Tallinn University of Technology

Tallinn University of Technology opens the Circular Economy core laboratory on December 5. The new lab provides TalTech contacts and competencies to search for sustainable solutions to the challenges of the energy and commodity crisis in cooperation with researchers, organizations, companies, and start-ups.

Ringmajanduse tuumiklabori avamise bänner

Allan Niidu, head of the circular economy core laboratory, explained that the lab is a virtual platform. "The need for a unified communication and coordination center emerged in recent years when more and more projects related to the circular economy appeared at the university. It became clear that our people could do much more in developing the circular economy through cooperation and unified information space.” 

“We saw that there are similar platforms in other parts of Europe. For example, we recently got to know the work of the circular economy center established at the Royal Swedish University of Technology. So it was high time for us to act - who else should promote a new economic model and a more economical way of production than Estonia's only technical university," said Niidu.

According to Niidu, the core laboratory coordinates the circular economy disciplines in the university and offers its research expertise to others. "The great goal is to raise awareness within companies, and I'm not just thinking of start-up companies, where very innovative circular economy solutions have originated. But also approach and engage conventional businesses - large companies with considerable effect must reach sustainable production - big volumes lie there. Now that we have been able to feel the energy and raw materials crisis firsthand, we must more consistently look for ways to keep the raw materials in circulation for as long as possible."

According to Niidu, the university can also initiate such collaborations, where the university finds a user for its idea. "However, we still want to develop a different approach - so that companies that want to reduce their carbon footprint, reprocess materials or waste, and look for opportunities for a circular economy in the production chain will turn to the core laboratory.”

Niidu adds that the university can propose different models of cooperation - for example, open workshops where both company and university teams are together, and researchers try to solve the problem set by the company. “At the same time, we can help find funding for the project because the university has a wide international cooperation network," he said.

The opening event of the circular economy core laboratory takes place on December 5 in TalTech's Mektory building. In addition to the head of the core laboratory Allan Niidu, TalTech Rector Tiit Land, Maive Rute, Deputy Director General of the European Commission's Internal Market, Industry and Entrepreneurship (DG GROW), Madis Tilga, adviser to the Estonian representation of the Nordic Council of Ministers, and representatives of companies will speak at the event.

The event is free-of-charge, with prior registration at karin.kaar@taltech.ee. Presentations can be followed also via Teams.