The initiatives in Catalonia concerning the circular economy range from public projects to organized clusters, universities, technology centers, and trade shows.
All circular economy measures take into account three different approaches; rethinking and redesigning business models, products, and processes, extending asset lifecycles, and finally recuperating value at the end of an asset’s lifecycle.
With this in mind, 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. Catalonia’s powerful industry base (in food, chemicals, logistics, and automotive, to mention just a few) has great potential to apply circular economy measures.
A highly internationalized sector driven by SMEs
There are 626 companies in Catalonia that work in circular economy related issues, with a turnover of 11,014 million euros and a total workforce of 32,856 professionals. 60% of these companies are technology-based.
Of all the companies that work in this sector, 93% 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%.
Furthermore, there are 38 start-ups in Catalonia offering circular economy business solutions, two-thirds of which are working on rethinking products and processes.
Innovation and entrepreneurship
With important technology and research centers, 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.