May 19, 2024 11:57 pm
New Start-ups Enter the Circular Economy’s Innovation Hub, Often Dubbed the ‘Silicon Valley’ of Recycling

In Germany, the Circular Valley initiative has recently launched a new funding programme with the goal of creating a ‘Silicon Valley of the circular economy’ in Europe. Established by the Circular Valley Foundation in 2021, the initiative aims to close material loops along existing value chains, create policy recommendations, and educate the public about the circular economy.

Among its current members are major companies like BASF, Bayer, Evonik, Knipe, and Vorwerk as well as renowned scientific institutions such as the Fraunhofer Umsicht Institute, Max Planck Society, and Wuppertal Institute. Over 100 start-ups from around the world have been supported by Circular Valley bringing their innovative ideas to the Rhine-Ruhr region.

The latest cohort of start-ups comprises 15 teams from countries like Egypt, Chile, India and across Europe will spend three months in Rhine-Ruhr refining their business models starting from April. As part of this programme they receive guidance from coaches and mentors visit various companies and connect with local industry professionals. The funding programme will culminate in a demonstration day on 28 May where these start-ups showcase their ideas to an audience.

The focus of this funding round is on coordinating value chains utilising alternative raw materials and bioeconomy exploring new techniques for chemical recycling. Newest start-ups in these areas include Agrona Circulix VGC AI CarbonCraft Circular Structures Flower Matter Radical Dot Sustanix Materialtech and others. Through this initiative these start-ups have an opportunity to advance their innovative solutions contribute towards building a sustainable circular economy in Europe

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