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The main objective of the CIRCULAR4.0 project is to strengthen digitalization processes by SMEs to foster innovation processes and accelerate the transition to the Circular Economy (CE) in Alpine Space. 

The project will run for 3 years and has a budget of approx. EUR 2.5 million, co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the INTERREG Alpine Space program.


Project Goal

CIRCULAR 4.0 aims at improving the Alpine eco-system of innovation and its contribution to the transition to Circular Economy in the Alpine Area by SMEs and economic operators, exploiting the potential and the added value of the digitalization processes by SMEs. The eco-system of innovation (policy makers, stakeholders, academia and research institutions, intermediary organizations, entrepreneurs and citizens) will strengthen the cooperation according to the principle of the sustainable development and the principle of the green economy and will work closely in the frame of the digitalization processes addressed to SMEs, to contribute to make the Alpine area a cleaner and greener environment, open to innovation and new business.

With this project we strive to:

  • Understand Local Needs
  • Anticipate Changes (Digitalization enables us to build a new virtual world for more interconnectedness and sustainability- more connected ecosystem)
  • Support Innovation
  • Understand Linear and Circular Risks and broaden Understanding
  • Monitor Companies and the evolution of potential front runners
  • Attract Investors
  • Contribute to an efficient and evolving process.



Bwcon will be in charge of the activities run in Baden-Württemberg and will closely cooperate with the partners from Bayern to enlarge the impact of Circular 4.0 in the German-speaking project Area.

CIRCULAR4.0 will increase the knowledge and raise the attention of Entrepreneurs and Intermediaries on the Circular Economy concepts, develop and test a set of tools able to foster the contribute of Industry4.0 for the transition of SMEs to the Circular Economy, with particular attention to Circular Design models, Optimal Use models, Value Recovery models. The project intends to address Policy Makers, Intermediaries and SMEs to raise the importance of digitalization processes, focusing mainly on: the innovation processes, the business models and the investments needed.

  • Training and Services (Investments, models, financial products and funding schemes that support Circular Economy)
  • Transnational Feasibility Studies and the LOCAL PILOT ACTIONS (Lead to a Circular Economy 4.0 Community)
  • Transnational Working Groups
  • Local Training Actions (for example: mapping financial actors and investors)
  • Local Workshops
  • Access to Mentors and Experts  


Expected Results

The project will produce a CIRCULAR4.0 Action plan to contribute to the transition toward Circular Economy with SMEs digitalization creating added value for stakeholders in the Alpine Space and supporting Policies and EUSALP Macro Strategy Policy makers and stakeholders will have a model of eco-innovation through digitalization to make Alpine space cleaner, more resource efficient and sustainable; they will get support for the transition to the Circular Economy together with the acceleration of the digitalization processes by SMEs. Intermediary organizations, service providers and research institutions increase their knowledge and capacity to assist SMEs for their digitalization processes oriented to foster eco-innovation and new sustainable business models for sustainable growth. SMEs will be assisted to strengthen their investment on digitalization processes to foster the transition to the Circular Economy, eco-innovation and clean technology.

  • Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of SMEs digitalization and push toward Circular Economy processes
  • Toolkit developed and tested
  • Feasibility study
  • Participation of 280 companies in pilot actions
  • Creation of Transnational Working Groups


Circular4.0 Success Cases

CIRCULAR4.0 focuses on digital technologies as enabler to strengthen digitalisation processes by SMEs to foster innovation processes and accelerate the transition to the circular economy in Alpine Space. Through a specific pilot action, every CIRCULAR4.0 partner defined a set of tools for the transition of a number of SMEs to the circular economy. Each partner selected a number of SMEs and assessed their approach to circular economy and to digital technologies. Every partner chose the most successful examples of assistance among companies selected for the pilot actions.

This brochure gathers these successful cases.



  • Veneto Innovazione, Italy
  • Technology Park Ljubljana Ltd., Slovenia
  • LP Technical University of Applied Sciences Rosenheim, Germany
  • Business Upper Austria - OÖ Wirtschaftsagentur Ltd., Austria
  • Chamber of Commerce Industry Craft and Agriculture of Venice Rovigo, Italy
  • Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Entreprises, France
  • Confindustria Bergamo, Italy
  • Jožef Stefan Institute, Slovenia
  • Cluster of Environmental Technology Bavaria, Germany
  • Grand E-nov, France
  • bwcon GmbH, Germany
  • Innovation- and Technology Transfer Salzburg GmbH, Austria
  • Torino Wireless Foundation, Italy
  • RISINGSUD - Regional Development Agency for region Sud Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, France
  • Austria Wirtschaftsservice, Austria

Duration: October 2nd 2019 to June 30th 2022

Client/Program: Interreg/Alpine Space

Total Budget Available: 2.560.693, 35 Euro

Website: https://www.alpine-space.eu/projects/circular4_0/en/home


AP Luc Schmerber


Luc Schmerber

Innovation Project Manager

+49(0)1590 401 67 69