The Circular Economy is the new economic paradigm of the 21st century, which aims to create economic growth for companies, decoupling it from the exploitation of finite natural resources and keeping products at their highest utility and value along their life cycle. This model helps the economy to be more competitive and effective in a global context, which is today linear and is based on high uncertainty and volatility in supply costs, impacted by population growth, urbanization and environmental degradation. By rethinking the traditional development mechanisms and through the adoption of more efficient business models, the system is oriented to a new cycle, potentially infinite, of “re-design – manufacturing – sales – use – reverse logistic – regeneration/recovery…”. This includes fostering the reuse, repair, re-manufacturing and greater use of secondary materials, in order to deliver environmental and economic gains.
Undoubtedly, the Circular Economy represents an opportunity for the industrial system, enabling savings of €1,800 billion by 2030 in Europe and a high positive social impact (+ 580,000 employments) – as highlighted in a recent study by Ellen MacArthur Foundation and McKinsey. The European Commission, recognizing the potential opportunities, also provides funds up to €650 million, which are included in the Horizon 2020 Programme. Moreover the European Investment Bank plans to allocate about €24 billion of funds fostering innovative initiatives by 2020, including those related to the Circular Economy (InnovFin financing tool and advisory services).
In this context new technologies, innovative industrial processes and different markets should be developed to seize the opportunity that the Circular Economy paradigm provides. As part of circular economy, the focus on areas such as agriculture, food production, chemical industry, biotechnology, biomedical and energy is essential to guide the business and the future entrepreneurs towards a sustainable future, creating a solid relationship with the world of R&D and start-ups.
The Inter-University Master’s Degree in “Bioeconomy in the Circular Economy (Biocirce)” aims to train professionals profiles with technical and economic expertise, especially in re-design of biotechnological processes, preservation of natural resources, zero waste solutions and use of renewable sources.