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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.

Today's economic model of "take, make, dispose" is reaching its physical limits and must be replaced. Resource scarcity, climate changes, waste accumulation and pollution are challenges that our society will face in the near future. A change towards circular economy will be crucial for value creation, economic growth and waste- and resource management in the coming decades. Circular economy provides solutions for how to create more value out of less resources and will provide vast opportunities for innovation and business creation for those who master circular economy.

Through our research on circular economy, SINTEF develops competence and technology through cross-disciplinary cooperation to assist our customers in creating their future business: Profitable and sustainable.

Senior Business Developer

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.

Circular Technology

We develop and deliver solutions on recycling of metals, polymers and other materials, and on electromagnetic and X-ray sorting technologies.

  • Materials
  • Eco-Design
  • Sorting Technologies
  • Recycling Technologies
  • Digital Assets


Environmental impact of new solutions and business models are analysed through LCA and other industrial ecology tools.

  • LCA
  • Social LCA
  • Low-carbon procurement
  • Social-technical transition
  • Industrial ecology tools
  • Input-output analysis
  • Environmental product declaration


Value chain optimization for designing the best possible industry network including material flows, investments and logistics.

  • Organisational innovation
  • Regional economic models
  • Industrial symbiosis
  • Value chain optimisation
  • Materials flow
  • Contract design


Relevant information