Industrial technology roadmap for circular technologies and business models

On January 24th, the European Commission released the latest version of the new European Research Area (ERA) industrial technology roadmap for circular technologies and business models (ERA Roadmap).

The roadmap especially focuses on the EU’s textile, construction and energy-intensive industries (in particular chemical industries including polymers and plastic, metal and steel and ceramics) industrial ecosystems

These ecosystems have a disproportionate impact on waste generation and pollution compared to their economic contribution. These energy-intensive industries play a crucial role in the circularity of various value chains across different EU industrial ecosystems.

The roadmap examines 92 circularity technologies across these three ecosystems, covering all aspects of a material or product’s lifecycle.

These technologies range from utilizing:

  • bio-based or recycled materials in the textile industry
  • additive and robotic manufacturing, or telematics in the construction industry,
  • to end-of-life technologies such as the separation and regeneration of spent solvents in energy-intensive industries.

The analysis of potential technologies in the the textile ecosystem was pioneer work, as it could not build on consolidated existing sources for relevant technologies and the assessment of their potential.

Some key conclusions of such analysis:

  • Textile recycling technologies, a cornerstone for circularity in this industrial ecosystem, are overall at high TRLs, and seem interesting also from an economic perspective.
  • R&I support can be very targeted to bring disassembly and sorting of textiles to a higher TRL, in particular to automatise the sorting and to solve the challenge of preparing composite textiles for recycling, through material blend separation technologies, which show high circular and economic potential.
  • In order to close the loop systemically, further R&I efforts are necessary for the development of technologies related to design, durability, reuse and repair.
  • Specific to the textile ecosystem, there is a need to research the potential of sustainable consumption behaviours, while preserving the economic viability of companies in this industrial ecosystem.

Read the roadmap here: