The programme gathers leading academic milieus, industrial companies and societal actors to co-create knowledge about more resource-efficient and effective solutions based on circular economy thinking.

Mistra REES responds to an increasing global concern for the over-exploitation and coming shortage of natural resources. Global reports from the UN as well as the comprehensive EU initiative “A resource-efficient Europe” clearly mark the need for innovative solutions and strategies to solve environmental and resource-related problems. Mistra REES represents a major contribution of the European and global movement towards resource-efficient solutions.


The vision of Mistra REES is to advance the Swedish manufacturing industry’s transition towards a circular and sustainable economy. Once validated, methods developed in the Mistra REES programme will support Swedish manufacturing companies to develop and offer world-leading, new and innovative products and services based on circular economy thinking. For business partners, Mistra REES gives access to the most recent research results and a network of expertise for discussing, testing and developing the latest ideas and innovations.

Mistra REES is unique in bringing together competencies from three different research areas, “design of products and services”, “business models” and “policies”, with the ambition to understand how these three areas affect and interrelate with each other. The strong and dedicated collaboration between academia and participating companies enables a unique opportunity to co-create, evaluate and implement outcomes from the program that have clear added value for researchers as well as the participating business partners. Examples of outcomes are methods and tools for REES product and service design as well as business models for REES. Another overall outcome will be the Mistra REES textbook.

Seven projects

Mistra REES consists of seven projects. The first project, PR1, aims to create a knowledge base for the rest of the programme about where the circular economy is most efficient. RP1 also maps the business and policy-related driving forces and barriers for a transition to more resource-efficient and effective solutions. Based on PR1, three additional projects, RP2, RP3, RP4, will develop methods for designing products, services, business models and policies. Various methods are used in PR1-4, e.g. literature reviews, semi-structured interviews, workshops and protocol analysis with participating partners, and life cycle and economic assessments.

Project five aims to describe and analyse the interrelations between product and service design, business models and policies for REES. Such knowledge will also contribute to creating approaches for more effective collaboration between actors working with REES. A conceptual model for the above listed interrelations will be constructed. Based on this model, a computerized system dynamics model of the systems will be developed and used.

Workshops with participating partners will be used to, based on the system dynamics model, extract recommendations regarding transition processes in the manufacturing industry and society that facilitate REES and the circular economy.

In RP6 and RP7, focus lies on program management in general and targeted dissemination of the research results. The Mistra REES textbook will be the main outcome of PR6.