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NWO-KIC grant for research into sharing and repairing

05 April 2024

The research group IREES of the of the Energy and Sustainability Research Institute Groningen (Faculty of Science and Engineering, UG) is part of a consortium that has been awarded a NWO-KIC grant for research into sustainable forms of sharing and repairing. The project, led by Wageningen University, is granted with a total amount of 1,3 million euros.

The IREES team is funded EUR 297.000 to develop a programme to map consumption patterns and social practices of Dutch households and assess their economic, social and environmental impacts along global production chains.

Model developed by Rene Benders of IREES that will be further developed in the project to simulate a household's energy demand, energy use and emissions
Model developed by Rene Benders of IREES that will be further developed in the project to simulate a household's energy demand, energy use and emissions.

A vision towards circularity 

The Dutch government aims to achieve a fully circular economy by 2050. At the heart of this vision are sharing and repairing practices. Users and consumers are all expected to take up a range of sharing and repairing activities in their daily lives as a means to bring about essential reductions in resource consumption and environmental impact. Yet, despite their signifance, these practices remain on the fringes of Dutch society. Trust and participation remain low and share and repair intiaitives face challenges in engaging diverse citizens and scaling up these practices across society. This is complicated by the fact that little is known about the true environmental and economic impacts of taking up sharing and repairing in society, especially in relation to possible unintended consequences, such as rebound effects. 

Transforming practices and systems

The consortium aims to bridge these gaps. It recognises that the transition to a circular economy is not just about changing individual behaviors but transforming social practices and systems. Adopting a combined material science and sociological approach, the consortium will explore how sharing and repairing can be integrated into diverse daily life settings, identifying ways to support these practices across different societal contexts, including workplaces, neighbourhoods and community initiatives. Through a co-creative Living Lab methodology, the project will bring together diverse stakeholders, including policymakers, businesses, municapalities and citizens, to co-design and test new product and service arrangements that encourage circular practices and mitigate negative rebound effects.

Consortium partners

The project is led by Dr. Mary Greene and is a collaboration between Wageningen University, TU Delft and Groningen University. Co-funders are Gemeente Amsterdam, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions, The Circular IT Group, and Milieu Centraal, and additional support as collaborating partners is provided by Planbureau voor de Leefomgeving (PBL), Ministry for Environment and Water, Nigmegen-Arhen Hoogschool, Gemeente Arnhem, Circulair Netwerk Wageningen, Natuur en Milieu Gelderland (NMG), Wuppertal Institute, Cambridge University and Cardiff University.

This grant falls under NWO’s main Mission line of the Knowledge and Innovation Covenant (KIC) and was developed on the basis of the Knowledge and Innovation Agenda Circular Economy. In total NWO has awarded four projects under this KIC call.

Last modified:16 May 2024 3.40 p.m.
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