The Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the emerging technologies which can enable and accelerate the transition from a linear to a Circular Economy (CE). In view of this the European Commission through the EU HORIZON 2020 MSCA RISE programme, funded the CE-IoT project with a budget of EUR 1,692,000 and a duration of four years, from July 2018 to June 2022. The consortium is comprised of 6 partners including academic institutions, as well as consulting, information technology and telecommunication companies.
The aim of the project is to understand the interplay between CE and IoT and develop 1/ an innovative framework which can drastically change the nature of products services, business models and ecosystems and 2/ an open circular by design IoT architecture with proven key circularity enabling properties.
This approach can generate significant value for customers/end users as well as help eliminate the negative externalities arising from business activities and the need for considerable use of resources. This can be achieved by maximizing IoT resource and data harvesting in a new circular by design IoT ecosystem and the proliferation of new circular economy business models and supply chains. The new ecosystem will be depended on sensors integrated in all devices and equipment that can provide vast amounts of data. The insights gleaned from the collected data in terms of the key enabling properties of the assets including Location, Condition, and Availability transform the physical assets into intelligent ones. The interplay between the circular by design systems and the smart IoT assets can support improved decision making, optimization of resource use and elimination of waste.
The project deep dives through case studies into IoT enabled circular business models for the energy sector in Poland and the tele-communications sector in Cyprus as well as exploring cyber security as an enabled of CE-IoT. In this context the Circular Economy Alliance (CEA) supports the Circular Economy Research Centre (CERC) in exploring further the business perspective of the CE-IoT framework and the possible impact on business models and ecosystems to produce value, minimize resource use and eliminate waste. Moreover, CEA enhances the diffusion of the research and innovation activities’ results and lessons learned to its international network of partners. Thus, spreading the business case for CE business model adoption and providing research and test cases to make the CE narrative commonplace and encourage overcoming the ‘business as usual’ status quo.