There is much talking going on about opportunities that the circular economy has to offer for entrepreneurs, the city and the region. However, to really and timely make it work we have to convert talking into doing and approach circular innovations from a systems-perspective.
The vision and strategy of the East of the Netherlands (Gelderland and Overijssel) for accelerating the transition to a circular economy in the next 10 years, are defined in a roadmap. In this roadmap, sub-regions have been defined, with specific hubs where experiments take place and expertise is developed. In the Nijmegen region, the Honig site is such a designated Circular Living Lab. There is no central physical place where raw materials, knowledge and entrepreneurship come together to construct real circular business cases in practice in a structural way.
Research carried out by Metabolic Consulting brought up the current biggest bottlenecks and opportunities for a transition to a circular economy. After identifying what parties would like to be an active part of the transition and dividing them into four sectors, nine flagship projects have been defined that could start or accelerate this transition. We further operationalized the results of this research and started a circular fieldlab to steer to a circular economy in a structural manner and capitalize on opportunities.
One of the physical pillars of this fieldlab evolved into Rebelspaces. In 2018 we completed our own flexible, circularly built and -furnished co-workspace of 340 square meters in the old Honig site, serving as a one-stop-shop for circular innovation. Our impact-driven community exists of students, post-doctorates, entrepreneurs, investors, start-ups and service providers. These radical changemakers unite at Rebelspaces to contribute to building an ecosystem focused on impact, scalability and circular economy.