COVID-19 next to the drought and water shortage are two of the most recent disruptive events that hit our society and economic reality. Concerning COVID-19, social distancing, sudden decreased demand and - for many companies - a lack of supplies had a large impact on manufacturing activities and income. For water intensive processes the pressure on water consumption increases. In this series of blogposts we unravel the circular economy, connecting theory with practical examples and best practices.

Making money with a product that hardly ever breaks is a real challenge and requires a different perspective: don't sell your product, sell the use of your product or its functionality. Does this sound a little abstract? We will make it concrete by giving an example of an SME that manages to offer its product - an entrance mat - as a service to the customer.

The fourth cycle of the Circular Economy Connect learning network starts this year. In addition to a supportive and encouraging network for companies taking their first steps in the circular economy, Sirris and Agoria are launching a network for companies that have already started down this road and want to get started with a circular business case. We look for solutions to specific challenges or frequently-recurring obstacles.

Veldeman Bedding in Opglabbeek, Limburg, is one of the major mattress and bed manufacturers in Europe. The company is working on a sustainable approach to its product and manufacturing processes and recently came out with their first circular collection.

Sirris is active in several competitive clusters in Wallonia which group companies and actors around promising economic fields: Mecatech, Skywin, Biowin, Greenwin.

The fight against corrosion is a major cost driver, especially in harsh environments such as the North Sea. The NeSSIE project has been and is still contributing in this fight through the development of three demonstration projects for anti-corrosion solutions, focussed on offshore renewable energy (ORE) devices.

What are the keys to initialising the highest quality recycling and processing of large composite structures? In the closing event of the CompositeLoop project on 5 June, you will get a picture of the current state of affairs, the routes with the greatest potential and the flanking measures to support those.

An innovative circular model is not a standard R&D project: it requires a structured process approach that goes far beyond the product and requires quick tests and continuous adjustments from entrepreneurs. These are the main findings of the pilot project Expedition Circular, a collaboration between VITO, Agoria, Sirris and Start it @KBC.

A new pan-European project, the Ocean Power Innovation Network (OPIN), which aims to accelerate the development of the ocean energy sector was launched in Ireland last month. Businesses are invited to become members of the new ocean network.

Corrosion and fouling are two major problems affecting all commercial activities in a maritime environment. Assets degrade and need continuous monitoring and maintenance to avoid large scale problems. On 1 April, The Antwerp Maritime Academy organises it’s 2nd International Symposium on Corrosion and Fouling to address these issues and talk about the most recent developments in the field of protection against corrosion and fouling.