Why Mistra REES? In our resource-constrained world the urgency of accelerating transition from linear to circular economy is more pressing than ever. Continuing reliance on the shrinking resource base increases risks for price volatility and disruption of resource supply, which affect not only resource-intensive businesses, but the society as a whole. If linear ways of producing and consuming are substituted with circular material flows, substantial resource efficiency improvements can be achieved. Products and services need to be designed for resource efficiency taking a lifecycle perspective. New methods to reuse, repair, remanufacturing and recycling of products and their components need to be found, and in order to re-enter their next use phase. However, there are significant gaps in knowledge and practice with regard to developing resource efficient, effective and circular solutions. To address these gaps, Linköping University, Chalmers and Lund University started this program about Resource Efficient and Effective Solutions (REES).

Advancing Swedish manufacturing industry. The programme’s overall vision is to advance the Swedish manufacturing industry’s transition towards a circular and sustainable economy. The programme brings together competencies from three different research areas, namely product and service design, business models, and policies, with the ambition to understand how these three area are affected by and interrelated with each other.

Bottom-up approach. Mistra REES has a bottom-up and case study-focused approach, looking at specific manufacturing sectors. The main focus is on the automotive, health care, and remanufacturing sectors. With this approach, REES researchers are able to gain a deeper understanding about the practical application and results of resource-efficient and effective business models, as well as related policies and product and service design methods.

Collaboration between academia and industry. The strong collaboration between academia and the participating companies fosters an opportunity to co-create, evaluate and implement outcomes from the programme that have clear added value for the participating business partners. The collaboration will enhance the capability of the manufacturing industry to develop world-leading, resource-efficient and effective solutions based on circular economy thinking.

Seven connected projects. The Mistra REES programme consists of several projects. One provides a knowledge foundation by exploring under what conditions, and for what types of products and sectors, circular solutions are more resource efficient. It furthermore looks at the market and policy drivers and barriers. On this foundation, three projects focus on, respectively, product and service design, business models, and policies for resource-efficient solutions. Finally, a synthesis project investigates the interrelations and explores opportunities for effective interplay between the three projects.

Four-year programme with funding from Mistra. Mistra REES is a four-year (2015-2019) research programme funded by Mistra with 42 MSEK. The three participating academic partners contribute with in-kind 9.5 MSEK, and 16 non-academic partners with in-kind 30.5 MSEK and cash 0.9 MSEK.

Nine PhD students

The Mistra REES program will also shape a new generation of Swedish interdisciplinary scientists and professionals, as nine Ph.D. and many master students will take part in the program.