Innovate Towards Circularity: beyond buzzwords and into business

Written by
Laetitia Nossek
On
December 23, 2019

Innovation and Circular Economy are much talked about. Together they can be a source of business growth and the cornerstone of a thriving and sustainable future. That is why nlmtd, MissionC and Epicenter teamed up to gather the best Circular Innovators for half a day workshop to learn, connect and be inspired. Let’s get started to bridge the gap between innovation and our circular future.

“"The idea was a small event", Andrea Orsag (MissionC)  dropped in front of the full Disruption Hall with 130 participants, all leaders and enthusiast of circular, sustainable thinking and action. Patrick Mesterton (Epicenter): "It is great that dozens of relevant startups, scale-ups and corporates, represented here can optimally learn from each other."

Circular economy strives for zero waste and for raw materials to be continually used again. Such a system does not deplete finite resources and materials and allows residual materials to once again be part of the system. Waste is not waste anymore, but is treated as a new raw material. For nature, that is "business as usual", for humans it means reformulating and developing a new perspective on profit, business models, production methods, lifestyle, technologies and communication.

What innovation challenges does that entail? How can we use innovation to make organizations and business models "circular" faster? Which cool circular products, inspiring insights and groundbreaking business models already exist; and what opportunities does that offer to make your organization future-proof? “These are the things we will think about and act upon this afternoon, find the connection and gain inspiration in a compact, intensive and content heavy program." says Pieter Paul van Oerle (nlmtd).

Key messages from the four keynotes

Circular and digital: together towards achieving the quadruple aim

Markus Laubscher (sustainability director at Philips) provided insights into the digital solutions of Philips. He illustrated that digitalization plays a key role in avoiding unnecessary resource consumption, while keeping the patient at the center. For example, by allowing healthcare professionals to provide more remote care, by making the - fast-growing - number of patient data available at one location or by having algorithms make predictions about the care to be provided. "This not only avoids unnecessary energy and material consumption, but also reduces healthcare costs."

Mission Carbon

Eric Logtens (CEOand manager of the circular economy at ECOR) presents the essence of ECOR by referring to a bird's nest. Reuse up to every fiber, an infinite number of times. ECOR is formed from cellulose fibers, pressure, water and heat. Any type of plant material can be the basis: waste paper, cardboard, coffee grounds, hemp and cotton. At its core, it is all carbon that can be used over and over again. Eric showed the limitless applications of ECOR, talked about strategy, success factors for value creation, and emphasized the importance of disruptive innovation. “In this era you have to have a very disruptive potential that is transparent, honest, simple and cool. And it's not about goals in 2030 or 2050, it's about doing and doing it now.”

Investment case for circular economy

Martijn Lopes Cardozo (boardmember ParkBee and Circle Economy, former CEO at Black Bear) discusses the crucial role of technology and investments in circular companies. Martijn places the attention for a green infrastructure in a historical perspective. Compared to the age of the earth, humanity has grown in an unprecedentedly short time. That has changed our relationship with nature beyond recognition. Martijn shares five circular business models to take into account, including the associated obstacles and drivers. “Growth is no longer the goal. The movement to green is a renaissance, not a new industrial revolution. "

AI and circular: easier than you may think

Eva Nedelkova (co-founder MissionC) flies into her story of artificial intelligence with courage and guts with ‘forget planet - let’s talk business’ Eva, focuses on the major role of AI in the circular economy. It is estimated that with AI alone in food and consumer electronics worldwide a value of 200 billion US dollars per year could be unlocked in 2030. Europe in 2030, could potentially create a net benefit of 1.8 trillion euros with circular economy.  Simultaneously, this would address the increasing resource challenges, create jobs, stimulate innovation and generate environmental benefits that would have a lasting impact. "Money is the only way to break the status quo."

You can request the white paper to which Eva referred - Leveraging Artificial Intelligence to advance Circular Economy - via info@nlmtd.com or info@missionc.nl.

Quotes of the breakout-leaders

1. How to feed ten billion people | Jill Paat (Instock)

“We have to be more creative with food waste and especially, with food that does not meet aesthetic standards. This often creates waste because it is too small or large to fit in a package, has an unusual shape or because it is slightly bruised. Veganism is increasing and that is why we need to explore more vegetable options and put them on the daily menu. That's good for the planet. Movies such as Game Changers on Netflix are a perfect inspiration.”

2. Technology supporting alternative transportation | Bart Hellings (GoodFuels)

"If we as Goodfuels transport CO2 neutral Heineken bottles, this will only lead to an added cost of € 0.0001 per bottle  - which does not really make it more expensive."

3. Driving a new circular packaging economy | Michael Massa (Ozarka) & Esther Kruiper (Heineken)

Michael Massa: “Circular packaging requires a system change, we have to think through the entire design from start to finish. In the workshop we discussed the nuance between recycling, reduction, and reuse and the impact of repeatedly using the same material. It's about "keeping things running" of plastic, cardboard, glass - but that has consequences. "

Esther Kruiper: “The participants have formulated challenges for reuse, reduce and recycle in three groups, and what is needed to make progress. Interesting insights emerged about the tension between consumer, producer and government responsibilities.”

4. From talking to action: scaling circular transformation | Marc Goedkoop (MgAubel)

“Why is the older generation missing today? Because they are stuck in their patterns! They don't want to change. We need buzzwords such as "inclusive" and "diversity" to trigger a movement. The same thing should happen with "circular economy".

5. Let's create circular business! Explore how. | Sandra Horlings (Innoboost)

“In our session we doved into ways how to boost your circular innovation. With a personal approach. Practical. Real. It would be really cool if we can put these learnings into practice today.”

6. Innovating for circular economy | Pieter Paul van Oerle (nlmtd)

"In our co-creation session, we used the Innovation Monitor to provide insights why it is hard to reach circular innovation, and how that can be accelerated at national and international level."

In addition to these six sessions, the keynote speakers also led a table discussion to go deeper into their subjects;

7. The crucial role of tech and investments in circular businesses | Martijn Lopes Cardozo (Circle Economy en ParkBee)

8. Building(s) for the circular future | Eric Logtens (ECOR)

9. Increasing digitalization for healthcare in the circular economy | Markus Laubscher (Philips)

Written by
Laetitia Nossek

Innovate Towards Circularity: beyond buzzwords and into business

Innovation and Circular Economy are much talked about. Together they can be a source of business growth and the cornerstone of a thriving and sustainable future. That is why nlmtd, MissionC and Epicenter teamed up to gather the best Circular Innovators for half a day workshop to learn, connect and be inspired. Let’s get started to bridge the gap between innovation and our circular future.

“"The idea was a small event", Andrea Orsag (MissionC)  dropped in front of the full Disruption Hall with 130 participants, all leaders and enthusiast of circular, sustainable thinking and action. Patrick Mesterton (Epicenter): "It is great that dozens of relevant startups, scale-ups and corporates, represented here can optimally learn from each other."

Circular economy strives for zero waste and for raw materials to be continually used again. Such a system does not deplete finite resources and materials and allows residual materials to once again be part of the system. Waste is not waste anymore, but is treated as a new raw material. For nature, that is "business as usual", for humans it means reformulating and developing a new perspective on profit, business models, production methods, lifestyle, technologies and communication.

What innovation challenges does that entail? How can we use innovation to make organizations and business models "circular" faster? Which cool circular products, inspiring insights and groundbreaking business models already exist; and what opportunities does that offer to make your organization future-proof? “These are the things we will think about and act upon this afternoon, find the connection and gain inspiration in a compact, intensive and content heavy program." says Pieter Paul van Oerle (nlmtd).

Key messages from the four keynotes

Circular and digital: together towards achieving the quadruple aim

Markus Laubscher (sustainability director at Philips) provided insights into the digital solutions of Philips. He illustrated that digitalization plays a key role in avoiding unnecessary resource consumption, while keeping the patient at the center. For example, by allowing healthcare professionals to provide more remote care, by making the - fast-growing - number of patient data available at one location or by having algorithms make predictions about the care to be provided. "This not only avoids unnecessary energy and material consumption, but also reduces healthcare costs."

Mission Carbon

Eric Logtens (CEOand manager of the circular economy at ECOR) presents the essence of ECOR by referring to a bird's nest. Reuse up to every fiber, an infinite number of times. ECOR is formed from cellulose fibers, pressure, water and heat. Any type of plant material can be the basis: waste paper, cardboard, coffee grounds, hemp and cotton. At its core, it is all carbon that can be used over and over again. Eric showed the limitless applications of ECOR, talked about strategy, success factors for value creation, and emphasized the importance of disruptive innovation. “In this era you have to have a very disruptive potential that is transparent, honest, simple and cool. And it's not about goals in 2030 or 2050, it's about doing and doing it now.”

Investment case for circular economy

Martijn Lopes Cardozo (boardmember ParkBee and Circle Economy, former CEO at Black Bear) discusses the crucial role of technology and investments in circular companies. Martijn places the attention for a green infrastructure in a historical perspective. Compared to the age of the earth, humanity has grown in an unprecedentedly short time. That has changed our relationship with nature beyond recognition. Martijn shares five circular business models to take into account, including the associated obstacles and drivers. “Growth is no longer the goal. The movement to green is a renaissance, not a new industrial revolution. "

AI and circular: easier than you may think

Eva Nedelkova (co-founder MissionC) flies into her story of artificial intelligence with courage and guts with ‘forget planet - let’s talk business’ Eva, focuses on the major role of AI in the circular economy. It is estimated that with AI alone in food and consumer electronics worldwide a value of 200 billion US dollars per year could be unlocked in 2030. Europe in 2030, could potentially create a net benefit of 1.8 trillion euros with circular economy.  Simultaneously, this would address the increasing resource challenges, create jobs, stimulate innovation and generate environmental benefits that would have a lasting impact. "Money is the only way to break the status quo."

You can request the white paper to which Eva referred - Leveraging Artificial Intelligence to advance Circular Economy - via info@nlmtd.com or info@missionc.nl.

Quotes of the breakout-leaders

1. How to feed ten billion people | Jill Paat (Instock)

“We have to be more creative with food waste and especially, with food that does not meet aesthetic standards. This often creates waste because it is too small or large to fit in a package, has an unusual shape or because it is slightly bruised. Veganism is increasing and that is why we need to explore more vegetable options and put them on the daily menu. That's good for the planet. Movies such as Game Changers on Netflix are a perfect inspiration.”

2. Technology supporting alternative transportation | Bart Hellings (GoodFuels)

"If we as Goodfuels transport CO2 neutral Heineken bottles, this will only lead to an added cost of € 0.0001 per bottle  - which does not really make it more expensive."

3. Driving a new circular packaging economy | Michael Massa (Ozarka) & Esther Kruiper (Heineken)

Michael Massa: “Circular packaging requires a system change, we have to think through the entire design from start to finish. In the workshop we discussed the nuance between recycling, reduction, and reuse and the impact of repeatedly using the same material. It's about "keeping things running" of plastic, cardboard, glass - but that has consequences. "

Esther Kruiper: “The participants have formulated challenges for reuse, reduce and recycle in three groups, and what is needed to make progress. Interesting insights emerged about the tension between consumer, producer and government responsibilities.”

4. From talking to action: scaling circular transformation | Marc Goedkoop (MgAubel)

“Why is the older generation missing today? Because they are stuck in their patterns! They don't want to change. We need buzzwords such as "inclusive" and "diversity" to trigger a movement. The same thing should happen with "circular economy".

5. Let's create circular business! Explore how. | Sandra Horlings (Innoboost)

“In our session we doved into ways how to boost your circular innovation. With a personal approach. Practical. Real. It would be really cool if we can put these learnings into practice today.”

6. Innovating for circular economy | Pieter Paul van Oerle (nlmtd)

"In our co-creation session, we used the Innovation Monitor to provide insights why it is hard to reach circular innovation, and how that can be accelerated at national and international level."

In addition to these six sessions, the keynote speakers also led a table discussion to go deeper into their subjects;

7. The crucial role of tech and investments in circular businesses | Martijn Lopes Cardozo (Circle Economy en ParkBee)

8. Building(s) for the circular future | Eric Logtens (ECOR)

9. Increasing digitalization for healthcare in the circular economy | Markus Laubscher (Philips)

Posted by
Laetitia Nossek
On
December 23, 2019