Sustainable handling of materials, ideally even in a closed cycle: These goals could be the content of a new research project in the Münsterland. The project idea was developed and advanced in the Münsterland think tanks "Environmentally Neutral Materials of the Future" and "On the Way to a Circular Economy". Now interested parties met for a first network meeting including idea brainstorming.
"We are pleased that with this project initiative a result of our think tanks is gaining momentum," emphasises Bernd Büdding, head of the Enabling Networks Münsterland project at Münsterland e.V.. The joint project is the initiator and organiser of the Münsterland think tanks, in which representatives from business, science and networks come together and exchange ideas about future innovations in the Münsterland, depending on the area of expertise. The Surface NRW network is a member of the think tank "Environmentally neutral materials of the future" and, together with Gotthard Walter from IWARU at Münster University of Applied Sciences, took the initiative for the new research project under the heading "X-Lives". The vision of X-Lives: to develop innovative and sustainable materials that are used for as long as possible in the product life cycle.
The starting point for the project is the many application fields of circular value creation: raw materials, product design, production, consumption/use, collection, recycling and waste flows can be optimised and thus conserve resources. Projects by actors from business and science are to be located in each of these thematic fields. Small and medium-sized enterprises as well as scientific institutions from Germany and the Netherlands are to be brought on board. "We want to support SMEs in particular in shaping the transition to a circular economy and in leading the way in the field of materials. In this way, X-Lives can make a concrete contribution to climate protection," emphasises Martin Gründkemeyer from Netzwerk Oberfläche NRW e.V. At the same time, interdisciplinary networking is to be promoted and German-Dutch cooperation strengthened.
The consortium's goal is to submit a project application for the INTERREG cross-border funding programme. If this is achieved this year, the project could start as early as 2022. More information is available at www.oberflaeche-nrw.de/de/news-de/x-lives-sustainable-use-of-materials.
As a regional network initiative and successor project to Enabling Innovation Münsterland, Enabling Networks Münsterland has been supporting companies and universities in the Münsterland region in developing innovations, implementing them and finding the right partners for the project since the project launch in September 2019. The project consists of two packages of measures. Representatives from companies, research and regional networks come together in the five think tanks and develop ideas, initiatives and future models for specific topics. The second component is technology scouting. This creates special technology knowledge with which companies, research institutions and competence centres can be even better networked.
The project network with Münsterland e.V. as lead partner consists of the business development agencies of the Münsterland districts and the Münster Technology Promotion Agency as well as the transfer offices of the regional universities and five specialised institutions that drive innovation in their sectors. The project is funded by the European Union and the NRW Ministry of Economics as part of the ERDF call "Regio.NRW".
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