Circular economy can drive high-tech jobs

Powering the Change to a Circular Economy is the theme of an Australian-first conference at the Tonsley.

The circular economy presents a system of re-use, repurposing and recycling to spur economic growth and reduce dependency on finite natural resources.

It’s a proposed shift from our current linear economy, which uses natural resources in the manufacturing of products which are ultimately disposed as waste.

Professor Spoehr, the Director of the Australian Industrial Transformation Institute (AITI) at Flinders at Tonsley, is among the speakers (November 15-17).

He will join leaders in business, government and academia coming together to discuss ways to implement the circular economy, and share the latest research.

As ‘Industry 4.0’ – the next industrial revolution – looms, Professor Spoehr says there is a significant opportunity to boost growth and create more jobs by making better use of resources, and improving recycling practices.

“At AITI, we’re working in collaboration with industry partners and accelerating more sustainable forms of production,” Professor Spoehr says.

“We do this through innovative uses of advanced technologies that can create and harness better recycling practices.

“Linking the circular economy with Industry 4.0 could generate thousands of new jobs with the growth of clean-tech goods and services industry.”

Under the topic: Advancing manufacturing: Industry 4.0 and the Circular Economy, Professor Spoehr will lead a panel discussing robotics, automation and digital technology in the context of the circular economy.

The conference is the first in Australia to be dedicated to the circular economy.

It follows a South Australian Government study, released in May this year, which showed how the circular economy could create thousands of new jobs and reduce carbon emissions.

Flinders University is hosting the conference at the Tonsley Innovation District because the site is a national leader and multi-award winner for sustainability initiatives, particularly the reuse of the former Mitsubishi automotive manufacturing site.

“It is great example of enlightened practice in the face of a change in manufacturing practices,” Professor Spoehr says.

For more on the conference program: https://www.poweringthechange.org.au

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