57 million tonnes of plastics are produced in the EU every year. But instead of using the plastics in a cycle, most of them are incinerated after a single use or end up as waste. What we need as a society is a circular economy of plastics, new ideas and know-how. This is where the transfer project InCamS@BI comes in.
Our society produces an enormous amount of plastic waste. Of the more than five million tonnes of plastic waste produced by German households and commercial enterprises, only around 16 per cent was recycled in 2019.
The solution: circular value creation. A circular economy avoids or recycles waste through appropriate design of materials and products, thereby working in a resource- and energy-efficient way. All stages of a plastic must be considered holistically: from design to production and processing to regulatory requirements and consumer decisions. InCamS@BI is dedicated to this challenge: together with companies from East Westphalia-Lippe, concrete individual projects are being launched that contribute to establishing a circular economy for plastics.
An interdisciplinary task
Physicists, chemists, engineers, economists and lawyers work together in InCamS@BI for a circular economy of plastics. Citizens can also participate, for example in interactive transfer formats such as open science events and hackathons.
In the Creative Lab, the actors generate initial ideas together with partners from the region. In the Innovation Lab, these ideas are further developed into concepts that can be applied, resulting in patents, spin-offs and industrial applications. Toolboxes are created for companies that help them introduce circular product life cycles in-house. The Hall of Innovation is the umbrella of the project. Central administrative and supporting tasks such as project management, control, evaluation and communication are located here. The task of the staff in the Hall of Innovation is to promote the dialogue between science, business and society.
A total of seven research groups in InCamS@BI deal with analytics and materials development, innovation management, plastics technology and materials testing, technology development, business psychology, business law and circular value creation.