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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/T030887/1
Title: UKRI National Circular Economy Hub (CE-HUB)
Principal Investigator: Hopkinson, Professor P
Other Investigators:
Charnley, Dr F
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Circular Economy Club Dragon Rouge Limited WRAP
Department: Science, Innov, Tech & Entrepreneurship
Organisation: University of Exeter
Scheme: Standard Research - NR1
Starts: 01 February 2020 Ends: 31 December 2020 Value (£): 148,522
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Design Engineering Manufact. Enterprise Ops& Mgmt
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
14 Jan 2020 UKRI Circular Economy Centres Coordinator Interview panel Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Led by Professor Fiona Charnley and Professor Peter Hopkinson at the University of Exeter, as joint coordinators and principles investigators of this grant, the CE-HUB will harness the UK's leading research capabilities; creating new knowledge, tools, behaviours and relationships to capture economic, social and environmental value from a Circular Economy and resource revolution. The CE-HUB will inspire, motivate and nurture a more inclusive, restorative, regenerative and competitive UK Circular Economy of the future. The Circular Economy offers a revolutionary alternative to a traditional linear, make-use-dispose economy. It is based on the central principle of maintaining continuous flows of resources at their highest value for the longest period whilst in use and then recovering, cascading and regenerating products and materials at the end of each life cycle. It has spectacular potential to drive sustainable growth and prosperity but represents a fundamental challenge to the status quo. To date however there is limited experience in driving a National Circular Economy agenda. Circular Economy requires engaging with substantially more complex resource flows often cutting across classical definitions of sectors and tayloristic value chain definitions. Despite many ideas there is a need to create scientific evidence, in depth analysis and insight, detailed case studies and documentation of what works and what does not, to overcome barriers, promote adoption and support practical application. The CE-HUB is ambitious and will be a catalyst to address the barriers, gaps and challenges to Circular Economy. It will understand, implement and shape a National research agenda to position the UK at the forefront of the global transition towards a Circular Economy and resource revolution including:

- The development of the UK's first Circular Economy Observatory to provide a digital systems view of national resource flows as a foundation for modelling and quantifying potential benefits, opportunities and interventions to inform and influence national leadership and industrial decision-making,

- An inclusive and diverse multidisciplinary community of academics, industrialists, government, policymakers and end-users. The CE-HUB will foster a safe environment to inspire and support new collaborations, mentorship, early-career research and feasibility testing across disciplines and resource flows.

- The co-creation of a National Repository of Knowledge and shared understanding. We will draw together our extensive community to develop novel methods, tools, approaches and metrics that can overcome barriers to progress. We will use our informed position to influence and accelerate future research directions and create a long-term vision and road map for an inclusive, competitive and circular industrial strategy. The CE-HUB will house a unique national online repository of knowledge, tools, expertise, and initiatives.

- The formation of the first National Circular Skills and Training Platform through which students, early career researchers, practitioners, policy-makers and employers will be able to match requirements in skills to existing and emerging educational offerings.

- The co-creation of the first National Circular Economy brand to forge the way in the global advocacy of the Circular Economy. We will develop a recognised, distinctive standard or charter for those who lead the way in its delivery; changing the future of organisational values and behaviours. The CE-HUB will provide stakeholders nationally and internationally with a central point of reference for Circular Economy research and practise. It will be the first national research hub of its kind to lead support for Circular Economy practices, track materials and waste, develop novel and innovative approaches to feed legacy materials, by-products and waste into value-creating activities and engage stakeholder communities though compelling narratives for improved understanding of the principles of circular economy.
Key Findings
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Date Materialised
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.ex.ac.uk