Circonomy ® - Sovereign value cycles for a sustainable circular economy

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Fraunhofer sets guidelines for a sustainable circular economy.

Consumers are increasingly opting for sustainable products and services. Companies are faced with the challenge of meeting this increased demand by taking appropriate responsible measures. Therefore, linear value creation must be rethought and adapted to become circular, sovereign value creation. To this end, Fraunhofer has drawn up a Fraunhofer Charter, which sets the guidelines for an R&D roadmap for research on sovereign value cycles, a new production and consumption concept.

Project goals

Sustainable consumption and production

Industrialized nations are dependent on imports and exports as well as on lengthy trade routes that are difficult to control. Companies have delegated sovereignty over processes and products in part to global supply systems whose structures are difficult to comprehend and shape sustainably. Global supply chains often lack transparency in terms of the raw materials, additives, semi-finished products or components used and the applicable environmental and occupational safety standards. Sustainability, resilience and flexibility have an enormous impact on the social and economic value of products. Furthermore, Sustainable Development Goal 12 set by the United Nations envisages sustainable consumption behavior and production methods. The Fraunhofer approach to this is new, as it relies on the knowledge-based, digital representation of entire value creation cycles.

Sovereign decisions for companies and consumers

Tomorrow's value creation must be more sustainable, more intelligent and, above all, more circular. Sovereign value creation cycles must replace global value chains. To enable this transformation, Fraunhofer is drawing up a charter that sets guidelines for an R&D roadmap for research on sovereign value cycles. Fraunhofer is committed making consumption and production more sustainable through application-oriented research and development - in the short, mid and long term.

Current project status

The Fraunhofer Corporate Sustainability Platform

Fraunhofer is developing an innovative platform that will allow companies and consumers to make sovereign decisions based on safe, secure, credible and tailored information about supply chains and production conditions. In the project, numerous Fraunhofer institutes are working out the requirements of a platform for the four lead markets of construction, food, chemicals and energy. These will be linked to complementary research fields (bio-economy, hydrogen, AI), developed on the basis of technology demonstrators (e.g. concrete, cereal bar, child seat, PV module, etc.) from the Fraunhofer lead markets, and substantiated with business models. Fraunhofer will thus provide a modular, knowledge-based and digital technology platform as the central hub of the circular economy to create cross-industry solutions for companies

Project partners

  • Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology UMSICHT
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology ICT
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV, Stuttgart
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics IML
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology IWU
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Intelligent Analysis and Information Systems IAIS
  • Fraunhofer Center for International Management and Knowledge Economy IMW
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Structural Durability and System Reliability LBF
  • Fraunhofer Research Institution for Energy Infrastructures and Geothermal Systems IEG