Welcome to the project



Sustainable production, sustainable consumption and a circular economy require systemic and technological solutions, which are created in innovation networks. Fraunhofer proposes building a network of CIRCONOMY® Hubs across Germany: These hubs are a new, agile instrument for cooperation on the basis of a shared mission and a reliable data space. They create added value regionally, nationally and internationally. In each hub, Fraunhofer institutes work with their partners in industry, science, politics and society on a mission not just to contribute to the circular economy, but to develop innovations for sovereign value cycles, climate neutrality, circularity and bioeconomy.

On this page you can read about how circularity is created out of shared values, cooperation and projects.

CIRCONOMY® is the Fraunhofer brand for solutions, capacities and expertise for the circular economy. This brand represents shared values, strategies, target visions and, above all, innovation projects that put the great mission of “transformation to the circular economy” into practice.

Our offer



Web services can be tested directly on a website. Techno-consulting helps keep innovation projects on track and successful.



The concepts for the first CIRCONOMY® Hubs are already being created, and circular ecosystems are forming. Be there as CIRCONOMY® Hubs shape the transformation.



AI-based operator assistance system wins European Paper Recycling Award 2023

Increasing sustainability in the paper recycling cycle and counteracting the shortage of skilled workers: In the BMWK joint project "KIBAPap", the Fraunhofer IVV and its project partners are developing a self-learning assistance system for machine operators that makes a significant contribution to reducing resource requirements in the highly complex process of paper production from waste paper. In addition, it enables the sustainable safeguarding of experience in the company and thus offers an answer to the challenges of the shortage of skilled workers. 


Industrial areas become industrial hubs for the Circular Economy

In a functioning circular economy, different sectors must work together and symbioses between different technologies are a key prerequisite. To achieve this, systemic change is necessary. A consortium of 35 organizations from various countries in Europe is working on this in the Horizon Europe Innovation Action project entitled "Sustainable Circular Economy Transition: from Industrial Symbiosis to Hubs for Circularity (IS2H4C)" under the leadership of the University of Twente (NL). The four-year project aims to establish four industrial hubs: in the Netherlands, Turkey, the Basque Country and Germany. 


New glossary on reuse brings clarity to the jungle of terms in the Circular Economy

What is the difference between reuse and recycling? How should the German term Mehrweg be used and how does it differ from Einweg? For which evaluation are reuse rates more meaningful than recycling rates? Answers to these questions, raised not least by the PPWR (Packaging & Packaging Waste Regulation of the EU), and brief explanations of the terms used in the recycling of packaging are provided in the new "Mehrweg-Glossar/Glossary on Reuse", published in German and English. 


New position paper on transparent life cycle assessment of plastics recycling

Life cycle assessments are often used as a basis for decision-making when selecting environmentally friendly processes, input materials or services for plastics recycling. But what does a comparable and transparent ecological assessment that meets different requirements look like? Fraunhofer CCPE researchers have identified ten challenges and ten requirements in their position paper that increase comparability and transparency in the ecological assessment of plastics recycling.