The concept of the Circular Economy, in which resources and products are not just used and then disposed but instead re-used, recycled or even upcycled, has become an important focus of the EU’s policy-making. In December 2015, the European Commission has adopted a revised Circular Economy Package that foresees a number of concrete legislative proposals for the realisation of the Circular Economy. An important part of the foreseen actions relates to research and innovation, which are indeed crucial in finding new ways to “close the loop” of our production and consumption cycle.

A related but separate concept which has also become very prominent in recent years is that of Nature-Based Solutions. It refers to solutions to societal challenges that are inspired or supported by nature. What the concepts of Circular Economy and Nature-Based Solutions have in common is that both support the transition towards a more sustainable and “green” growth model. And, as for the Circular Economy, research and innovation also play a key role in identifying and developing concrete Nature-Based Solutions.

The FP7 Coordination and Support Action RECREATE, which involves 16 key players from research and industry from around Europe, is advising the European Commission on the development of the new research funding program, with a specific focus on “Challenge 5: Climate Action, Resource Efficiency and Raw Materials” and considering Circular Economy and the development of Nature-based Solutions. Focused on this question, K4I and the RECREATE consortium organise a joint Dinner Debate in the European Parliament on 28 June 2016. The event will feature several high-level speakers representing perspectives from policy, finance, industry and research.