This network brings together an exceptionally strong team of world-leading experts from a wide set of beneficiaries and partners in order to achieve breakthroughs in understanding how the transition towards a Circular Economy (CE) can be realised in a successful way in the European context, both within existing organisations and industries as well as through innovative and sustainable business models. The proposed approach is inherently multi-disciplinary, drawing upon research that will advance significantly the state-of-the-art in terms of the current understanding of the applicability of the CE paradigm from Economic, Environmental and Social points of view, providing policy insights and implications for practice. The consortium of 10 beneficiaries (including 7 academic and 3 non-academic groups) will design and deliver world class multidisciplinary training to 15 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs), offering them an extended and valuable program of international exchanges and secondments through the wide network of partner organisations involved in the proposal. The network builds on the success of previous projects in which beneficiaries have successfully delivered high impact research and knowledge exchange. ReTraCE is specifically designed to train a cohort of new thought leaders capable of driving the transition towards a more sustainable mode of production and consumption in Europe in the next decades, who will directly facilitate the implementation of the recently adopted ambitious Circular Economy strategy of the European Commission, which is closely linked to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Indeed, it is envisaged that ESRs will be employable not only by research institutions, but also by public sector bodies and within a wide range of manufacturing and service industries which will require new professional profiles for realising the transition towards the CE.
Traditional valorisation approaches focus on linear processes: from academia to society. In order to bring valorisation to a higher level, all relevant actors need to cooperate in an equal setting: co-creation. Co-creation transcends boundaries, but it does not happen naturally. Therefore, the ACCOMPLISSH consortium, consisting of 14 universities from 12 countries (representing all the sub disciplines in SSH), will actively involve the other partners from the so called Quadruple Helix (industry, governments and societal partners) within the project. The project has chosen an Open Innovation approach. The ACCOMPLISSH project (Accelerate co-creation by setting up a multi-actor platform for impact from Social Sciences and Humanities) will create a platform for dialogue where not only universities are involved. The dialogue platform is organised in such a way that academia, industry, governments and societal partners equally contribute in identifying barriers and enablers of co-creation. The results from both practice and the theory of co-creation form the basis of the valorisation concept and will be tested in the project in a quadruple helix setting. This concept will be tested and developed in such a way that it is transferable, scalable and customized for academia, industry, governments and societal partners in the whole of Europe. The impact profile of SSH research could be far stronger and more visible than it currently is. There are significant barriers to the valorisation of SSH research which still need to be understood in detail. In order to push the envelope within universities, we acknowledge that next to SSH researchers, the research support officers are key players in valorisation of SSH research. The project will identify all barriers and enablers of co-creation in order to develop an innovative valorisation concept, which will foster knowledge exchange within the quadruple helix and strengthens the position of SSH research.