AMS Circular Business Opportunities: Case PUMA & Urban Mining

We organise a day-long workshop, to explore circular business opportunities for urban mining based on the recent findings of the AMS research project ‘Prospecting the Urban Mine of Amsterdam’ [PUMA]. The workshop is facilitated in collaboration with VTT (Technical Research Centre of Finland) and Ethica, a Helsinki-based circular economy consultancy.

Steel in high-rise buildings, copper in cables, aluminum in window frames… With this wealth in metals, cities are basically urban mines. As the concentrations of traditional mines is going down, the amount of energy used to get the metals out is going up. Currently 7-8% of all energy consumption worldwide is now used to produce metals! So isn’t it time to ask ourselves: what will it take to mine the city? And is it worthwhile?

On the 29th of March, through various assignments and discussions with a group of experts, we will investigate what type of ecosystem and business models would make urban mining financially viable and aptly functioning system.

10.00 – 10.15 Welcome! Introductions & goals for the workshop
10.15 – 10.45 Introduction to the PUMA case
10.45 – 11.00 Introduction to the circular business ecosystem methodology
11.00 – 11.20 Existing and emerging (mega)trends relevant to the urban mining future
11.20 – 12.30 Workshop phase 1: Optimal future ecosystem visioning– building the loops
12.30 – 13.15 Lunch
13.15 – 14.00 Phase 1 findings & results + prioritisation of topics
14.00 – 15.30 Workshop phase 2: Business modelling
15.30 – 16.15 Discussing the results of the business modelling & wrap-up
16.15 – 16.45 Discussion: next steps & invitation to the virtual workshop

The workshop is on invitation. If you are interested in attending the workshop without invitation, please contact us

Virpi Heybroek, AMS Institute +316 33828273
Anne Raudaskoski, Ethica +358 503410881

The PUMA project was two-fold. The first result is a geological map of the built environment, giving an overview of the stored resources, their quality and ‘time to mine’. The second is an outline for an urban mining plan, indicating the steps needed to actually exploit the urban mine.

Circular Economy Business Ecosystem Think Tank
The workshop is part of the project called Circular Economy Business Ecosystem Think Tank funded by the EIT Raw Materials programme. Thereby it will also give input for methodology developments, which aim to identify circular business opportunities for novel technologies and solutions, thus lowering the barrier to move towards a closed-loop system and making it a compelling option for businesses and society.

Circular economy (CE) opens new business opportunities for companies that are willing to adapt and change their business. Closing the loop for products and materials, and leveraging the different supporting service business opportunities across the closed loop value chain opens an opportunity to think everything around us in a completely different way.

To benefit of those opportunities companies need insight to the resource reserves where value restoration and regeneration has potential to profitable long-term business opportunities, as well as system level understanding of the value creation models and requirements for the entire business ecosystem.
To boost companies’ business model innovation and CE ecosystem building, our project aims to develop and launch a Circular Business Ecosystem Think Tank, which aims to

1) research the potential of specific cases for profitable value restoration and regeneration according to the principles of circular economy in order to identify new business models
2) provide tested methodologies for identifying the opportunities and developing new circular business models

Target is that the Think Tank can be used in EIT RM later on for boosting CE innovations. Circular Business Ecosystem Think Tank can support EIT RM partners and KIC-projects to leverage CE design thinking to deliver incremental innovation, which requires cross-sector collaboration and ecosystem level value creation.

Partners and KIC projects can bring their specific CE related cases to the Think Tank to explore and find technically and commercially feasible business models and solutions. Where broader stakeholder collaboration is needed, the results and identified opportunities can be launched for a broader community of start-ups, growth companies and other stakeholders.