The Prosperkolleg project, which is funded by MWIDE.NRW, has the task until the end of March 2023 of researching the transformation towards circular economy in the region and stimulating its implementation in parallel. The Ruhr West University of Applied Sciences and WiN Emscher-Lippe GmbH have joined forces with the city of Bottrop, Effizienz-Agentur NRW and the Prosperkolleg e.V. association to pave the way for product developments and innovative business models of circular economy together with companies in the region. This creates synergy effects between business, science and local authorities.
Bottrop | Emscher-Lippe Region | NRW
Entrepreneurs | Professionals | Education providers | Researchers, etc.
01.06.2019 – 31.03.2023
The Prosperkolleg stands for departure, but also for attachment to the location. The name says it all: we take up history, especially the influence of mining, and collectively develop new forms of prosperity. While the era of mining has come to an end, we are developing a center of circular economy here for North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany and beyond. Our project offices and the workshop hall of the Circular Digital Economy Lab are located in the premises of the Prosper III business incubator on the former coal mine site in Bottrop.
With the research question “How does the idea of circular economy get into the heads of responsible people in business and thus change the design of products, procedures, business models, value networks?” the Prosperkolleg project underlines the approach of transformation research. In the process, companies are supported in implementing the principles of circular economy, thus closing loops.
The Prosperkolleg wants to inspire commercial and industrial companies – especially SMEs – for the potentials of circular economy. To this end, we conduct a dialog with companies at eye level and offer, for example, the opportunity to learn about examples of good practice from the field of circular economy and to make contact with them via our network of companies. Using both traditional and digital communication channels and event formats, we create space in which companies can inform themselves and network on issues relating to circular economy.
For interested companies that want to take the first or further steps of the transformation towards circular economy, we develop process models and tools. This includes, for example, the Circular Economy Potential Check, which helps to systematically identify operational potential in various fields of action of circular economy and to derive implementation measures. These concepts are regularly evaluated and iteratively developed further.
In the Qualification work package, the focus is on the educational area of continuing education. The aim is to develop scientifically based and needs-oriented qualification concepts that enable companies and multipliers (“train-the-trainers”) to drive forward the Circular Economy. To address the high diversity of Circular Economy stakeholders, we design flexible hybrid learning concepts that combine collaborative learning (e.g., online workshops) and self-learning opportunities that rely on innovative e-learning methods.
Research network: The Virtual Research Network Circular Economy NRW (short: CE Research NRW) promotes the exchange of members, organizes events and workshops and aims to implement joint research projects. Through the network, existing competencies can be bundled, research gaps identified and synergies exploited.
CDEL: In the Circular Digital Economy Lab (CDEL) at the Prosper III site, technical solution approaches and processes for the robotized and AI-supported recycling of e-waste are developed by combining information and process engineering competencies.