Circular Valley® - grow the economy, protect the environment
In our current "linear" economy, resources are extracted from the environment, processed into products and services and disposed of as emissions in the soil, air and water – amounting to about 100 billion tones in 2020. Circular Valley aims to counteract this development.
Circular Valley® is a globally unique hotspot for the establishment of a future-oriented circular economy.
International start-ups, companies, science and politics meet here to collaborate across sectors and technologies on closing material loops along existing value chains, to develop policy recommendations and political frameworks and to inform the public about the circular economy.
While located in Wuppertal, Circular Valley® spans the entire Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan area, thereby placing it in the center of Europe's most dynamic business region: within a 100 kilometer radius, there are more than 20,000 international companies, over 70 universities and research institutes, as well as around 16 million inhabitants. Nowhere else in the world do 300 global market leaders find themselves in such close proximity to each other, many of whom are already engaging with circular value creation. With its long tradition of setting market-shaping impulses, this cosmopolitan region offers ideal conditions to connect startups, industry and science.
The idea behind Circular Valley® developed from the observation that while there are many hotspots around the world focusing on certain sectors (e.g. Silicon Valley for digital companies) no such region existed for circular value creation.
In May 2021, the Circular Valley Foundation was registered in the Foundation Register, and in the summer of 2021, the first cohort of 15 international start-ups took part in the Circular Economy Accelerator. Since then, over 70 startups from all around the world have made their way to Germany to participate in the program. With the support of mentors and from industry and academia, the startups have further advanced their business models to promote the transition towards a circular economy. At the end of the 3-month program, the startups present themselves and their ideas to a large audience at the DemoDay.
In November 2022, Circular Valley® hosted the first Circular Valley Forum. At this large conference, more than 600 guests from industry, politics and science came together to connect and take part in lively discussions on different topics about the circular economy.
The non-profit Circular Valley Foundation is the funding provider of the Circular Economy Accelerator. The state NRW and the EU provide financial support for the work of the Circular Economy Accelerator. In addition, various sponsors support the Accelerator.