Fraunhofer Circonomy® Hubs – Transforming linear value chains into sovereign value cycles

Infinite loop of ustainable circular economy
© Fraunhofer IMW / Shutterstock
Fraunhofer sets guidelines for a sustainable circular economy.

The transformation to a sustainable economy can only be achieved it the existing action levels and stakeholder levels that have acted independently from one another up till now become connected.

The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is meeting this challenge by setting up Fraunhofer CIRCONOMY® Hubs. The hubs bundle R&D capacities, are oriented towards the needs of business and society, link aspects of the circular economy and bioeconomy, create a common data space with an end-to-end digitized value chain, and initiate networks and industrial symbioses.

Fraunhofer institutes form the organizational core of these CIRCONOMY® Hubs, cooperating with partners from society, industry and science.

Project goals

Building on the activities of a larger Fraunhofer consortium in 2020, 16 Fraunhofer institutes initiated the formation of so-called Fraunhofer CIRCONOMY® Hubs as a platform for transforming linear value chains into sovereign value cycles.

The focus of research was on Sustainable Development Goal SDG 12, the transformation to a circular economy, and the assertion that economic value creation must take into account social and environmental values along regional and global supply chains.

The institutes are also developing solutions for the four lead markets of construction, foods, chemicals and energy. These are linked to complementary research fields (bioeconomy, hydrogen, AI), and are also underpinned by business models. Fraunhofer is thus providing a modular, knowledge-based and digital technology platform as the central hub of the circular economy to create cross-industry solutions for companies.

Current project status

The Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics IBP is involved in setting up several Fraunhofer CIRCONOMY® Hubs with IBP's own branches in Holzkirchen (Bavaria) and Stuttgart (Baden-Württemberg).

The main topics addressed include separating building rubble and recycling building materials and products in the urban ecosystem. Furthermore, access to reliable and credible information on environmental impacts, supply chains and production conditions will enable companies and consumers to exercise sovereignty.

Fraunhofer IBP is initially focusing its activities on the development of a network with the aim of developing its own research fields in line with the needs of industry and society.

Project partners

Innovative solutions for recycling construction waste
© Sonja Och
Fraunhofer IBP scientists are conducting research on innovative solutions for recycling construction waste.