Germany’s 2022 Circular Economy

Germany’s 2022 Circular Economy

In Germany, the annual domestic consumption of raw materials is 15 tons per capita, twice the global average. To decouple economic growth from resource consumption, the government is encouraging innovation in product design.

By Robert C. Brears*

The German government has set the goal of conserving natural resources and increasing total raw material productivity in Germany by 30% by 2030 compared to 2010. One of the government’s programs to achieve this is the Resource Efficient Circular Economy — Innovative Product Cycles initiative which provides grants over the period 2019–2022 to collaborative projects that focus on innovative product designs that lower environmental impacts and costs across the life cycle, as well as enable subsequent repair and upgrades.

The initiative encourages consortiums, that preferably include small-to-medium enterprises, to develop and implement economically viable product cycles, networks, and systems. Research topics that are eligible for funding include:

Applications will be assessed according to the criteria of:

Successful applicants will receive a non-repayable grant with the percentage of project-related expenses covered dependent on the applicant’s sector with universities, research, and scientific institutes receiving grants up to 100% of eligible project-related expenses, while commercial sector applicants can receive grants up to 50% of eligible costs.

The take-out

Designing out waste and encouraging product repairs and upgrades is key to developing the circular economy.

*Robert C. Brears is the author of  Urban Water Security  (Wiley) |  The Green Economy and the Water-Energy-Food Nexus (Palgrave Macmillan) |  Natural Resource Management and the Circular Economy (Palgrave Macmillan) |  Blue and Green Cities: The Role of Blue-Green Infrastructure in Managing Urban Water Resources   (Palgrave Macmillan) |  Climate Resilient Water Resources Management  (Palgrave Macmillan). He is Founder of Our Future WaterMitidaption, and Mark and Focus.

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