A new national research hub to accelerate the adoption of circular economy technologies is to be based at the University of Exeter.
The National Interdisciplinary Circular Economy Hub, supported with a £3.5 million investment from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), will work with the five circular economy centres that were announced in November 2020 to explore how reusing waste materials in a wide range of industries, including textiles, construction, chemical and metals, could boost the UK economy and deliver huge environmental benefits.
It will provide national leadership to facilitate the exchange of knowledge across the five centres and with the UK’s wider research and innovation landscape.
The hub and the five centres form part of a £30 million UKRI programme to move the UK towards a circular economy, in which waste products and materials are reused, repaired or recycled to extend their lifecycle and the use of raw materials and waste put into the environment is reduced.
The new National Hub will be led by Professor Peter Hopkinson and Professor Fiona Charnley of the University of Exeter Business School.
Professor Charnley said: “The circular economy hub and wider programme provides a unique and timely opportunity to co-ordinate and accelerate interdisciplinary circular economy research at a national scale, positioning the UK as thought-leaders in this growing field.
“As a country, we need to radically change how we use resources and by bringing together and harnessing expertise from academia, business and government we can enable that transformation.”