CfS 2017

Reflections on last year - Gertjan de Werk

A dynamic year full of energy and potential for circular economy

It’s been a fruitful year. Reflecting on our mission to bridge the gap between science and practice and as part of that increase the value of circular master education, there are quite some highlights to mention. Let me shortly mention the most recent ones.

DORP, our summer course. 30 of our Leiden-Delft-Erasmus students teamed up with start-ups, technicians, artists and applied science students to work on circular innovation. Parallel incubation programmes where organised by the KIC Raw Materials and Climate KIC, the largest European innovation programmes for Circular Economy.

Transition programme with Province Zuid-Holland for circular economy. Our province has a lot of potential to become a front runner in circular innovation. We are currently finishing the first draft of this unique knowledge and valorisation programme where challenges and knowledge gaps are collected in practice. Based on this input, we will be structurally working on new knowledge and innovation for a regional circular economy.

Foundation of Cirkelstad together with Groene Brein and KplusV (ao)  . A network of cities, catalysed by national Green Deals, that aim to become circular and inclusive. The goal is to grow to 30 cities in our network in order to scale up existing circular construction projects and add the scientific layer that is required for the transition to a circular construction regime. A multi-year program that includes innovation, white papers, start-ups, executive courses, fundamental research, piloting and strategic advice to companies and governments also to change legislation and subsidies. It is no surprise that we are closely collaborating with the people that manage the national transition agenda for circular construction.

Coming year will be crucial for us. We aim to prove our value on a structural basis for education, research and practice. Just a glance into our short term activities.

  1. 2 pilots within the regional transition program with the province: The first pilot will take place in the Central Innovation District in The Hague, looking for an approach to start and fulfill circular area development. The second pilot will be focused on legal limitations for reuse of organic waste streams in the Groene Hart and ways to avoid them in a legal way.
  2. More master electives open for all LDE students. So, next to our summer course the Sustainable Business Game will be transformed into a true LDE course coming year to make inter-universitary teams work on business plans for their circular innovations.
  3. Growing our circular PhD community. We aim to grow our circular PhD community and facilitate LDE PhDs to come together, share their knowledge and expertise and help us create a solid scientific basis for a transition to a circular economy. We will kick this off in November with a PhD event at the PLATE conference in Delft.
  4. Boosting our circular innovation hubs. Coming  year we aim to have at least LDE CfS graduates that finished their thesis based on market demand in an LDE-student team.

Concluding, it’s been a fantastic year with a wonderful team and a lot of enthusiastic professionals on real projects aiming for true impact with a scientific basis. Special pride goes to our student board that grew a community of over 1500 people and organised activities with way more subscriptions than places.

I’d say: overall, a very good basis to start a new  year with. So, keep an eye on our activities or even join us in our mission to effectively bridge the gap between science and practice with true impact.

Kind regards, 

Gertjan de Werk

Gertjan de Werk