Innovation Deals for the Circular Economy

Waste water management and e-mobility

Published on 01-02-2018 13:55:35 by AGRIFORVALOR

CakePHP The European Commission is currently piloting Innovation Deals for the Circular Economy. The concepts underpinning these deals is the voluntary establishment of agreements between stakeholders and public authorities to create a collaborative forum.


The objective of this forum is to support innovators or group of innovators to overcome encountered or perceived regulatory obstacles to introduction of a circular economy-related product or service to the market. The concept of Innovation Deals was launched in the scope of the Commission's Circular Economy package, Closing the Loop. The deals are unfunded and based upon a cooperative model.

The call for the expressions of interest for Innovation Deals for a Circular Economy was open from May to September 2016. Any innovator, was invited to apply for an Innovation Deal. The key criteria were that the proposed innovation would be:

  • be effective in achieving EU policy objectives in the area of the Circular Economy (e.g. innovative ways to achieve waste recycling targets)
  • currently have limited or no market access
  • be genuinely new innovations

A total of 32 proposals were received from 14 Member States in Europe, showing a strong interest and geographical balance. A total of 5 Innovation Deals will be selected, to date two have been formally announced and initiated, addressing the areas of waste water management and e-mobility.


Sustainable wastewater treatment using innovative anaerobic membrane bioreactors technology (AnMBR)

This Innovation Deal helps to addresses legislative barriers to realising the value of waste water. AnMBR promotes the extraction of energy and nutrients, and accelerates treated water re-use for irrigation. Promoting the circularity of treated waste water will help to overcome challenges of water scarcity. In the way, the innovation deal represents a shift from conventional urban waste water treatment to a water resource facility.

Innovators and national/regional/local authority stakeholders for this category include:

  • Confederación Hidrográfica del Júcar (Spain)
  • Águas de Portugal, Sustainable Energy and Water Conservation Unit (Malta)
  • Water Services Corporation (Malta)
  • Consellería de Agricultura, Medio Ambiente, Cambio Climático y Desarrollo Rural (Spain)
  • Entidad Pública de Saneamiento de Aguas Residuales (Spain)
  • Universitat de València (Spain), Universitat Politècnica de València (Spain), Universidade Nova de Lisboa (Portugal)
  • Institut Européen des Membranes (France), Laboratoire de Biotechnologie de l´Environnement of INRA (France)
  • H2020 SMART Plant project consortium
  • ECOFILAE (France)
  • Canal de Riego del Río Turia (Spain)


From E-mobility to recycling: the virtuous loop of electric vehicle

This Innovation Deal will focus on propulsion batteries assessing whether existing EU legal provisions and the transposition to national or regional law hamper the use of batteries in a second-life application or otherwise discriminate any technology that might be necessary for second-life applications.Some regulatory frameworks to be examined include:

Waste management: definition of waste, classification of batteries differences between "preparation for reuse" and "re¬use, extended producer responsibility", “waste hierarchy (justified by life cycle thinking)”

Internal market: second-life of products, liabilities and warranties, safety of reuse

Energy Storage: For the energy storage and grid integration area, the ID will specifically and only provide recommendations on possible national / regional/ local prevailing regulatory barriers to the second use of propulsion batteries for energy storage.

Innovators and national/regional/local authority stakeholders for this category include:

  • Innovators and national/regional/local authority stakeholders
  • Renault Nissan Alliance (the automotive industry, France)
  • Lomboxnet (IT and renewable energy, the Netherlands)
  • Bouygues (energy services for sustainable cities, France)
  • French Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Industry
  • Dutch Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Economic Affairs
  • Dutch Province of Utrecht


The first outcomes of the pilots are due to be announced mid-2018. It is expected that the scheme will contribute to the “Better Regulation Agenda” which is underpinned by modern and responsive administration. Through the scheme it is clear that the Commission is keen to provide a platform for localised and regionalised regulatory exploration forums involving diverse stakeholders, including the innovators. For more information go to