As part of the societal transition towards circular economy, adopting a systemic approach to conducting circular economy-related research and innovation is key.

However, circular economy is often not directly addressed or defined in funding programmes – with many focusing on specific impacts, which does not consider circular economy in a systemic way.

CICERONE is developing a circular economy strategic research and innovation agenda (SRIA), a strategic guidance document on circular economy in the context of the European Union.

A focus on systemic change and adopting a cross-cutting interdisciplinary approach is at the heart of the SRIA, addressing eight themes (biomass, chemicals, construction and demolition, food, plastic, raw materials, waste and water) that build on four societal areas that face sustainability challenges (urban areas, industrial systems, value chains and territory and sea) to tackle EU region-wide issues and facilitate the transition to a circular economy.

To support programme owners in delivering efficient and holistic circular economy research & innovation initiatives, CICERONE is developing a set of joint programmes that tackle the circular economy transition in a challenge-based, systemic way.

Building on the SRIA, the joint programmes are structured and strategic research & innovation programmes that define the specific activities, necessary disciplines and actors that should be involved in future R&I actions.

We are currently developing four joint programmes, each corresponding to each of the four challenges adressed in the SRIA, that can be used by members of the future joint programming platform of programme owners to co-create and work together towards systemic circular economy.

Collaboration is essential if we are to scale up the transition to a circular economy in Europe. Many useful platforms exist to bring stakeholders together, share ideas, best practices and network with actors from research & academia, industry, governments and civil society – but how can we move this to more implementation?

We are setting up a platform, the “EU Circular Cooperation Hub” specifically for programme owners (i.e. public institutions that fund and design circular economy relate programmes) to co-design programmes with a variety of countries, regions and cities across Europe.

The platform will provide access to a network of European programme owners and their initiatives, an updated Strategic Research & Innovation Agenda (SRIA), a space for actors to share ideas and co-create, as well as capacity building to support national, regional and local governments in their implementation of joint programmes.

Are you a programme owner and would like to provide feedback on the future platform concept? Join our Workshop on 22nd and 29th of October – find out more here.

More information coming soon – stay tuned!