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Circular Economy Research

Circular Economy Research

A circular economy aims to keep products, components, and materials at their highest utility and value at all times.

The circular economy will play a vital role for value creation and economic growth in the coming decades, because it provides solutions for how to create more value out of less resources. Resource scarcity. Climate changes. Job creation. Those are a few of many challenges ahead, but they are also vast opportunities for innovation and business creation.

SINTEF believes that those who master the circular economy will be the winners of tomorrow while they also contribute to the better for society. This is why we have established a corporate strategic program on circular economy.

Through our research in circular economy, we develop competence and technology through cross-disciplinary cooperation to assist our customers in creating their future business: Profitable, with sustainability embedded.

Senior Research Scientist

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Research Areas


Through our focus on circular economy, SINTEF combine technological expertise with economic and environmental expertise in order to provide our customers with multidisciplinary solutions. Important topics are development of optimization models combining technological possibilities with economic and environmental effects, development of innovative business models and new forms of cooperation as well as developing the materials and technology of tomorrow.







We develop and deliver solutions on recycling of metals, polymers and other materials, and on electromagnetic and X-ray sorting technologies. We have strong competence in eco-design, material technology, renewable energy and use of waste as raw materials, e.g. in building materials and as industrial symbioses.


Value chain optimization for designing the best possible industry network including material flows, investments and logistics. Our competence in contract design, organisational innovation and socio-technical transitions are also important research topics. Our regional economic models can evaluate effects on employment and value creation.


Environmental impact of new solutions and business models are analysed through LCA and other industrial ecology tools. SINTEF also has experience in environmental product declarations, low-carbon procurement, input-output analysis and social LCA.


The initiativ is made in collaboration between several institutes, and is based on complementarity with current industry value chains. There are major challenges for the circular economy of technical, economic and regulatory nature, and an interdisciplinary approach is crucial to succeeding in the effort.
Currently, these SINTEF units participate in the initiative:

The cooperation will be financed through the use of own funds.


Mining and Process Industry Manufacturing Ocean Space Renewable Energy Buildings and Infrastructure


More projects on Circular Economy Research in SINTE