How EU and EIT push resource efficiency and innovation: a case study
Recently, binee was presented at the European Parliament in Brussels during the 8th European Innovation Summit.
binee was showcased by EIT Raw Materials as an example of how we can recover the ever-increasing amount of e-waste. With the fast pace of technological advance, the lifetime of electronic gadgets decreases considerably.
Currently electronic devices are manufactured with a variety of valuable raw materials such as copper, silver or cobalt extracted from mines, often at the expenses of natural ecosystems. These valuable materials can be recovered by increasing the rate of collection and processing of the electronic waste stream.
In the current market, the collection and processing of this waste stream is too expensive. In this article in the TIME (http://time.com/4567397/recycling-electronic-e-waste-us-hong-kong-ban/) “Jim Puckett, BAN’s founder and executive director, tells TIME that the practice of offshoring electronics supposedly destined for recycling has everything to do with money.” This is why binee is trying to find new solutions for sponsoring the collection of small electronic appliances.
binee’s timing is just right. Today is the third day of the Raw Materials week.
This event gathers academic and research institutions as well as businesses around the topic of extracting, processing, collecting and recycling raw materials.
The EIT Raw Materials plays a major role in developing innovations around this topic. It does so by creating a structured dialogue between academia, reserach institutes and business, facilitating the exchange of ideas and needs. With initiatives like this one, entrepreneurs have a chance to turn their ideas into business opportunities.
This topic is also very relevant for the development of a circular economy. Indeed the lifecycle of a product starts with raw materials which are then processed through manufacturing. At the end-of-life the raw materials need to be collected then recycled or re-used.
The European Commission and the European Investment Bank (EIB) are investing some €24 billion to circular economy businesses. Initiatives such as EIT Raw Materials’ business validation and accelleration programs support this with a low threshold and enable innovative products to enter the market. Just like binee does.