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Knowledge Alliance on Product-Service Development towards Circular Economy and Sustainability in Higher Education
Start date: Jan 1, 2017, End date: Dec 31, 2019 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The consortium has chosen the topic of circular economy (CE) as the focus of this project, because it concerns the transition from a take – make – use – dispose model that depletes natural resources and destroys ecosystems to a circular model where the value of products, materials and resources is maintained in the economy for as long as possible and the generation of waste is minimized. It has been shown by several studies that the CE shows a great potential to safeguard the environment and decouple economic development from the use of resources; it has also a high potential to make business sense and create jobs.But are designers and other professionals involved in product-service development (engineers, marketers, environmental experts, and business and innovation managers) competent to tackle the challenge of co-creating and producing “utility” in which the possible services and performance, safety, collection, recycling and end-of-life possibilities are taken into account, like cascading, refurbishing, reuse or biodegradation, and replacing products with services? KATCH_edu focuses on construction products and furniture, and brings together universities, research centres and companies from 4 EU countries to cooperate in the following:• Analysis of training needs, state of the art, trends and policies on design for CE and sustainability;• Setting up a stakeholders network to support the transfer of knowledge and help secure the activities after the funded period;• Development and testing an innovative, problem-based multidisciplinary Course, a MOOC and product-service development tools for CE and sustainability;• Implementation of the above in academic and company contexts, creating show cases.KATCH_edu will thus contribute to the innovation of the higher education system and influence business strategies and the development of new products and services that follow circularity and sustainability principles.
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