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.
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.
Sirpa Pietikäinen, Member of the European Parliament
Gernot Klotz (Moderator),
Executive Director of SPIRE Public-Private Partnership
Kestutis Sadauskas ,
Director, Green Economy, DG ENV, European Commission
Director, Climate Action and Resource Efficiency, DG RTD, European Commission
Acting Head of Unit, Clean Technologies and Products, Industrial Transformation and Advanced Value Chains, DG GROW, European Commission
Chief Executive, CEMBUREAU
Environment and Technical Affairs, Cerame-Unie
Research & Innovation Executive Director, CEFIC
Sustainability Director, EUROMETAUX
Director General, IMA-Europe
International Research and European Funding Technology & Innovation, ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe