Catalonia is highly active in circular economy issues and there are a number of initiatives and organizations all aiming to promote environmental sustainability: ranging from public projects and initiatives to organized clusters, universities, technology centres and trade shows.
Catalan companies offer circular economy solutions in waste, materials, water, renewable energies, life cycle and eco-design analysis, as well as in other cross-cutting sectors. A powerful industry sector in Catalonia (in food, chemicals, logistics, automotive, to mention just a few) has great potential to apply circular economy measures.
A highly internationalized sector
Of all the companies that work in this sector, 91% are SMEs (under 250 employees), 52.2% export and 12.2% have a subsidiary abroad. 67.3% of them are operating in the waste sector. Innovations such as car sharing, electric vehicles and self-driving vehicles, or the use of new materials are all fields where the circular economy is being applied and that can reduce the cost of industrial processes by up to 50%.
Innovation and entrepreneurship
With important technology and research centres, Catalonia is well positioned for research, development and promotion of technology transfer and collaboration between universities, the industrial sector and the public administration. An excellent academic support system with top-tier universities and prestigious business schools ensures the promotion of circular economy projects in Catalonia.
Trends and opportunities for innovation
The circular economy is interacting with new trends and opportunities that arise out of the latest technologies, such as Big Data, 3D Printing, Cloud Computing, Mobile Technology and Machine-to-Machine communication. These are also the main circular economy technology trends that emerge from the European Horizon 2020 projects.