Cranfield University launches world’s first circular economy MSc

Part-time course will focus on how businesses can be restorative and regenerative

Post-graduate university Cranfield has today launched the world’s first MSc course in the circular economy, in a further sign corporate interest in innovative new resource efficient business models is on the increase.

The new part-time executive course, which is officially titled “Technology, Innovation and Management for a Circular Economy”, will focus on how businesses can be “restorative” and “regenerative”, rather than following a linear model where resources are simply taken and then disposed of.

The master’s course will bring together study in engineering, logistics, and environmental sciences along with programmes in business and finance skills.

“Cranfield has been leading thinking in the circular economy through our research on sustainable design and corporate responsibility for some time,” said Professor Sir Peter Gregson, vice-chancellor of Cranfield University, in a statement.

“We are already one of six circular economy ‘Pioneer Universities’ in the world, working with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, and we have hosted successful summer schools and hackathons with businesses exploring the potential of this area. The MSc in Technology, Innovation and Management for a Circular Economy will allow us to contribute substantially to making this an industrial reality.”

The first intake for the new programme will begin in October 2016, with the course delivered partly at Cranfield’s campus in Bedfordshire and partly online.

“The world of business has shifted dramatically,” said Dr Fiona Charnley, convenor of the new MSc course at Cranfield, in a statement. “The circular economy is widely regarded as the most dominant trend for environmentally responsible and innovative businesses. This unique postgraduate level course will help ambitious industrial professionals to accelerate this change through system-level understanding and application.”

In related news, the University of Strathclyde’s Scottish Institute for Remanufacture announced today it has awarded a total of £238,360 between nine companies working on innovative new remanufacturing business models.

The funding will see the companies, including Cummins Diesel ReCon, ACS Marine, Campers Scotland Ltd and WEEE Scotland, work on a range of initiatives to enhance logistics for recovering products for remanufacture, develop new cleaning technologies for old products, and improve end-of-life assessment.

Richard Lochhead, Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, said the projects represented a further boost to Scotland’s recently launched circular economy strategy.

“Remanufacturing already contributes £1.1bn to annual economic activity with potential to add an additional £620m by 2020,” he said. “I welcome these projects and hope to see these companies start to fulfil some of that growth potential.”

source: business green.com

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