Strong Northern Netherlands is circular
Citizens, governments and companies are increasingly aware that our linear economy needs to change to a circular economy.
The Northern Netherlands has the ambition to become the circular frontrunner of the Netherlands and Europe by 2030 and wants to be an active stakeholder in fostering a true European Circular Economy. The transition from a circular economy will put less pressure on our material and resource use, and will make optimal use of materials and products, so that we can expedite closing the loop. The circular economy in the our region enhances our Northern economy.
We integrate the Circular economy in our innovation policies
Our circular core-competences give us a head start for a green future, they will attract investments and foster the development of more circular enterprises. A circular Northern Netherlands is beneficial for our climate and creates new business opportunities, while reducing CO2 emissions and putting less pressure on primary resource use. Our circular economy contributes to making the ambitions of the European Green Deal a reality and at the same time contribute to the accomplishment of the national programme of the Netherlands Circular. This is why the Northern Netherlands integrates the circular economy in its innovation policy. In our regional businesses collaborate with knowledge institutions and public bodies, to foster the our circular knowledge and activities. We distinguish ourselves by this triple helix cooperation between businesses, knowledge institutions and local and regional authorities.
Our expertise lays in circular plastics, water and circular building, and we serve as example region in these areas of expertise. Moreover raw material flows from strong chains such as agriculture, chemistry and also waste are used for 'biobased' products and activities, which is beneficial to the environment and offers opportunities for entrepreneurs. We create impact by focusing on the raw material flows, this is the basis for our collaboration within the region and this makes us unique. By choosing these themes, we use our comparative advantages for enhancing transition in the Netherlands and Europe.
Northern Regional Innovation Strategy
Circular principles fit seamlessly with the existing Northern economy. We are working with knowledge institutions and industry to move from a linear economy to a circular economy. This is also included as one of the transitions in the Northern Regional Innovation Strategy. In the North of the Netherlands, this gives concrete form by realizing four icon projects aimed at:
- The Clean North (circular plastics)
- Northern Netherlands lives circularly (circular construction)
- Circular Procurement & Contracting (circular procurement)
- Circular economy financial instruments
To illustrate some of our activities, the Northern Innovation Lab Circular Economy (NICE) contributes to the growth of innovation capacity in our region. We do this by offering businesses, regional governments and other stakeholders from the North place to share potential circular business cases and put them in practice, while attracting young talent to the region. Students from various educational backgrounds are trained in innovative working places, so that they can become the young circular professionals of the future. Students are at the heart of NICE and are the accelerators of tomorrow’s circular economy. The North also offers training curricula aimed at fostering circular skills at our Universities and Universities of Applied Sciences.
We believe in sharing our knowledge on circular economy and that’s why we have developed a National Testing Centre in circular plastics in Heerenveen. By concentrating knowledge and skills development in the North, we can learn more and learn faster, together, and share our expertise at national and European level.
Moreover in the North we are building a sustainable chemical industry, where value-chains fit seamlessly together. For instance we use sugar as opportunity for the further greening of chemistry, as all conditions for sugar as raw-material are present in the region. Our chemical clusters in Emmen and Delfzijl could then reap the benefits.
The EU can contribute to this
To be a frontrunner and contribute to the green ambitions of Europe we need financial instruments, the right legislative instruments and space to experiment.