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West Midlands’ Circular Economy Routemap

Appendix 5

R&D and Innovation

Identify and map existing innovation programmes, living labs and circular economy research programmes to determine gaps
and inform creation of new programmes.

This should build on the maps created in this routemap.

Create a toolkit to de-risk approach to circular economy innovations.

  • Launch innovation programmes, challenges, hackathons and accelerator focusing on circular economy innovations. Build on existing competitions such as SPRING.

  • Designate a Circular Economy Enterprise Zone to attract investment, innovation and talent to the region.

  • Form robust partnerships with educational institutions to continue research and knowledge-sharing on the circular economy.

  • WMCA’s role is to enable R&D and innovation in the region, facilitating partnership and ensuring collaboration and lack of duplication.
  • Innovation Alliance.

  • WM Innovation Programme and the Virtual Innovation Team.


  • ASG.

  • The Construction Futures Research Centre.

  • Local Enterprise Partnerships.

  • Sustainability West Midlands

  • SteamHouse.

  • Warwick Manufacturing Group.

  • Circular Economy Research Networks.

  • Black Country Marches Institute of Technology.

  • Major universities and colleges

    in the region.

Data and Digital

  • Lobby the national government to update (where necessary) digital and data regulations across the region to better support information sharing.
  • Identify and review existing online sharing platforms to determine gaps and inform potential commission of a new platform
  • Signpost relevant sharing platform and online marketplace to facilitate material exchange (separate business-led platforms from community-led ones).
  • Commission in-depth, detailed material flow analysis for specific sectors, industries and activities.
  • Develop a kitemark for digital sharing platform in order to build trust amongst users.

  • Launch an interactive, digital West Midlands platform to trade resources and surplus materials, as well as to share market intelligence and best practice.

  • Work with seven local authority constituent members and other key partners to harmonise data collection and sharing processes in the region.

  • Implement Building Passport with a West Midlands Building Material Bank (BAMB).

  • WMCA’s role is to enable better sharing of resources across the region by identifying current mechanisms, proposing improvement and investing in digital platforms.
  • WM5G Team

  • Local Enterprise Partnerships.

  • Major universities and colleges in the region.


  • Potential to work on developing the platform as part of a SPRING competition.

  • Rheaply Software: It is an asset exchange platform that drives the ‘visibility on stuff’ across all of a client’s sites, enabling the transfer of idle equipment either within or outside an organisation.


  • Audit existing logistics processes to identify current issues and investment requirements and publish recommendations.
  • Work with partners to enhance logistics processes (reverse logistics, mobility as a service etc.).

  • Launch a digital track an trace (using 5G, digital platform and BAMB) to locate resources and facilitate transport and trading.

  • WMCA’s role is to lead in its own operations and improve its logistics. In doing so, WMCA will enable others to do the same and better trade resources across the region.
  • Transport for the West Midlands.

  • Seven local authority members.

  • Local Enterprise Partnerships.