Launch of the UniGR-CIRKLA Competence Centre in the field of "Materials and Metals in a Circular Economy"

The Green Deal identifies the development of a more circular economy as one of the greatest challenges of our time. This challenge can only be met through strong action in the field of innovation and a restructuring of entire value chains in Europe, which will also reduce strategic dependence on other regions of the world.

The University of the Greater Region (UniGR), an association of seven universities, has a long tradition of cross-border exchanges to promote education and scientific progress. In 2020, the university network launched the UniGR-CIRKLA initiative in the field of "Materials and Metals in a Circular Economy" to strengthen cross-border cooperation for innovation.

This competence centre aims to develop a comprehensive portfolio of projects in the fields of education, research and innovation. The projects will be characterised by a multidisciplinary, cross-sectoral and transnational approach.

On the 1st of June, the first online event of the interdisciplinary competence centre UniGR-CIRKLA took place. During two discussion rounds, the scientific, economic and technological challenges of the circular economy of metals and materials in the Greater Region were discussed in the context of the European Green Deal.

The first roundtable discussed in particular regional strategies for the use of the circular economy, and the second roundtable focused on innovation communities as carriers of a circular economy.

Rhineland-Palatinate was represented by Ms. Rebecca Ilsen (Advisor for Circular Economy and Resource Efficiency at the MUEEF) and Prof. Dr. Susanne Hartard. Prof. Dr. Hartard has been Professor for Industrial Ecology at Trier University of Applied Sciences at the Environmental Campus of Birkenfeld since the end of 2008 and has been dealing with resource and waste management issues for 30 years. She had the opportunity to introduce Ecoliance during the second roundtable, and in particular to explain how the network plays with the complementarities of business, research and public administration to promote innovative cooperation projects.

More information on the CIRKLA initiative can be found here:



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