The main objective of the CIRCULAR4.0 project is to strengthen digitalisation processes by SMEs to foster innovation processes and accelerate the transition towards Circular Economy (CE) in Alpine Space.

The introduction of new technologies, notably the internet of things and big data tools, is enabling the development and introduction of new circular economy business models, often based on sharing and leasing but also reuse and remanufacturing. New technical systems and tools enable the tracking of products or materials during their life to enable extended use/life and maintaining the highest possible value. Meanwhile, design and manufacturing capabilities are evolving with advances in production, material science and manufacturing, e.g. 3D printing and artificial intelligence.

CIRCULAR4.0 addresses specific objectives to Integrate the EU circular economy Action plan with specific actions addressed to the Alpine Space area and its peculiarities, focusing particularly to SMEs (eco-design and innovative business models), value-chain and clusters according to S3 and the EUSALP strategic sectors; policy makers (integrate circular economy into innovation policies for SMEs and 2020+ Program).

CIRCULAR4.0 will increase the knowledge and raise the attention of Entrepreneurs and Intermediaries on the circular economy concepts, develop and test a set of tools able to foster the contribute of Industry4.0 for the transition of SMEs to the circular economy, with particular attention to Circular Design models, Optimal Use models, Value Recovery models. The project intends to address Policy Makers, Intermediaries and SMEs to raise the importance of digitalization processes, focusing mainly on:

  • the innovation processes
  • the business models and
  • the investments needed.

Expected Results

The project will produce a CIRCULAR4.0 Action plan to contribute to the transition toward Circular Economy with SMEs digitalization creating added value for stakeholders in the Alpine Space and supporting Policies and EUSALP Macro Strategy Policy makers. Intermediary organizations, service providers and research institutions increase their knowledge and capacity to assist SMEs for their digitalization processes oriented to foster eco-innovation and new sustainable business models for sustainable growth. SMEs will be assisted to strengthen their investment on digitalization processes to foster the transition to the Circular Economy, eco-innovation and clean technology.

  • Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of SMEs digitalization and push toward Circular Economy processes
  • Toolkit developed and tested
  • Feasibility study
  • Participation of 280 companies in pilot actions
  • Creation of Transnational Working Groups

Funding program and project duration

CIRCULAR4.0 is funded in the EU Interreg Alpine Space program. The overall objective of the Alpine Space Program is to increase the attractiveness and competitiveness of the entire Alpine region through joint, interregional activities. It is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund. The project has a duration from 01.10.2019 to 30.06.2022.


CIRCULAR4.0 brings in a mixed consortium of 15 partners from five countries composed of business support organizations and technical partners to generate innovation processes among business, academia and administration:

  • Tehnološki park Ljubljana d.o.o. SLOVENIA (Lead Partner)
  • Technische Hochschule Rosenheim GERMANY
  • Austria Wirtschaftsservice Gesellschaft GmbH AUSTRIA
  • Innovations- und Technologietransfer Salzburg GmbH AUSTRIA
  • Business Upper Austria – OÖ Wirtschaftsagentur GmbH AUSTRIA
  • Veneto Innovazione S.p.A. ITALY
  • Grand E-nov FRANCE
  • Auvergne-Rhône-Al pes Entreprises FRANCE
  • Institut Jožef Stefan SLOVENIJA
  • Fondazione Torino Wireless ITALY
  • Confindustria Bergamo ITALY
  • Camera di Commercio Industria Artigianato e Agricoltura di Venezia Rovigo ITALY
  • Trägerverein Umwelttechnologie-Cluster Bayern e.V. GERMANY
  • RISINGSUD - Agence de développement économique de la région Sud Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur FRANCE
  • bwcon GmbH GERMANY


2. Newsletter (05/2020) (engl.)

1. Newsletter (02/2020) (engl.)

Project Manager

Dr. Eva Schichl