Holland Circular Hotspot (HCH) and The Rediscovery Centre have entered a partnership to accelerate the transition towards a circular economy in Ireland, the Netherlands and beyond.

Memorandum of Understanding

The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) took place on Monday the 29th of May, 2023, coinciding with the Dublin Circular Economy Hotspot 2023 event, which showcased the Irish achievements in developing a circular economy.

In the presence of Freek van Eijk, director of Holland Circular Hotspot and Dr Sarah Miller, Rediscovery Centre, the signing ceremony marked the launch of the partnership between the two foundations. The signing was witness by Ossian Smyth, Irish Minister of State with responsibility for Public Procurement, eGovernment and Circular Economy and Yaron Oppenheimer, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Under the agreement, both parties provide their experience, knowledge and expertise to intensify bilateral cooperation in the circular economy space. Areas for collaboration are, for instance, sharing best practices in circularity, promoting European and international collaboration on circular economy initiatives and circular hotspots, and exploring opportunities for global initiatives and proposals.

“Our foundation aims to accelerate the transition to a global circular economy, which is why we are excited to engage with the Rediscovery Centre to fast-track this movement,”

HCH director Freek van Eijk.

An alternative to the traditional linear economy

A circular economy is an alternative to the traditional linear economy which follows a ‘take, make, dispose’ model. The circular economy replaces this with a closed-loop system in which materials are used and reused as efficiently as possible, minimising resource use, pollution and carbon emissions. The European Union, Dutch and Irish authorities agree that a new economic model is needed and opt for a circular economy model where resources are kept in use for as long as possible, have the maximum value extracted from them whilst in use, and are recovered and regenerated into new products at their end-of-life. Again, international collaboration plays a crucial role in catalysing this transition.

“As the National Centre for the Circular Economy in Ireland, we are delighted to formalise our collaboration with Holland Circular Hotspot, through which we will work as transition brokers – exploring best practice, facilitating connections and co-designing events, research and initiatives that can support excellence in the circular economy across Ireland and Holland.”

Rediscovery Centre chief executive Dr Sarah Miller.

Against the background of the Dublin Circular Economy Hotspot event, HCH Director Freek van Eijk added that the recent pandemic and geopolitical developments in Ukraine have given us additional reasons to embrace and accelerate the transition to a circular economy. “Circular economy is not only inspirational, but it can also be our secret weapon in our fight against climate change and increase our resource resilience. I see it as the biggest business opportunity of the century, and international will only increase the opportunity.”

“The Netherlands is a global leader in circular economy thinking, and Holland Circular Hotspot’s knowledge and expertise can be inspirational to a circular economy in Ireland”

Freek van Eijk