Tallinn University of Technology

About the Center of Excellence

Circular economy is a key to achieve sustainability, however, its implementation imposes a number of challenges: complexity of supply chains, technological limitations, quality of recycled materials and also cultural shift in society, just to name a few. A comprehensive understanding of circular solutions, that have high potential for adaptation into society can only be achieved through the active intersection of natural and social sciences. 

The Centre of Excellence in Circular Economy of Strategic Mineral and Carbon-based Resources (SOURCES) will consolidate Estonia's research potential to enhance the resource efficiency, maximize the use of local resources, promote safe material circulation and reuse, mitigate negative environmental impacts, and minimize the need for new natural resources by promoting the widespread adoption of circular economy practices in society.


This Centre of Excellence (CoE) focuses on fostering innovation in resource efficiency, promoting circular economy practices, utilizing local resources, ensuring safe material circulation, and educating researchers to reduce environmental impacts. It centers around four key areas: Strategic Mineral Resources (SMR), Carbon-Based Resources (CBR), Circular Technologies Upscaling (CTU), and Circular Business Eco-System and Modeling (CBEM). The SMR group maps critical materials in waste streams, including renewables, for extraction and reuse while minimizing hazardous waste. The CBR group develops eco-friendly pathways for essential chemicals and plastics, also assessing their environmental impact. The CTU group pioneers waste reduction and recycling methods for aqueous, and solid waste, incl. water purification. The CBEM group analyzes sustainable business ecosystems and value chains. This CoE's interdisciplinary approach will benefit both Estonia and Europe by advancing circular economy.