R-Cycle nominated for Innovation Award for Climate and Environment

To achieve a global circular economy, recycling and digitalisation must go hand in hand. Linking the two is also the core of the R-Cycle initiative, in which IKV is actively involved as a research institute. R-Cycle has now been nominated for the German Innovation Award for Climate and Environment (IKU) 2022. From a total of 150 submitted applications, 21 candidates were chosen in seven different categories. R-Cycle is in the final selection for the category "Use of digital change for climate and environmentally friendly innovations".

The consortium initiative R-Cycle, in which IKV is involved as a research partner, has been nominated for the German Innovation Award Climate and Environment (IKU) 2022. | Photo: R-Cycle

Together with a cross-industry consortium, the IKV researchers are developing an open and globally applicable traceability standard for sustainable plastic packaging. The aim of the initiative is to digitally and automatically document recycling-relevant properties and substances along the entire value chain. This data makes it possible to sort plastic waste more precisely and can then be used to produce high-quality recyclate in the recycling process, which in turn can be used to fabricate high-quality plastic products.

The data obtained is stored on a common data platform. This database can be networked with any production plant, from the film or injection moulding machine to the processing, printing and filling machine. A marking on the packaging – for example in the form of a QR code or a digital watermark code – ensures that the stored information can be retrieved.

IKV research advances recycling and circular economy

The joint initiative started in June 2020, and the practicality of R-Cycle is being tested and validated in numerous pilot projects already underway with raw material producers, packaging manufacturers, brand owners and wholesale and retail companies. As a research partner, IKV currently supports R-Cycle primarily in the area of marking technologies that enable a link to the R-Cycle database.

The German Innovation Award for Climate and Environment (IKU)

Every two years, the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV) awards innovative technologies, techniques, processes, products, services and business models that serve to protect the environment and climate. The IKU is awarded in a total of seven competition categories to reflect the wide range:

- Process innovations for climate protection
- Product and service innovations for climate protection
- Environmentally friendly technologies
- Environmentally friendly products and services
- Cooperation with developing countries and emerging economies on technical or social innovations for environmental and climate protection
- Innovation and biodiversity
- Use of digital change for climate and environmentally friendly innovations

The applications from companies, business organisations and research institutions are scientifically evaluated by the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI) and the best selected. From this pool, a jury of experts from business, science, media and politics then chooses the final prize winners.

Together with our partners, we are honoured that R-Cycle has been nominated for the German Innovation Award for Climate and Environment (IKU) 2022 and are looking forward to the announcement of the winners in spring 2022.