Global demand for resources is increasing and significant pressures are causing environmental degradation, consuming 100 billion tons of materials annually, of which only 8.6% is recovered, according to the 2021 Circularity Gap Report.
Moving from linear economy models to circular economy ones seems to be the only way to address both short and long-term sustainability challenges: keeping resources in the economy even beyond the end of the product's life cycle, reducing waste through reuse, recycling or remanufacturing.
Aforementioned change in the economic model is not simple and requires profound modifications in the entire value chain: products must be designed in a sustainable way and be easily usable in a circular economy paradigm, new business and market models are needed, innovation is requested to turn waste into resources and consumer behavior has to change significantly. The entire quadruple helix needs to be involved in transforming the way businesses, academia & research, decision-making and civil society operate, as well as new skills are needed to facilitate this transition.
CRESCENTO addresses these challenges by setting up an ADRION transnational cooperation network on circular economy, defining an education and training program and developing a joint master's program on circular economy.
The project is based on a partnership of 11 partners from all over the ADRION area (4 ERDF and 4 IPA countries), thus covering the entire EUSAIR macro-area. A network of more than 60 stakeholders from academia, research, business and policy makers is expected. The education and training program of the circular economy concept will be defined on the exchange of experiences and mutual learning, while its promotion will take place in the ADRION program area through a Summer School via online / face-to-face education and training courses, as well as open learning.
CRESCENTO consortium is strongly committed towards a joint master's program definition and implementation to be undertaken by at least 2 universities and an internship of up to 6 months for business and research attendees.
The development of this master will start with the study and analysis of the regulatory and institutional frameworks in the different countries, followed by the elaboration of a common strategy and completed by a detailed action plan for its implementation in the different countries.
A Cooperation Agreement and Programme Description will detail the Strategy and the Action Plan, so that in the next programming period (IPA ADRION 2021-2027) the Joint Master can be successfully implemented, producing a permanent result in the EUSAIR area through Circular Economy adequate education, training and upskilling of the quadruple helix.