ECERA is a voluntary collaboration network between European RTO’s, with the aim to strengthen and integrate scientific knowledge and expertise in the field of Circular Economy from an interdisciplinary perspective.


The Circular Economy (CE) has gained growing attention at the European level in the past few years. Building on scientific work on resource efficiency, sustainable consumption and production and sustainable materials management, the concept was brought to the front policy level, through the EC Circular Economy Package (COM(2015)614) and subsequent policy initiatives.

Circular economy is a broad and multi-disciplinary concept. It covers e.g. environmental sciences, economy, product design, engineering, business management, material sciences. In the verge of the growing attention for circular economy, Research and Technology Organisations (RTOs) throughout Europe have supported its development, but also expanded their field of work to integrate all relevant aspects and expertise. Ten leading RTOs expressed the need and willingness to align their expertise in Circular Economy, in order to build a complete and complementary knowledge basis, on which Europe can base its CE implementation strategy. The European Circular Economy Research Alliance, ECERA, was established in January 2018 as a voluntary collaboration network between European RTO’s with key expertise in CE.

ECERA Objectives

The main objective is to play a research and technology key expert role in the materialization of the Circular Economy

The Alliance has the following specific objectives:

Build collective excellence: Find and explore complementarity of research programmes on circular economy of the expert research and technology organisations in Europe in order to realise synergy between them.  Share expertise and experience and as such support implementation of CE and CE policy development in Europe.

Knowledge & network hub: Identify synergies and be knowledge integrator between various initiatives at national, European (EIT RawMaterials, European Topic Centre WMGE, EIP Raw Materials, CESP, H2020-consortia, COST actions, Eco-Innovation Observatory ..) and international level.

EC-RTO bridge: Serve as a platform for structural informal discussion between the RTOs active in circular economy research and the European Commission.

Academia – industry- RTO bridge: provide collaboration between RTO’s to support the creation of spin-offs, start-ups and SME´s growth.

Voice of RTO’s in the CE community: Contribute to the EU’s Strategic Research Agenda on CE. Represent the RTO’s in stakeholder processes such as  the Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform and its coordination group.


The founding members of ECERA are:

  • Tecnalia (ES)
  • VTT (FI)
  • CEA (FR)
  • VITO (BE)
  • Wuppertal (DE)
  • IVL (SE)
  • ENEA (IT)
  • IETU (PL)
  • TNO (NL)

The alliance is  managed by a steering committee with representatives from all members. ECERA was started early 2018 and is now setting up collaborations and seeking further expansion of the organisation.


ECERA presents itself as a communication link between the RTO community and EU policy makers and stakeholder platforms. For more information, please contact us.

Karl Vrancken – ECERA Chairman – – +32479979041
Pierre Menger – ECERA Secretary – – +34667178947

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Digital circular economy - a cornerstone of a sustainable European industry transformation

White Paper - ECERA European Circular Economy Research Alliance

How to transition to a digital circular economy?

The circular economy is a cornerstone of the European Green Deal. Aimed at renewing existing production and consumption systems, circular economy focuses on optimising the functionality of products and materials, maintaining this functionality for as long as possible and minimising the production of waste and residues.