The Prestige of Scientific Expertise vs. Technology Demand: Parallel routes with a common innovative purpose?

September 2, 2020 8:30 - 10:00

Location: Virtual Room 3


This is 2020 and the circular economy principles are already applied to material resources efficiency in many developed countries. Wise managing of both natural and artificial materials in the industry is crucial in view of global warming, abiotic depletion and potential toxicity. A multidimensional assessment involving Life-Cycle Analysis is highly required to determine the resources' potential usefulness.

A process of valorisation is meaningful if based on scientific advances and in dialogue with technology dynamics. However, these two routes are distinct by their nature and provide different added value and expectations.

How can these conceptually opposite routes of knowledge be effectively balanced?

From a business perspective, investment decisions are only 'voluntarily' based on the latest scientific achievements. They are driven by economic motives. However, an increase in product, process or systemic innovation combined with decreased operating costs and amortisation times does not always translate into a 'green' solution.

From a scientists' perspective, the aim to establish relevant networks outside of academia goes beyond the standard research-oriented skill set. Nevertheless, it is often on the part of the researcher to build trustworthy connections between the scientific expertise and private stakeholders to assess potential technical and non-technical business value.

How can we best adjust the collaboration between the scientific community and business environments locally?

In effect, matching science and business measurements already promotes a conscious dialogue for a flexible co-creation of knowledge. All the key actors involved in the Technology Readiness Level are urged to stay assertively open to allow new co-delivery routes. A cooperative engagement between all the public and private partners must mandatorily consider the existing materials streams in the framework of energy required and local emissions, which impact the greenhouse effect, water, land and biodiversity.

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