Abstract: 

Process industry sectors such as cement, ceramics, chemicals, engineering, metals, minerals, steel and water represent the economic roots of the European economy (by transforming raw materials into intermediate and end-user products), sitting thus at the core of most industrial value chains. They have a high dependence on resources (energy, raw materials and water) in their production technologies and, at the same time, they have identified innovation as one of the major channels to improve their global competitiveness, individually and, especially, through cross-sectorial collaborations such as the SPIRE Public-Private Partnership. These recent activities have showed a clear benefit to the circular economy debate and policy development.

Objectives:

An ambitious circular economy strategy capable to transform Europe into a more competitive resource-efficient economy could not happen without innovation. A series of initiatives related to aspects of a circular economy and to innovation have been put in place at various levels (EU-national-regional; regulatory-business-society, etc.); furthermore, as noted throughout the recent stakeholder consultation event organised by the European Commission before summer, there could be thousands of potential views on what circular economy and innovation mean, cover and are most appropriate to deliver on expectations.

This debate has the objective to focus on:
  some of the most common gaps in the current discussions about circular economy such as sustainable production processes, alternative resources and the industrial symbiosis
  what areas are most worthwhile to explore within a sustainable circular economy in Europe based on its specificities
  practical examples of innovations that contribute to a circular economy and come up with concrete ideas / actions to be further explored and implemented by the various actors (e.g. public and private decision-makers) in the field.