In the sustainability and circular economy sector, we mainly find organisations from within the public sector that are responsible for achieving the sustainability objectives. Examples include water authorities and drinking water companies, knowledge brokers such as STOWA and RIONED, municipal governments, knowledge institutes, and technology suppliers.
Themes of the Sustainability and Circular Economy Sector
Bio-based economy and sustainability are core themes, both in the Netherlands and in Europe. There is an ongoing transition towards a low-carbon economy, in which energy from sustainable sources (solar, wind, biomass) and bio-based resources and products are important factors. This leads to a novel approach to existing issues.
For example, wastewater is no longer seen as a problem, but rather as an opportunity to increase our economy’s sustainability through the re-use of resources and energy production. Rapid innovations in this field can make the water chain an important source of sustainable resources and energy over the next thirty years.
- Efficient use of resources (resource efficiency): Reduction, re-use, and recovery are key issues. Organisations implement activities to close circles and use scarce resources as efficiently as possible.
- Development of bio-based processes: The corporate sector cooperates with (public) partners in order to replace the use of fossil fuels for chemical processes, transport, heat, and electricity with alternatives made from biomass (e.g., PLA from cellulose and recovering alginate from granule sludge).
- Sustainable energy is becoming increasingly important. Organisations are researching ways to produce and take advantage of renewable energy (e.g., windmills on company property, dykes, solar panels, and the production and use of biogas).
- Strategic cooperation.
The transition towards a circular economy requires new forms of cooperation. Think of, for example, cooperation between public organisations and developers of recycling technology, energy companies, waste management companies, and chain partners. This cooperation results in new products, services, and technology.
Relevant Grant Programmes
- TSE programmes, including DEI, TSE Biobased, and TSE Renewable Energy for development and demonstration
- LIFE, Interreg for demonstration projects
- Horizon 2020 for scientific study
- MIT for cooperation between companies and research institutions
- WBSO for research and development
Examples of Projects in the Sustainability and Circular Economy Sector
DEI, THI BDD: Alginaat
LIFE, TKI Groen Gas: Ephyra / Themista
LIFE: Omzet Amersfoort