About the Transformative RTI Mission on circular economy & production technologies

The Transformative RTI Mission "Circular Economy & Production Technologies" of the BMK contributes to the transition of Austria and especially the Austrian production landscape to a circular economy through research on innovative solutions for the resource transition.

Objectives of the Transformative RTI Mission

The Austrian circular economy strategy, which was adopted in December 2022, sets out the path to a sustainable and circular society. The aim is to significantly reduce resource consumption, increase domestic resource productivity and the circularity rate and reduce material consumption in private households.

In order to support this transformation, the BMK specifically promotes applied research and development projects with the aim of initiating innovations and strengthening the long-term competitiveness of Austria as a business location.

The five central objectives of the Transformative RTI Mission are:

  1. Optimize the use of resources
  2. Intensify product utilization
  3. Closing material cycles
  4. Increase technological sovereignty
  5. Ensure resilient companies in Austria

Turning resources around with a circular economy

The current global consumption of resources exceeds by far the earth's ability to regenerate. If everyone lived and managed like we do in Austria, we would need 3.7 planets to cover this resource consumption. In order for us humans to survive on our planet in the long term, a social and economic transformation is of central importance.

The circular economy and the production technologies used play a key role in the resource transition because, in contrast to the conventional linear economy, the circular economy focuses on the consumption of resources throughout the entire life cycle and ensures that no valuable resources are lost as supposed "waste" but are used optimally in value creation cycles.

Focus on circular production

The success of the resource transition also depends largely on the way we produce. The switch to circular production and associated research are therefore also the focus of this RTI topic in the BMK.

Circular production makes a significant contribution to achieving climate targets; in addition, circular production enables the increased use of locally available raw materials and reduces dependence on external resources. Reduced dependence on imports can counteract supply bottlenecks or price fluctuations. By recycling resources, local future-oriented jobs and know-how are created and added value is generated. In addition, better control of resources and production processes strengthens the resilience and sovereignty of the Austrian economy.

Activities of the priority area - research funding, open access and networking

On the path to a sustainable and circular society in Austria, research makes an essential contribution to developing and shaping the new technological approaches, methods and innovative business models required for a transformation.

The development of these innovative approaches is often capital- and time-intensive and involves considerable entrepreneurial risks. This is where government RTI funding plays a decisive role, provides impetus, and opens up sustainable potential for science and industry. Technical innovations are a key success factor and enable the future diversification of value chains in Austrian material goods production.

The dissemination of research results also informs people about developments in the circular economy and raises awareness of the topic. Barrier-free access to research results is fundamental for inclusive public relations work. This free access to scientific results accelerates the scientific communication process and thus also increases efficiency in RTI.

Circular economy also requires national, European, and international networks and cooperation. The RTI measures for the further development of technologies and systems for the circular economy bring together all stakeholders in the value chain across borders, promote the exchange of knowledge, strengthen the systemic expertise of Austrian research institutions, and launch innovations for a circular economy.