Transitioning to a circular economy

The idea of a circular economy has many different aspects, all looking towards being more careful with natural resources. This includes more and new ways of recycling, but also a change in designing, manufacturing and using products to limit the use of raw materials. Reorganising supply chains is just as much a part of it as sharing, rather than buying, rarely used products.

Pioneering Amsterdam

Because of its small size and flexibility, its high concentration of experts, researchers and designers, its central location and good transport links, its favourable conditions for startups and its open-minded, cooperative business mentality, the Netherlands – and particularly the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area – is perfectly suited to trying out new manners of design and production. It’s a region that can function as a ‘living lab’, offering plenty of innovative examples and new business models in fields such as climate adaptation, water management, energy transition and resource revolution.

Sharing and inspiring 

To share the expertise and experience the Netherlands has already acquired in the field of circular economy, to inspire other countries and regions to follow suit and to lay the groundwork for business partnerships and international scaling, there are a number of trade missions being organised. In April 2016, the Netherlands hosted a three-day mission called ‘Netherlands as a Circular Hotspot’, which was attended by a mixed group of representatives from government bodies, business and NGOs from all over the globe, and which will be repeated in 2017. But there are also outgoing missions, including three in November 2016 around the topic of waste management and circular economy. Dutch companies, startups, cities and academic and research institutes are invited to join.

Combined European-Dutch circular mission to Beijing

This trade mission travels to the China International Circular Economy Exhibition, which takes place in Beijing from 23 to 25 November. The goal is to boost the Netherlands’ reputation as circular hotspot and sustainable urban delta, offering circular solutions to challenges faced by China and the rest of Asia.

Circular economy is an important topic in China and the exhibition is China’s foremost circular economy event. It focuses on nine fields, including industrial circular economy, resource recycling and remanufacture and waste utilisation. A number of Dutch businesses has already registered for an EU mission to the event; while the application deadline has already passed, the Dutch government is still offering an opportunity for companies to join a Dutch mission. This includes visiting the exhibition, join a Netherlands-specific side event and reception and make use of match-making facilities. Cooperation with the EU mission offers access to its facilities, too.

Date: 22-25 November
Cost: participation is free and includes entry to receptions and events; international and local travel and accommodation costs are not included
To apply: contact Bernard Scheffens, CEO WSS Asia, at [email protected] or +31 6 5063 6998 or Freek van Eijk, MD Acceleratio, at [email protected] or +31 6 5108 0847.

Waste management and circular economy: fact-finding mission to Eastern Europe 

This fact-finding mission will include visits to Bulgaria and Romania. Eastern European countries are facing challenges in conforming to EU standards and are receiving European funds for improving their waste management infrastructure; this offers opportunities and chances for Dutch technologies, and the fields of agri-food, bio-based economy, logistics, energy transition and smart urban solutions do likewise. Bulgaria plans to make circular economy a priority topic during its EU presidency in 2018. There is a lot of interest in Dutch expertise and experience; the chances for follow-ups are high and further missions are planned for spring 2017.

Date: 8-11 November
Cost: participation is free and includes entry to receptions and events; international and local travel and accommodation costs are not included
To apply: contact Freek van Eijk, MD Acceleratio, at [email protected] or +31 6 5108 0847.

Trade mission with the Prime Minister to Indonesia 

This mission by Prime Minister Rutte and a delegation of ministers includes a section about the topic waster and climate, led by Sharon Dijksma, state secretary for infrastructure and environment. A limited number of spaces for companies of the sector, preferably those that are already active in Indonesia, is still available. For more information about the mission, visit this page (in Dutch).

Date: 21-24 November
Cost: €950 per company (maximum of two participants), including participation in all parts of the programme and local transportation costs and support. 
To apply: register at this link; registration closes on 7 October.