme of the Circular Economy, Geraldine Brennan supports Irish manufacturers and their supply-chains transition to a zero-carbon economy through designing circular business models and systems innovation demonstration projects.

The circular economy is pivotal in the Government’s Climate Action Plan, which aims to achieve a cleaner, safer and more sustainable future for Ireland.

“It’s about seeing waste as a resource – understanding which models other businesses have tried and tested and learning from them,” she explained. “If we are not preserving that value, we are throwing away money.”

CIRCULEIRE, by making knowledge accessible, “will show manufacturers how to take the first steps,” she told the 2020 National Manufacturing & Supply Chain Conference. “What makes it different is that we are co-creating these solutions with manufacturers.”

Spanning from 2020 to 2022, CIRCULEIRE will provide manufacturers with access to a dedicated innovation fund. In addition to anticipating future legislative hurdles, CIRCULEIRE will also provide an opportunity for manufacturers to shape national policy. It will also benefit manufacturers through bespoke training to support capacity building, innovation and implementation in the area of circularity.

“We are not just looking at materials but also energy and water.” She continued: “The circular economy is an innovation opportunity. Ultimately, the circular economy is about how you design your products in the first place.”

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