Banner Photo: Social Urban Mining am RAIQA Innsbruck 1 (c) RLB Tirol – Günter Kresser
Established by EIT RawMaterials, the Raw Materials and Circular Societies Prize supports new business models that promote a consistent transition to a circular economy. BauKarussell – a RE:WIEN 2019 accelerator program alumnus – was awarded third place in the competition.
BauKarussell made it into three award-winning projects out of 73 submissions for the Raw Materials and Circular Societies Prize 2020. During the pitching event, which took place mid-September, Markus Meissner (pulswerk; Resource Manager and head of BauKarussell) presented the social urban mining concept to a jury panel of European experts.
BauKarussell was awarded third place and granted with 10,000 euros as prize money. ‘The Raw Materials and Circular Societies Prize raises awareness of the essential role small start-ups play in making the circular economy a reality. The award shows that other experts confirm our idea,’ says Meissner.
The award was announced by EIT RawMaterials. EIT RawMaterials (initiated and financed by the EIT – European Institute of Innovation and Technology – of the EU) is the world’s largest consortium in the raw materials sector. The competition was organised in collaboration with ICLEI, RREUSE and POP UP (Veolia), with the aim of finding top innovators working on new business models that promote the repair, reuse and sharing of products as an essential part of the circular economy. The ICLEI (Local Governments for Sustainability) network https://iclei.org/en/Home.html promotes sustainable development at the local level; the City of Vienna is also involved in the ICLEI-led initiatives of the EU Commission, the “Big Buyers Initiative”. Taking this into consideration, BauKarussell shares common interests with the organisations of the competition and receiving the prize is all the more important.
First place of the Raw Materials and Circular Societies Prize went to Thrifify (digital second-hand trading platform for charitable organizations, Ireland), while the second prize was given to Tournevie (development of the circular material hub Tourneville, Brussels).
The implementation of social urban mining requires strong partnerships. BauKarussell therefore invites project developers to consider implementing social urban mining in their projects. BauKarussell sifts through local social economy companies in the vicinity of the construction project and works with them in a potential analysis on how project development increases cost-neutral resource efficiency, promotes circular economy and, at the same time, creates important jobs for the disadvantaged groups in our society.