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The Institute for a Circular Society (i4CS) is excited to introduce the next round of Seed Funding. Are you a researcher at TU/e, WUR, UU or UMCU and passionate about advancing circular solutions through inter- and transdisciplinary collaboration and innovative research?  Then this is your opportunity to team up with EWUU colleagues, develop collaborative projects and drive impact in the pursuit for a circular society.

This seed call is a co-production between i4CS’s new theme Urban-Rural circularity (URC) and the province and city of Utrecht. Researchers can apply for a seed fund after attending a 1-day pressure cooker session at 29 May (see details below).

Important deadlines: Pressure cooker: 29 May 2024 (register before may 17) | Deadline proposal: 14 June 2024 – 5 pm. 

Aim and approach of the seed cal

URC’s mission is to stimulate the development of circular systemic solutions for future proof regions. This means that we are looking for solutions that close loops, take planetary boundaries as a precondition and contribute to social inclusion and justice.

The approach for this call is to zoom in on the Utrecht region and challenge researchers to address knowledge gaps encountered by the province and city of Utrecht. This way we aim to inspire academic research with direct societal impact. In a co-creation between academia and stakeholders we hope to identify solutions which are – preferably – also transferable to other regions.  

Knowlegde gaps and questions from the Utrecht region

Both the province and the city strive for a circular society. Various projects have been carried out in recent years. Results have been achieved, but questions have also emerged, and knowledge gaps have been identified. Academic knowledge addressing such questions is important for both city and province because it can provide input for new policy, implementation programs and projects to realise a circular region.

Relevant knowledge gaps and questions include:  

  • Spatial claims that arise from the ambition for a circular region  
  • Digital innovations that support the transition to a circular region 
  • Biobased materials: from farm to construction   
  • Upcycling in the Utrecht region  
  • Measuring and monitoring circularity in a regional context 

For a complete overview of these knowledge gaps and questions, please download the full seed call text.

Pressure cooker – May 29, 2024 Utrecht

Researchers from the four EWUU alliance universities are invited to develop transdisciplinary research proposals that contribute to bridging the described knowledge gaps. To facilitate the development of relevant research proposals, i4CS will organise a 1-day pressure cooker session in which researchers are facilitated to interact with representatives of the city and province of Utrecht, find other researchers from the four institutes to collaborate with and develop research ideas together

During the pressure cooker: 

  • The province and city will present their goals and action plans for a circular society and the questions and knowledge gaps that they encounter; 
  • Practitioners and researchers together can discuss research questions and ideas related to the presented knowledge gaps. Researchers from the different alliance partners are invited to join forces, develop transdisciplinary project ideas and do some groundwork to develop their research proposal. 

Researchers from the Rathenau Institute will shape and guide the session. The Rathenau Institute is engaged in research and debate on the impact of science, innovation and technology on society. The session fits well with two of its current research themes: Knowledge for Transitions and Climate and Innovation.

Please register below before the 17th of May:

List of Participants (updated weekly, last update 18/04):

More information

The proposals will be evaluated by a panel with members of at least three EWUU partners on added value of the collaboration, research quality and impact potential. We aim for a decision before 1 July. 

Should you have any further questions at this point, please do not hesitate to contact Sacha Tensen, program manager Urban-Rural Circularity: s.tensen@uu.nl 

Feel free to share this announcement with your colleagues.  

This call is organised by the Institute for a Circular Society, an initiative of the alliance of Eindhoven University of Technology, Wageningen University & Research, Utrecht University, and the University Medical Centre Utrecht (EWUU). We aim to do groundbreaking research relevant for practical solutions contributing to a circular society.