Flanders gives €18.4 million to circular projects to transform supply chains

Flanders gives €18.4 million to circular projects to transform supply chains
Flemish Minister Jo Brouns. Credit: Dirk Waem / Belga.

The Flemish government is providing €18.4 million to support 22 circular projects that aim to reduce the consumption of raw substances by reusing materials or repurposing parts, Flemish Minister of Innovation Jo Brouns reported on Friday.

Flanders is fully committed to the transition to a circular economy, which is why in early 2022 the Flemish Agency for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (VLAIO) launched a call for 'Living Labs' (projects that support this initiative).

"With the Living Labs project, we are fully committed to innovation and sustainability. We fully endorse the European Green Deal and are committed to achieving system breakthroughs in the circular economy," said Brouns.

Tackling societal challenges

The purpose of a living lab is not so much to conduct research, but rather to achieve breakthroughs at the level of value chains and ecosystems through intense cooperation between as many parties as possible.

The challenges society is currently facing all highlight the need for a circular turnaround within the manufacturing and construction industries as the prices of raw materials, energy costs and deliveries are soaring while access to these materials is a concern. However, companies committed to circularity are more resilient to these challenges.

To this end, 22 circular projects were selected which will see partners and other actors collaborate intensively for three years, receiving a total of €18.4 million. The projects are diverse and focus on strategies for maintenance, repair, reuse, sharing or repurposing, but also adjustments to the design process, material characteristics and logistics chains.

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"With these projects, we support trailblazers to make this sustainable revolution and ensure that their innovative breakthroughs will be shared across Flanders," said Brouns.

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