Together with our member company Helios TBLUS, we presented a joint investment in a pilot reactor system for processing biomass into raw materials for the production of bio-based resins and coatings. The investment is an excellent example of connecting research with the economy, and at the same time cooperation between companies, as it will be the first of its kind to be openly accessible. Our central mission is promoting integration and development projects according to the principles of the circular economy, which we are successfully fulfilling with over 90 members and their multitude of good practices. Among the more visible achievements this year is the sixth and largest conference on the circular economy in our country, Technologies and Business Models for Circular Economy – TBMCE 2023, which will be held from September 6 to 8 at the Bernardin Hospital in Portorož.
In almost seven years of operation, we have made numerous achievements that effectively promote the transition to a circular economy. Among them stand out more than 50 educational events, participation in national and international projects, the establishment of an international network of companies, research institutions and organizations to support the economy, the organization of business delegations abroad and participation in international fairs, as well as the creation of a competence model and the development of key competences in member companies.
M.Sc. Aleksandra Podgornik, director of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Štajerska – manager of our SRIP, emphasized:
When dealing with climate change and other current challenges, a circular approach is crucial for the future of the economy. Companies that adopted sustainable visions years ago are now more competitive and do better business. We need comprehensive and revolutionary changes, which requires broad integration and cooperation, as we are successfully developing in SRIP – Circular Economy.
The sixth in the series of conferences Technologies and Business Models for a Circular Economy (TBMCE) starts next week, which we organize together with the Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology of the University of Maribor. Over the years, it has become an important international meeting, where the word flows not only about theoretical models of the transition from a linear to a circular economy, but also about concrete methodologies, technologies and successful projects that already contribute to this in practice. We prepared a rich three-day program with distinguished lecturers and numerous topical discussions with renowned speakers from Slovenia and abroad. We expect around 150 participants from the world of research and business as well as state institutions. President of the TBMCE conference, dr. Zdravko Kravanja from the Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology of the University of Maribor pointed out:
The characteristic of the conference is its multi-track or balance between the academic, research, economic and development-orientation spheres. By attendance, the conference grows year by year and grows into medium-sized conference. Correspondingly, the message value of the conference is also increasing, which, with its mission, helps to solve the pressing problems of the modern world.
Modern society is based on the use of polymer materials from fossil sources, which calls for a more sustainable model. The reactor system for the transfer of technologies from the laboratory to the pilot level, as the joint investment of SRIP – Circular Economy and the leading partner Helios TBLUS is called, represents research equipment for the optimization and transfer of innovative technology based on sustainable resource management into industrial practice. It uses waste biomass from the wood and agricultural industry as the starting raw material for the production of various products. The National Institute of Chemistry is responsible for the development part of the project, and the equipment will be available to partners as well as other companies. Increasing the volume of bio-based materials will significantly reduce the carbon footprint in the polymer industry and enable the production of environmentally and human-friendly products. The amount of the total investment amounts to just over 323 thousand euros, whereby the state will contribute half as part of the operation of the SRIP – Circular Economy, and the project partners will contribute the other half. Director of Helios TBLUS dr. Peter Venturini said at today’s event:
Advances in science and technology enable the development of better-quality products that are environmentally friendly and comply with strict Slovenian and European environmental legislation. We see cooperation in partnership as ours an important competitive advantage in the demanding European markets where we sell our products.