Co-hosted by CERIG and the ERDF-funded Circular Revolution project, the virtual conference showcased Wales as a leader in the transition to a circular economy. Attendees came from all over the world, including Europe, South America, and Australia. CERIG members debated critical issues surrounding ‘Front-end Circular Innovation’ and ‘Achieving Circular Value’ - demonstrating how their research is making vital contributions towards the transition to a more sustainable economy.
Hugo Spowers, MD of Riversimple, gave an insightful opening address and challenged attendees to consider how we could eliminate environmental impact rather than just reduce it. Dr Andy Rees OBE, Head of Waste Strategy, presented the Welsh Government’s Circular Economy Strategy - Beyond Recycling. Juergen Maier CBE, UK Industrialist and Digital Catapult Chair, urged businesses to create "responsible disruption" by re-adjusting their incentives and success metrics to focus on broader value creation. In the closing address, Julie James MS, Minister for Climate Change, emphasised the Welsh Government's commitment to a circular economy in its goal to achieve Net-Zero by 2050.


Prof. Mohamed Naim of Cardiff University Business School presided over the afternoon academic panel discussion on "Achieving Circular Value," which covered circular business models, supply chains and logistics, governance, and policy enablers. Panellists included Dr Thanos Goltsos; Dr Rachel Waugh (Senior Consultant - Circular Economy Specialist at Oakdene Hollins); Dr Gary Walpole and Prof. Andrew Flynn.

Front-End Circular Innovation

Prof. Sandra Esteves of the University of South Wales presided over the morning academic panel discussion session centered on "Front- End Circular Innovation," which covered circular materials, technology, product design, methods, and processes.

Panelists included Prof. Saeema Ahmed-Kristensen( Professor in Design Engineering and Innovation at the University of Exeter);  Prof. Matthew Davies; Prof Iain Donnison and Dr Graham Ormondroyd.