NICER Programme CE Showcase 2023
From 23rd-25th May 2023, the CE-Hub along with the five Circular Economy Centres hosted the annual NICER Programme Circular Economy Showcase. This year’s flagship event took place at the University of Birmingham and was structured into six half day plenary sessions, with each session focusing on the work of one of the Centres. This gave each Centre the opportunity to celebrate the achievements and share the key findings and the impact of the Programme so far in their own sessions, as well as highlighting cross-programme themes throughout. Featuring over 90 speakers across three days, the packed programme included talks, presentations and lively panel discussions encompassing a multitude of topics.
Day one kicked off with the CE-Hub’s session, compered by PhD student Margo Reynolds, the session opened with a welcome address from Kedar Pandya of UKRI. This was followed by a series of ‘CE Impact Stories’ which were a number of panel discussions on the topics of the Circular Economy Landscape, Roadmapping, Data and Human Behaviour. These panel discussions included CE-Hub academics and industry professionals working closely with the CE-Hub. This gave the opportunity for them to deliver and discuss research going on in the Hub and the impact on industry and partners.
After some facilitated networking and a coffee break, the session continued with a speed panel from some of the projects funded by the CE-Hub Flexible Fund. These showcased some really innovative and interesting ideas, and remarkably kept very well to their 2-minute time allowance!
The final item on the CE-Hub agenda was a deep dive panel on the Healthcare sector. Chaired by CEctor Business Development Manager, Alex Lake, the panel featured representatives from the NHS, the Department of Health and Social Care and Revolution-ZERO. This was an inciteful discussion that enabled a more thorough look at the needs and challenges of circular economy in the healthcare sector and the implications involved. The morning adjourned with a closing address from Peter Hopkinson and Fiona Charnley before breaking for lunch.
Alongside each of the Centre’s plenary sessions, two lunchtime workshop sessions were run by Innovate UK, featuring a panel session from many of the IUK funded projects. Panellists presented their projects briefly before launching into discussion. The first of these workshops was on the topic of decision-making tools and included representatives from MineLoop, Twist, RevaluRepair and QSA Partners with Amy Peace of Innovate UK chairing the discussion.
The afternoon session of day one was led by the Circular Economy Centre for Technology Metals (Met4Tech), opened by Professor Karen Hudson. Met4Tech then took us through presentations of their recent work, including their Tech Metals Observatory, Roadmapping work and research studies from the Early Career Researchers. Following the afternoon break, several of the Innovate UK funded projects spoke about their work in collaboration with Met4Tech.
Following a packed first day, delegates headed to the Edgbaston Park Hotel for a much-needed drinks reception in the sunshine offering the opportunity to relax and reflect on the day whilst networking.
First up on day two was Circular Metals. Opened by Brian Cantor, the Centre began with an Early Career Researcher led session including presentations on the Metal Health Service, the Big Repair Project and CircularMetal Visions for 2050 report. The morning continued including more of the IUK projects and wrapping up with a panel discussion on shaping the future of metal circularity.
Again, through lunchtime, Amy Peace hosted a second workshop, this time on reusing materials in the built environment. This featured panel speakers from the DISRUPT, ARMOUR, Testing concrete-encase steel and Sustainable Composite Materials projects.
The Circular Economy Centre for Mineral-based Construction Materials took us through the afternoon session with a number of presentations, showcasing a wide range of researchers and their work. Following a closing address from their session Chair, Julia Stegemann, the day drew to a close.
The third and final day saw the Textiles Circularity Centre take to the stage. Welcomed by Centre director, Sharon Baurley, the morning took us through sessions on several of the projects that TCC have been working on and including an informative session on the design of the Regenerative Fashion Hub.
The closing session of the week came from the Centre for Circular Chemical Economy. Jonathan Wagner gave an overview of the work of the Centre, before three of the Circular Chem Early Career Researchers presented their work.
The event then closed with a final address from Fiona Charnley reflecting on an inciteful and interesting few days of learning all about the work going on across the NICER Programme, all that has been achieved so far, and the opportunities to take forward into the final 18-months.
You can watch recordings of the CE-Hub’s sessions below.
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