Unlocked in 2020 - Future Circular City Edition

Last year’s challenges

Designing waste out of economic processes is at the core of a circular economy. This means maximizing the use of natural resources, and keeping products, components and materials at their highest utility and value at all times. To achieve this, we need to design and manage products and processes to systematically avoid the volume and toxicity of waste, recover resources and never burn or bury them. The business sector and the public sector have both a fundamental role to play by, for instance, designing out waste throughout the lifecycle of products and maximizing the recycling rate and quality of waste. By establishing wide collaborations, a world without waste is possible. 

To create a zero waste economy, we are looking for solutions as:

  • Recycling technologies
  • Carbon capture technologies
  • Life extension technologies
  • Bio-based raw materials
  • Waste to value
  • Circular packaging


Work with the Municipality of Rotterdam to create a more circular economy by up-cycling waste streams from the city.


Innovate the beer brewing industry and with Bierfabriek by creating a more circular economy

Data and digitally-enabled solutions are critical for the realization of a circular economy. Technologies such as AI, IoT, smart devices, and blockchain are already enabling improved use of natural resources and more efficient waste management.
5G will facilitate intelligent connectivity of everything, enabling real-time remote control at scale and across distances. The introduction of 5G technology has the potential to improve the traceability of materials and allow the implementation of flexible and efficient solutions that will bring us closer to a circular economy.

To create connected value chains, we are looking for solutions as:

  • 5G applications
  • Machine learning¬†
  • Real time data analysis
  • Connected and automated mobility
  • Drones
  • Virtual reality¬†
  • Communication technologies


Enhance next generation 5G and digital identification to create the city of the future with KPN


The construction sector is the biggest user of raw materials worldwide, accounting for 36% of global final energy used and 39% of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions. While raw materials are becoming scarcer and prices more volatile, demand is constantly increasing. In this context, a linear design of buildings ending in down-cycling and incineration is not a viable option anymore.

To reach a fully circular environment, a diverse range of technological solutions is needed. It could be innovations ranging from advanced materials, bio-based solutions, digital technologies, to value recovery through secondary raw materials, and circular design & business models.

To create a fully circular built environment, we are looking for solutions as:

  • Advanced materials
  • Bio-based solutions
  • Digital technologies
  • Secondary raw materials
  • Circular design
  • Circular business models

Multiple Challenge Partners

Work towards increasing circular construction development to ensure long term sustainability of infrastructure in the province of South Holland.

Open innovation partner

Local Ecosystem