The North is explicitly committed to a circular economy. An economy in which raw materials and energy are re-used in as high-quality a manner as possible. An economy in which sustaining and strengthening biodiversity (natural capital) and human welfare (social capital) play a central role. Creating forms of value that go further than just financial profit are essential.
The Northern Innovation lab Circular Economy, in short NICE, has been established to assist in accelerating this transition. An initiative of 18 organizations from various sectors such as entrepreneurs, education, research, governments and environment. Organizations that together want to work on the transition to a circular economy.
Get more young people employed with circular innovations
NICE wants to contribute to the growth of the innovation capacity for a circular economy in the North of the Netherlands. We do this by offering companies, governments and initiators from the North a place to share potential business cases in practice with young talent; learning-by-doing together.
Students with different backgrounds, from MBO to HBO level, are educated through our apprenticeships to become young circular professionals. Catch them young. Students constitute the beating heart of NICE, and are the accelerators of tomorrow's circular economy.
Doing is the new way of thinking
NICE organises a professional learning environment where students learn about the circular recycling process through the learning-by-doing approach. In concrete terms this means that students work on large and small social issues. The focus is on issues from the practice in the North of the Netherlands. Authentic issues with a strategic character, with a long lead time. Initially from within our own ranks, i.e. from the initiators, but where possible also from third parties. Ownership of the issue by the involved organisation is hereby an important precondition for building long-term cooperation: a partnership.
Working on the future
Since the signing of the NICE manifesto on 19 December 2016, joint opportunities to put circularity into practice have been explored. With the appointment of a quartermaster as of 1 May 2017 NICE has been able to grow from a very early initiative into a new programme. To make further embedding possible in the Northern practice we are looking for more partners who see circular entrepreneurship as an opportunity.