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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.

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Research Areas

 HOLISTIC APPROACH

 

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.

TECHNOLOGY

 

ECONOMY

 

ENVIRONMENT

   

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.

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Industries

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

Projects