The economy and society as a whole is in transition towards a new development model called “Circular Economy”. Not only this is recommended by the European Commission in the Circular economy action plan issued in March 2020, but also it is needed for companies to regain competitiveness and value, going beyond the traditional linear economic model of “take-make-dispose.” More generally, circular economy concepts are central to then European Green Deal, the new growth strategy aimed at transforming the European Union into a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy.
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 characterised by high uncertainty and price volatility, while being challenged 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 ensure environmental and economic gains.
A recent study by Cambridge econometrics and Trinomics estimates that applying circular economy principles across the EU economy has the potential to increase EU GDP by an additional 0.5% by 2030 creating around 700 000 new jobs. The European Commission, recognizing the potential opportunities, also provides funds through the upcoming Horizon Europe.
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 concept of Circular Bioeconomy is now becoming mainstream in qualifying the complex system to sectors using biological resources and the ecosystem where they are produced.
The Inter-University Master’s Degree in “Bioeconomy in the Circular Economy (Biocirce)” aims to train students in professional 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.
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