• 20 November 2020

    Digital Platforms

    By Ghali Egger English Version The need to shift to an economy that is circular and inclusive has become inevitable. At the same time there are a lot of hurdles which are hindering us from it and making this transition one of today’s greatest challenges. Among them for example there is the current linear economic model which does not value natural capital; this information does not flow with products and material down the value chain and that customers lack awareness, capacities and convenience to actively contribute to a Circular Economy.  Digital solutions like online platforms, artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of things (IoT) and blockchain are already used to support Circular Economy initiatives, but the potential is even greater. If adequately steered, data and digitally enabled solutions could contribute to a system-wide transition and further enhance connectivity and the sharing of information across the value chains; make products, processes and services more circular; and empower citizens and consumers to contribute to the transition.  For this reason, the transition to a Circular Economy and the digitalisation of the economy and society should be aligned in order to benefit the environment, society and economy.  One of the ways digitalisation can enable the Circular Economy transition is in the form of digital platforms that are used for industrial symbiosis. Industrial symbiosis is a powerful approach to accelerate and scale the Circular Economy by closing resource cycles and valuing materials that would otherwise be discarded. In fact, waste is not seen as waste any longer but as a resource at the wrong place. Materials that cannot be used anymore by a company, can constitute a secondary raw material for another company. The digital platform in turn, is enabling and facilitating the process of material exchange and data flow between the companies.  The expression “symbiosis”...
  • 29 May 2020


    By Filippo Ferraris – Co-Founder and CPO of Enerbrain English Version Filippo Ferraris starts from “IoT”, Internet of Things, claiming that products such as smartwatches are not exploited as much as they can considering their rapid replacement with other increasingly innovative gadgets, a perspective that is far away from the concept of sustainability. The IoT was born with the aim of changing the planet and solving people’s problems in their daily lives. In 1991 the first IoT product was born in the laboratory of Cambridge University by Quentin Stafford and Paul Jardetzki: it was the Trojan Room Coffee Camera, thanks to which it was possible to remotely control whether the coffee maker in the Trojan Room, which required very long time to make the coffee, was full or not, and thus avoiding a useless journey from the workplace to the room. For this reasons IoT tools are born, with the aim of solving a problem. For example, a smartwatch can be used as a tool to control arrhythmia and get to know your health status in real time, by performing supporting functions for individuals. To date, the number of connected devices is 40 billion and it is no expected to stop. From computers to household appliances, from traffic lights to electrical outlets, in 2020 this value will reach 50 billion given the continuous development in IoT. Even if we don’t realize it – says Ferraris – we produce an incredible amount of data that is stored and used by third parties to make IoT products. An example is Netatmo smart thermostats which collect data on temperature that are then publicly shared, selling them to companies that make weather forecasts. These devices are leading the city to be increasingly “smart” because of its ability to obtain data from what surround them....
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