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Call for Proposals – Expert Facilitator to deliver CIRCULÉIRE’s Thematic Working Group on ‘Financing the Circular Economy’

Call for Proposals – Expert Facilitator to deliver CIRCULÉIRE’s Thematic Working Group on ‘Financing the Circular Economy’

Image: Calling Circular Funding and Financing Experts

We are looking for specialists in Circular Finance & Funding:

Are you a strategic and innovative thinker, with a good understanding of the circular funding and financing landscapes for Irish businesses? Do you have demonstrated experience facilitating groups and successfully leading co-design and ideation workshops, roundtables and events? If so, CIRCULÉIRE wants to hear from you.

CIRCULÉIRE is requesting applications from suitably qualified ‘Expert Facilitators’ to lead its forthcoming Thematic Working Group on ‘Financing the Circular Economy’.

Thematic Working Group (TWG) Process and Aims

Each year for the duration of the programme, CIRCULÉIRE’s industry members vote on topics that they deem strategically important to enabling – or preventing – their transition to a circular economy. In 2022, ‘Financing the Circular Economy’ was selected as a top priority topic for the network to run a Thematic Working Group on.

What’s needed to optimise Ireland’s finance & funding landscape for a Circular Economy?

Transitioning to a circular economy requires a significant increase in circular finance and funding instruments to support the development and scaling of circular economy pilots, business models and infrastructure. Yet both industry and the financial and funding sector encounter considerable challenges. For one, regulations, markets, investment tools and practices, including financial risk assessment, are adjusted to linear models, and negative externalities and risks linked to linear business models are largely not considered.[1]

Consequently, emergent circular business models can be perceived as highly risky, not bankable, and can thus face added difficulties accessing funding and/or finance. While an increasing number of circular finance instruments are coming on stream (that range from grant funding, venture capital to retail and institutional finance) there is a need to take a holistic, pipeline approach to developing the funding and financial landscape that serves industry needs and reflects different stages of circular business model maturity. Meanwhile, more may need to be done to increase awareness and knowledge of the circular economy within the financial and funding sectors, and ensure that there are financial instruments, and risk assessment tools, fit for financing commercial circular economy innovations.

The aims of this TWG are thus as follows:

  1. Map the existing finance and funding system in Ireland for industry and enterprise seeking to access funding for circular pilots, business models and infrastructure – and with input from  CIRCULÉIRE’s industry members – identify  gaps and presently unmet needs;
  2. Increase panel members’, particularly those representing the finance / funding / enterprise support ecosystems’, awareness and knowledge of the circular economy, assessing opportunities to optimise the circular finance & funding landscape with and for industry;
  3. Prompt dialogue and reflection, by presenting circa 5 international best practices circular finance/funding approaches for industry across Europe, emphasising their replication or adaptation potential in the Irish context;
  4. To design and deliver 2x Ideation Workshops where the working group identify min. 5-10 innovative solutions with potential to optimise Ireland’s Finance & Funding ecosystem for a circular economy;
  5. Co-produce high-quality thought leadership with input from the panel members based on the gaps and opportunities identified (proposing practical, actionable recommendations as appropriate);

2022 TWGs Indicative Dates

Kicking off in late June 2022, this Thematic Working Group (TWG) will run until September (Q3-4), 2022 for a period of approximately 12- 16 weeks.[1] Questions on this specification should come in writing to IMR (details below). We will collect questions until midnight Tuesday, 31st of May.

For more details about the scope of work and expected outputs, please read this background document. Applicants must send this completed Excel Application Form to circuleire@imr.ie by Wednesday, 8th of June (using subject heading ‘Expert Facilitator application – ‘Financing the Circular Economy’).

All compliant tenders (please complete and submit accompanying Excel Application to aide evaluation) will be assessed against relevant knowledge and experience, and proposed approach to delivering the activities. This work has a maximum allowable budget of €20,000.00 ex. VAT.

Indicative dates on the Call for Proposal:

  • Open questions from submitting parties closed 31st of May
  • Deadline for RFP submission to circuleire@imr.ieWednesday, 8th of June (with completed Excel Sheet using subject heading ‘Expert Facilitator application – ‘Financing the Circular Economy’)
  • Interviews with shortlisted applicants: 14th June
  • Communication of winning proposal(s): 17th June
  • Kick-Off Meeting with to Agree Timeline: W/C 20th June
  • TWG commences: W/C 27th June (TWG)

IMR Contact Person: Sophie Reynolds, Circular Economy Technologist; E: sophie.reynolds@imr.ie


[1] European Commission (2019). Accelerating the Transition to the Circular Economy: Improving Access to Finance for Circular Economy Projects. Luxembourg.

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