Learning Labs

Wednesday 14/09 Conference Day

Prosper-Haniel, Fernewaldstraße, 46242 Bottrop

Registration for a Learning Lab is requested in advance. In your confirmation e-mail after successful registration in the ticketshop, you will receive a link to register for one Learning Labs.


1. Transformation towards circular economy: perspectives and potentials for a circular business


In this learning lab you will find insights for different development perspectives of circular economy in a business environment. In order to make circular economy more tangible you will get an overview of four different fields of action. Take a closer look on approaches and potentials in your company. Benefit from discussions and examples from practice. We invite you to share your experience and knowledge to develop new ideas for sustainability and circular economy.

2. World Café

Create Your Big Picture – Circular Economy

Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences, Institute for Technical Energy Systems

This interactive workshop, in World Café format, covers the topics of product design, purchasing and production, logistics and sales as well as the use of the product and the end-of-life scenario. It is suitable for every industry and perfect whether you’re a beginner or advanced in the field of circular economy. We will recap the topics of the previous days and provide you with your big picture of a circular economy after the CE Hotspot.

3. Circular Economy in the construction industry - thinking about deconstruction even before building

Business Metropole Ruhr

The construction industry is one of the most resource-intensive sectors of the economy and plays an important role in the Circular Economy.
The high potential that lies in the reuse of the material used in buildings is insufficiently exploited for many reasons.
In our Learning Lab, five experts from politics, science and business will discuss with you how we should plan new buildings to ensure circular value creation.

4. Self-check the Circular Readiness Level® of products and product systems

How mature is your product for the Circular Economy? 

Fraunhofer-Institut für Umwelt-, Sicherheits- und Energietechnik UMSICHT Fraunhofer Cluster of Excellence: Circular Plastics Economy (CCPE)

A main challenge of the Circular Economy is the implementation of strategies at product level. With the Self-Check Circular Readiness Level® (CRL®), companies can get started into the complex challenges of transforming products and product systems from linear to circular. In the lab, the CRL® will be presented and demonstrated before companies will be guided to carry out a self-assessment. The check is addressed to all actors along the value chain and all types of products, but focuses on plastics. The result provides generic recommendations to improve the CRL® of your products.

5. Jobs & Skills in the Circular Economy Transition


In this Learning Lab we will investigate which skills are required for the Circular Economy transition and how the related circular job profiles look like. We will share experiences and develop ideas on how to develop those skills for target groups such as professionals and university students. The learning lab will be hosted by the Prosperkolleg project and supported by further experts.

6. Digitalization as an accelerator of the circular economy

Collaborating Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production, CSR.digital

The Learning Lab will engage participants to discover how digital technologies can support the enablement of circular economy along the value chain. The lab provides a general overview and will introduce circular strategies along the value chain to further develop or update existing business models for a circular future. A key feature of the learning lab is the introduction of digital technologies that work as circular enablers. In order to make the learning experience more tangible best practices will be presented that will also work as a reference for the active workshop part of the lab.

7. Circular SMEs across Europe - playful exploration of circularity in the value chain

Green Economy Network North-Rhine Westphalia

Based on good examples of circular European SMEs, participants will get to know different circular strategies and business model innovations. The Learning Lab focuses on an in-depth exploration of circular value chain using a serious game approach. Participants will play in small groups to discover the strong interconnections within the value chain. This will encourage players to actually experience the large impact of different circular economy scenarios. Depending on the number of registrations, different sectoral value chains will be available for selection.



Lunch Break


8. Support for Crossborder Projects for a European Circular Economy

ZENIT, Enterprise Europe Network NRW

Sustainability and the circular economy do not stop at borders. In particular, the concept of the Circular Economy is changing value chains that are usually organized internationally in industry. In order to make material flows circular, new innovations must also be developed. The workshop is structured in a way that the participants present their ideas and requirements and receive input about support offers and funding programs of the EU. In moderated form, exemplary sketches and ideas will be tried out. The aim is to develop a common picture of the procedure and conception of projects

9. How can the recycling of small electric devices look like in the future?


In this Learning Lab we want to take a closer look at the recycling of small electric devices. By the example of cordless screwdrivers, which will be dismantled by the participants, we set focus on the current recycling systems and associated problems. Based on this, the Circular Digital Economy Lab (CDEL) will show, how AI and robotization can be used to simplify the recycling process and drive the transformation towards a circular economy. In cooperation with an environmental management company we will discuss, what is necessary to close the gap between the current recycling system and the innovative approaches of the lab..

10. Circular Economy Card Deck for Business Model Workshops (CE-CA-WO)

Circular Economy Initiative, acatech & WWF Deutschland

What can small and medium-sized enterprises do to set themselves on the path to a circular economy? The “Circular Economy Card Deck for Business Model Workshops” gives answers. It is a workshop tool that enables medium-sized enterprises to put their existing business models to the test and to align them towards circularity. In an interactive workshop session, we will introduce you to the card deck AND ENGAGE WITH YOU THROUGH A FEW ROUNDS OF PLAY.

11. Circular Cities

Ministerium für Umwelt, Naturschutz und Verkehr des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen

Cities and municipalities are metabolic hotspots – because of their dense population they combine a high demand for goods and services on the one hand with a corresponding high output of material and waste on the other hand.

The workshop aims to point out the potential of cities to establish a circular economy at city level. It also will allude to the critical role of the citizens and how to involve them. The workshop will provide an overview of what can be done to become more circular at city level and how to achieve it. It should inspire and activate the participants from cities and municipalities to get involved and get started to take action.

12. Added value through circular design

Effizienz-Agentur NRW

You will get an introduction to Circular Design. Then we would like to convey how to implement circular design and business model strategies and work out with you how the path leads from process optimization through product design to the point of business model development. We will present in a short introduction how to approach the topic in a structured way and what you can expect for.

13. Flagship project in circular economy in NRW (EUREF-Campus)

NRW as sustainable business location

NRW.Global Business

The EUREF AG is building with it’s campus an international showcase for the energy transition. It is the second innovation campus of its kind in Germany.

The EUREF-Campus in Düsseldorf will be presented during this Learning Lab concerning his different sustainable compositions.

Details about the building services (Schneider Electrics), the mobility concept (Rheinbahn Düsseldorf), the energy concept (Stadtwerke Düsseldorf), the car sharing concept and about their planned hydrogen filling stations (Air Liquide) will be pointed out.

After presenting the EUREF-Campus itself, there will be an interactive panel discussion. The aim of the panel discussion is to draw a picture of the current situation of the circular economy in the urban development in NRW. In addition to the ecological benefits, it will also question the economic viability of processes. Advantages and disadvantages should become clear.

14. Closing the Gap – Production of secondary raw materials

:metabolon & TH Köln – University of Applied Sciences

Composite and compound materials improve the material properties of the individual original material and may even lead to complete different, enhanced material properties. However, the advantages of material combinations become a disadvantage when it comes to the recycling and reuse of those materials.

During this workshop, we will discover different types of composite and compound materials by investigation of material samples. Based on the experiences made, we will identify the demand for the tailoring of future materials with respect to their recyclability.