#circulareconomy

  • 18 May 2020

    Nlcomp

    Monfalcone, Italy – Sustainability and innovation are at the heart of Northern Light Composites (nlcomp) project, an Italian startup born from the passion for the sea and sailing of the three founders – Fabio Bignolini, Chief Operations Officer, Piernicola Paoletti in the role of Chief Financial Officer, and Andrea Paduano, Chief Technical Officer. The company, which puts a lot of efforts in research and development of natural fibers and recycled materials for the construction of pleasure yachts, was created as a spinoff of Northern Light Sailing Team, a sailing association based in Trieste with notable results in international offshore regattas (among others, they won the ORC European Championship in 2016 and podium at ORC Worlds 2018). Their sailing skills merge perfectly with the know-how of ex-university students, already involved in the construction of sustainable skiffs within the 1001 Vela Cup, a challenge between universities from all over Italy. Given the emergency situation that Italy is experiencing, nlcomp has decided to make an online presentation for its first project: the construction of an eco-sustainable dinghy called “ecoPrimus”. The small ‘optimist-like’ boat, designed in 2016 by Hungarian designer David Bereczki for sailing schools and the first racing steps of young sailors, offers nlcomp team a great platform to work with: the design meets their requirements, the moulds are ready-made and immediately available. Their new dinghy proudly stands on the shoulders of its gigantically successful ancestor, the Optimist – while providing some modern new features and a new generation recycling concept.  The 2.42 meters long boat is 100% built with natural fibers, has a recycled core and a new type resin that allows the boat to be fully recycled. The concept is giving life to a brand-new circular economy in the nautical sector. Furthermore, the technology behind the project aims to solve one of...
  • 8 May 2020

    GS4C

    By Enrico Benco – CEO at GS4C Enrico Benco begins his presentation by introducing the innovative SME GS4C which he co-founded in 2012. GS4C identifies itself as a supplier of sustainable solutions in the sector of composite materials, its mission is precisely to transform materials in order to recover them at the end of their life, validating and making prototypes of sustainable technologies that involve companies in case studies and projects. The GS4C Business Model is based on Open Innovation to support large companies in the manufacturing sector, in particular marine, wind and automotive. The technology and consultancy transfer of Sustainable Solutions in the composite materials sector, has led GS4C to become the touchstone in the sector both nationally and internationally. Loop Mini650 was the first project presented, a sailboat made of 100% recyclable materials that demonstrates the possibility of creating zero-dump composite materials. Loop will also be the first boat equipped with the H2Boat solution with Metal Hydride in a T-shaped keel capable of storing about 7 kWh of energy in the form of low pressure hydrogen, which can be used through a 300 W fuel cell. The sailboat operates in one of the most difficult environments for composite materials (with exposure to UV rays and salt water), besides to the requirements of lightness and mechanical stress, the structure must bear. The project will be a test bed and a promotional vehicle for technology. The fiber of which it is composed is the FilavaTM of the Belgian company Isomatex S.A. FilavaTM production is unique thanks to a genuine and innovative treatment of the raw material: basalt, which is enriched with various mineral additives to increase and guarantee its original mechanical and chemical properties. Among the other projects there is also the one with Enea: it is by B.AI.i, a patented...
  • 30 April 2020

    Tondo PodCast

    By Paola Vinci – Fashion Analyst at Tondo English Tondo PodCast is the first Italian PodCast that creates a dialogue with startups operating in the world of Circular Economy.  Tondo PodCast collects successful stories, narrated by founders and characters who explain the business models, the circular and the sustainable practices implemented in their startups. With this project, Tondo wants to give a voice to concrete and innovative solutions, aimed at creating a network of realities which operate in the Circular Economy, involving different actors who focus their activities on circularity, social equity and sustainability.    Tondo PodCast wants to spread a circular culture, breaking down communication barriers and raising people’s awareness of the necessity to adopt a regenerative and sustainable system. Through our interviews, experts and founders will tell the stories, the challenges and the future projects of their startups, representing an inspiring model for students, startup founders and entrepreneurs who want to approach the world of Circular Economy. The startups will be selected according to a circularity framework that includes the sustainable inputs and the possibility to convert products into services. These latters can extend products’ useful life undertaking recycling and regenerating processes, key element of the new business models.               The framework has been implemented in different sectors, as demonstrated by the startups that have already joined our project: Mogu, Orange Fiber, Enerbrain and Hexagro. We record periodically new interviews that will be published on Spreaker, Spotify, iTunes and on our social media channels.    You will also find the episodes on a specific section of our website, dedicated to Tondo PodCast. On May 21st at 18:00 CET we will launch Tondo PodCast during a live event that will host the founders of two important Italian startups that operate in Circular Economy. Register here for the live event: https://www.eventbrite.it/e/biglietti-tondo-podcast-live-event-104736794572?aff=ebdssbonlinesearch Italiano Tondo...
  • 30 April 2020

    The New Economy

    By Katsiaryna Serada – Research Fellow & Policy Analyst at Tondo The pandemic COVID 19 has questioned the foundations of our global economy, demonstrated the weaknesses of our current economic model in facing real and potential global challenges, revealed the excessive and risky dependency on the global value chains and a single largest supplier. The COVID 19 demonstrated that the largest supply of the essential medical items, almost three-quarters of blood thinners imported by Italy, 60% of antibiotic components imported by Japan and 40% imported by Germany, Italy, and France, and largest amount of the medical masks come from China. (Javorcik, 2020)  Before the COVID-19 crisis, China produced around 20 million masks per day. By early March 2020 the production increased to 120 million per day, including through deploying idle productive capacity and repurposing other sectors such as automotive and electronics. Despite deploying additional productive capacity both in China and worldwide, the global spike in demand for medical and other supplies   during the COVID 19 crisis far exceeded both material stocks and available capacity to produce. The global value chains were hit in several dimensions – demand, international transportation networks, productive capacity — and were not able to respond the global health crisis. The governments of the exporting countries have addressed the increasing shortage or scarcity (risk of scarcity) in the domestic markets by imposing the numerous export restrictions on medical and other items. More than 70 economies, including the US, China and the EU, have introduced export restrictions to allocate domestic supplies to national healthcare systems and citizens first (Hoekman, Fiorini, 2020). Therefore, the COVID 19 crisis has explicitly demonstrated that the price mechanism and the markets have failed to accomplish social optimum and efficiently provide and allocate the resources. The crisis has explicitly demonstrated that the resources...
  • 23 April 2020

    Hexagro

    By Felipe Hernandez – CEO and Co-founder of Hexagro Felipe Hernandez begins his speech introducing a problem: the scarcity of food for the inhabitants of the planet. In fact, a population of 9 billion, is expected to be reached by 2050, which will require a 70% increase in food production. Some companies have tried to solve this problem by developing the cultivation of food through “Indoor Farming” or “Vertical Farming“, but these techniques still have very high costs, both for development and maintenance. Hexagro is an international startup based in Milan, born to reconnect people to nature: its vision is to bring nature to the workplace, using existing technology. People spend an average of 90% of their time inside buildings, where pollution is 5 times greater than outside, causing a direct impact on people’s health, food habits and perceived happiness. These considerations have given birth to a new idea: create office plants that are also useful for the health of those who work. The plants, which Hexagro offers, grow within some modules whose design and structure take inspiration from beehives and trees, with the aim of maximizing the use of space. These do not include pesticides and require a limited use of water since the high oxygenation of the plants, deriving from the use of aeroponics as a cultivation technique, reduces water consumption between 90 and 98%, in addition to tripling the speed of plant growth. The modules on which the plants grow are configurable on the basis of the available space and can be chosen among three different configurations, having different dimensions, and being capable of growing different types of plants. For example, an “indoor garden” has developed, located in the Novotel Ca’ Granda building in Milan, containing a cultivation of different types of herbs. The product was developed...
  • 30 March 2020

    Green Deal

    By Katsiaryna Serada – Research fellow & policy analyst at Tondo In December 2019, the EU launched a European Green Deal, a new sustainable economic growth strategy and policy agenda aimed at decoupling economic growth from the use of the primary natural resources and building a globally competitive, digitalized, low-carbon, climate – neutral, resource-efficient  economy. A new growth strategy underscores the importance of the twin transformation – green and digital – to increase the global competitiveness of the EU industry, benefit the consumers and protect the environment. Despite the sweeping adverse economic impacts of the quarantine measures to fight COVID-19 taken worldwide, the European Green Deal is likely to sustain the increasing political pressures of reprioritization. First, positive short-time effects of the reduction of the GHGs emissions due to the global economic slowdown are likely to be off-set by the rebound effect of the economic stimulus policy packages aimed at supporting the industries, therefore, the commitment to achieve climate policy targets and goals remains valid. Second, the European Green Deal is framed as an industrial and economic strategy aimed at “stimulating the development of lead markets for climate neutral and circular products, in the EU and beyond” and enhancing European Single Market. The implementation of the European Green Dean is supported with the new comprehensive EU policy package that includes new European Industrial Strategy, European Circular Economy Action Plan, Biodiversity Strategy, SME Strategy, Farm to Fork Strategy. The Commission’s European Green Deal Investment Plan (EGDIP), a renewed sustainable finance strategy, to be launched in the third quarter of 2020, is to further scale up sustainable finance to meet the investment needs of moving towards greener and more circular economy. However, the European Regional Development Fund, LIFE and Horizon Europe will complement private innovation funding and support bringing innovative solutions to...
  • 20 March 2020

    Mogu

    By Stefano Babbini – CEO at Mogu Mogu creates sustainable and innovative materials, mainly applied in the interior design sector, starting from the idea that it is possible to grow microorganisms, through a fungal fermentation, to structure materials that would otherwise not be consistent. Therefore, starting from these two elements, the fungal strains and the fibers, a line of products has been developed by optimizing the materials according to some process variables, as well as selecting the post-treatments to arrive at high-performance finished products.Mogu’s business model has evolved over time, leading the company to create a functional identity for its target market, interior design and green building. The pillars of Mogu, as shown in the following figure, are their basic technology (fungal fermentation), an approach particularly attentive to design, combined with a strong innovative component related to the bioeconomy sector.The sector where Mogu operates, is that of green building, which is growing at very significant rates, while the products it is targeting are precisely those of interior design, with a focus in particular towards the flooring and the acoustic sectors.The modular Mogu Floor flooring is positioned in a luxury and premium market segment for flooring; the product is the composition of two main elements: the soul made through fungal bio composites, according to a soft and flexible formulation, combined with a Bio PU in which biomass is drowned: this acts as a cover of the final product, generating a product that it is 98% bio-based. The added residual biomasses confer the specific pigmentation of the material, which thus has two upcycling components: the fibers recovered from the textile industry waste that are part of the core, and the filler that also characterizes the aesthetics of the product . This project was also financed by the European Commission through SME instrument...
  • 6 March 2020

    Taller delle terre

    By Giacomo Losio – co-founder of Taller delle terre Taller delle terre (TdT) is a non profit organization that aims to revolutionize the industry of ceramic setting up circular economy production processes. The problem TdT wants to face is connected with the idea of linear systems which are no longer sustainable for our finite planet seeing they are designed on the endless processes of extraction, production, distribution, consume and disposal (the Story of Stuff, 2007).In fact, looking at the interior design sector, both ceramic and stone production chains are responsible for such negative externalities in terms of natural resources exploitation, amount of waste sent to landfill, related environmental impacts and costs for disposal.According to Confindustria Ceramica, in Italy the ceramic market is worth 5,4 billion euro per year (2018) and about 4,572 operating quarries consumed more than 4,6 million cubic meters of soil (Legambiente, Rapporto Cave 2017).At the same time also the world stone industry is responsible for sending to landfill a big percentage of the extracted material, between 20 and 30, with an estimated operating cost about of approx. 30 euro per tonne (Knowledgshare, 2016).These two linear production chains have also considerable negative effects on the environment during all the production and consumption phases (transport, packaging and final disposal): high levels of energy and water consumption; waste production and CO2 emissions (Legambiente, Rapporto Cave 2016). As underlined by United Nation SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals), territories need to implement sustainability within 2030: the waste of resources and money can be contained only through innovative solutions that can generate positive effects in terms of environmental, social and economic development.Considering that in 2018, the 9% from the Italian ceramic industry revenues has been invested in new sustainable productions and green technologies, TdT developed a solution that meets these needs. The process TdT...
  • 21 February 2020

    PRiSMa-Med

    By Maddalena Fava – Partner of Cooperativa Ziguele Every year, millions of tons of waste end up in the sea or in the port area; this phenomenon derives from: poor management and collection of waste, lack of infrastructure, little knowledge about the serious consequences on the natural habitat.Since the 1970s, the scientific community has been paying attention to this phenomenon, known as “marine litter“: “any durable material produced by man and abandoned in the marine environment; waste resulting from human activities whose destiny is to accumulate in the marine environment”. Fishing, aquaculture and recreational waste includes special waste (batteries, motor oils), organic waste (undersized species, waste), waste collected at sea (plastic, glass, paper and cardboard, fabric, wood, ferrous material).Currently, in the ports, this waste has a disorganized management: no space is available for storage and there are no operating methods for disposal. The reuse practices of the organic fraction are completely absent. Because of this, fishermen who collect waste from the sea, not finding suitable structures on the ground, abandon them back into the water, helping to increase environmental problems even in port areas. PRiSMa-Med is a cooperation project funded on the Interreg Maritime program, born precisely to combat these problems.The project involves several public and private partners located in three Italian regions, Liguria (Liguria Region, TICASS Scrl), Tuscany (Tuscany Region, Gestimar Scpa, CIRSPE) Sardinia (FLAG North Sardinia, Union Comuni Alta Gallura), and Corsica (Chamber of Commerce of Ajaccio and Southern Corsica).The objective is the characterization of the waste produced by fishing activities or collected at sea and to reinsert them in the production cycle through feasibility studies of recovery chains. We want to contribute to the reduction of waste and waste deriving from fishing, aquaculture and therefore from ports. To do this we need a system of governance, integrated...
  • 13 February 2020

    40South Energy

    By Michele Grassi – CEO & CTO of 40South Energy and Element Works Michele Grassi begins his speech by introducing 40South Energy, a project born in 2007, and Elements Works, a project born in 2014. The focus of 40South Energy is to produce renewable energy from sea waves. Over the years Elements Works has adopted a sustainable approach to the resources of the sea, including one called Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) whose goal is to establish a circular approach to the marine environment. In this sector it is possible to interact with various stakeholders, including those involved in fishfarming. Data collection is also essential to have a complete picture of the environment in which you operate. We need to move towards a continuous and punctual knowledge and data collection, which at the moment is lacking. The tools that can be used at the moment are sensors that are separated by large distances that only give a partial collection of information; then there are simulations like those of Aeneas; the collections on the spot field are not enough. Sea energy is different from wind energy; it is more distributed and predictable.In 2005, Grassi had the idea of a new approach to convert sea waves into electricity. This idea has become a project, and after about 10 years it has produced a machine called H24, so called because it can work 24/24. The first prototype of this machine was installed in Marina di Pisa. This technology is particularly useful for efficient dispatching and for isolated networks.Microgrids need less energy and generally have to bear higher costs per kWh, up to 0.50 cents per kWh and even more. In this context, machines with greater capital and management costs can be exploited, and commercial installations can be made, which are self-financed thanks to...
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