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Introducing CIRCULÉIRE’s 2022 Innovation Fund Awardees

Introducing CIRCULÉIRE’s 2022 Innovation Fund Awardees

  • Five applications to the competitive 2022 Innovation Fund call were selected to receive grants for circular economy innovation projects.

Updated on 27th June 2022: included information about the fifth project, C-SUP.

CIRCULÉIRE is delighted to introduce the Innovation Fund Awardees for 2022. Following a very competitive round of submissions to the 2022 Innovation Fund call (which closed on 31st October 2021) and an international peer-review process the following four circular innovation projects have been awarded funding:

  1. Upcycled Insulation (Cirtex),
  2. Circular by Design (DCCI),
  3. Do More With Less (Farrell Furniture)
  4. MEDAL (Offerre),
  5. C-SUP (Novelplast).

Now, these winners have the important mission of implementing the vanguard projects with the help of the grant given by CIRCULÉIRE’s platform.

“Our overarching objective between 2020-2022 is to source, test, finance, and scale, circular manufacturing systems, supply chains, and circular business models to deliver significant reductions in both CO2 emissions and waste. A key enabler of this is our ring-fenced innovation fund dedicated to catalysing and implementing circular economy innovation demonstration projects”, says Dr Geraldine Brennan, CIRCULÉIRE’s Lead and Head of Circular Economy at Irish Manufacturing Research.

Check below for more details about 2022 CIRCULÉIRE’s Innovation Fund winner’s projects and click here to see all Innovation Fund Awardees from 2020 to 2022.

Upcycled Insulation (2022)

This 12-month project is led by CIRCULÉIRE Industry Member Cirtex in partnership with Interior Creations Ltd, Longford County Council, and Clare County Council. This project aims to address the issue of tonnes of mattresses, pillows, duvets, furniture, and post-production waste  like off-cuts end up being incinerated as Ireland has no answer to upcycling this end-of-life material.

Cirtex Ltd is a new venture that can turn this soft padding material into insulation and other useful products which can be further upcycled when they reach their “End of Life”. Through this innovation project, the company will demonstrate, in collaboration with Clare and Longford Co. Councils, that these materials can be collected from the public in a clean and effective manner.

“The grant from Circuleire was a phenomenal ‘lift’ to our start-up company. Our whole business model is focused on the circular economy, reducing greenhouse gas emissions while providing economic benefits to all our stakeholders. What was once perceived as a waste problem has now been transformed into an upcycling solution”, Rick Earley, Cirtex’s CEO

Circular by Design (2022)

This 12-month project is led by CIRCULÉIRE Industry Member, the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCI) in partnership with National College of Art and Design (NCAD). The global textiles and apparel industry is the joint third highest emitter of greenhouse gases globally and operates in an almost completely linear ‘take-make-waste’ system. To address this challenge, DCCI and the Creative Futures Academy (CFA) in NCAD have come together to design and launch ‘Circular By Design’, which will equip 7-10 Irish textiles and apparel businesses with the knowledge and skills needed to design materials, products and businesses for circularity

“One of our aims is to support Ireland’s design sector to adopt innovative sustainable practices. The funding that has been awarded to us by CIRCULÉIRE will allow us, in partnership with NCAD, to design and deliver the Circular by Design programme. This first of its kind professional training programme will support textile and fashion designers, brands and manufacturers to make the transition to circular practices in every step of their design practice, value chain and business model”, Rosemary Steen, DCCI’s CEO

Do more with Less (2022)

This 12-month project is led by CIRCULÉIRE Founding Industry Member Farrel Furniture in partnership with Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT Letterfrack) and the Office of Public Works (OPW) to develop and implement a series of small-scale demonstrations of circularity within the public sector.  In the first stream of the project, obsolete office furniture, that would have been manufactured by Farrell in the mid-2000’s, will be taken back from the OPW, repaired or remanufactured, and then redistributed throughout the public sector. In the second stream, a series of classic chairs that are no longer manufactured will be studied and reverse engineered by GMIT to allow their repair and reuse.

“On behalf of our consortia, we at Farrell are delighted to have been announced as one of the successful applicants of the 2022 innovation fund. This will enable us to extend the useful life of furniture and, we hope, inspire others in the industry, academia, and the public sector to rethink how we look at furniture”, Paul Farrell, joint CEO at Farrell Furniture

MEDAL: MED Devices A new Life (2022)

This 12-month project is led by CIRCULÉIRE Industry Member Offerre in partnership with Peregrine Technologies Ltd (also a CIRCULÉIRE Industry Member) and the University of Limerick. According to the consortia, several producers have discontinued take-back schemes of wearable medical devices because of cost reasons. This project expects to address consumer routines relating to disposal practices. The demonstrator model will assess automation solutions for cleaning and de-manufacturing and support the circular design of products and packaging. The system will provide a cloud-based platform allowing device consumers to interact with the producers of these devices. 

“The CIRCULÉIRE innovation funding is most beneficial to accelerating the development of a regulated take-back system for used medical devices”, Dr John Carr, Managing Director at Offerre.

C-SUP: Circularising Single-Use Plastic (2022)

This is an 8-month project led by CIRCULÉIRE Industry Member, Novelplast Teoranta in partnership with NUI Galway, Technical University of the Shannon, Envetec Sustainability and the Connacht and the Ulster Regional Waste Office. This demonstration project seeks to speed up the circular evolution of Irish laboratories by demonstrating that single-use polypropylene (PP) labware could become a novel feedstock for Irish recyclers.

“At Novelplast we are delighted to have been announced as a successful applicant to CIRCULÉIRE’s 2022 Innovation Fund. This project will enable laboratories across Ireland to substitute polypropylene tips made from fossil fuel, with ones made from polypropylene recycled in Ireland”, Neil Skeffington, CEO of Novelplast.


About CIRCULÉIRE

CIRCULÉIRE is a public-private partnership co-created by Irish Manufacturing Research (IMR) and three strategic partners: the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications (DECC), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and EIT Climate-KIC. Together with industry partners CIRCULÉIRE aims to assist manufacturers and their supply chains to switch from linear to circular business models.

Read more about CIRCULÉIRE here.

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