Circular Design Network (CircDNet)

Project background and objectives

CircDNet logo

With increasing environmental pressures and decreasing resources, we need a transition to a circular economy. When enabling and speeding up circular transition, data-based solutions can play key roles. However, the data available today are scattered, often siloed by sectors, and in many different forms and formats. Thus, a lot remains to be done to make data available and usable, and to enable transformative and comprehensive solutions.

The main objectives of the CircDNet-project are:

  1. to enable circular design and new transformative concepts via data, knowledge and system understanding
  2. to bring scientific data to industrial and community stakeholders in a format that enables the use of the data in decision-making and business creation
  3. to cross-link circular opportunities in biological and technical loops and primary and secondary material loops in order to develop new approaches for implementing transformative CE.

CircDNet combines the organizations’ complementary competences, research knowledge and business understanding from different sectors, and develops access to open data, knowledge and research results in collaboration with the stakeholders. The core effort will be to build a circular data community and to collect, combine, refine and model isolated data into knowledge and system understanding, and demonstrate data use for circular design and optimized solutions for the fully optimized cycles.

CircDNet is designed in a new format as an agile development project, where the stakeholders will be involved in all phases of the work. The project will include quick trials to improve and iterate data mining and to support the CE through data and digital tools. New value chains will be identified and developed based on the findings on system level gaps and opportunities.

Work package structure

The work packages of the CircDNet project are the following:

WP1 Stakeholder and needs assessment
WP2 Data, tools and technology mapping for circularity
WP3 Data to knowledge for selected use cases (Lead: SYKE)
WP4 Data to knowledge and system understanding
WP5 Knowledge and system understanding to action
WP6 Governance issues related to data (Lead: SYKE)
WP7 Coordination, think tank and communication

Consortium and stakeholders

The project consortium consists of Aalto University, Geological Survey of Finland GTK, Natural Resources Institute Luke, Finnish Environment Institute SYKE and VTT Technical Research Centre.

CircDNet is building an open network for organizations interested in data-driven solutions. So far, the following organisations have indicated their interest to take part: UPM-Kymmene Oyj, Stora Enso Oyj, ANDRITZ Oy, Kemin Digipolis Oy, Prizztech Oy, Finnish Mining Association, Helsinki Metropolitan Smart & Clean Foundation, Helsingin seudun ympäristöpalvelut -kuntayhtymä HSY, City of Tampere.


More information

  • Susanna Horn, Senior Research Scientist,
  • Petrus Kautto, Director,
Published 2021-02-18 at 15:05, updated 2022-01-27 at 16:28