Innovation for a Circular Economy – findings from a ‘thought leadership’ project undertaken for Innovate UK
This ‘thought piece’ considers ways in which the concept of Circular Economy (CE) might be redefined within the innovation ecosystem. The findings of this report suggest that a distinction needs to be made between the innovation activities of circular economy SMEs as opposed to SMEs undertaking CE innovation, and that a CE programme for SMEs should be a focus for innovation policy. Through a literature review, a less reductive definition of the CE - traditionally associated with ‘recycling’ - in sustainability innovation, emerges. The aim of this report is to provide insights to Innovate UK about how policy can support a CE paradigm shift that can fundamentally change the social and business mindsets around sustainability and CE implementation.