THE FINAL CONFERENCE CIRCULAR4.0: The future of the circular economy and digitalization in the Alpine Space

THE FINAL CONFERENCE CIRCULAR4.0: The future of the circular economy and digitalization in the Alpine Space

Date: 29. 09. 2022 at 08:30

We are building the Circular4.0 community in the Alpine region! In the heart of the Julian Alps at Lake Bled in SLOVEnia, a Circular4.0 final conference will be organized on Thursday, 29th September in parallel to the global World Future Verse conference. We will discuss about digital technologies as enabler to foster the transition to the circular economy by the SMEs in the Alpine Space Area.

Why is the transition to the circular economy a must? Can advanced green and digital technologies such as blockchain, VR /AR, NFTs and others accelerate the transition to the circular economy, and how? Are "product-as-a-service" business models the right answer to shift from the "take-make-dispose" paradigm to "make-recycle/reuse" business models to close the production loop? How can advanced green materials replace the need for scarce raw materials in the Alps? Do we have the right tools and instruments and the necessary resources to help companies adopt the circular economy and the Future Verse? Who is orchestrating the changes? What actions are being taken in the different countries of the EU Alpine Space and at the level of the European Union? How are businesses and consumers adapting to environmental issues and scarcity of raw materials?

We invite small and medium sized companies (SMEs), enterprises, leaders, learners, networkers, frontrunners, researchers, experts, activists, public actors at the national, regional and local level, intermediaries, business support organisations, sectoral agencies, technology parks, clusters, financial investors, solution providers, problem solvers, concerned employees and all other curious people to provide answers to some of the intriguing questions to be answered during the Circular4.0 conference, which will address the contribution of SMEs to mitigate environmental issues in the Alps.

We need all of you to ask questions, provide answers and share knowledge, ideas, experiments, solutions, technologies, tools, instruments, scale-up practices, policies, and funding instruments to foster SMEs' engagement and accelerate the transition to the circular economy in the Alpine Space and other European macro-regions.

We need those who care about the Alpine environment, nature, sustainable/green and digital future. We need help in creating a new Alpine Circular Economy 4.0 community to share information and exchange views on what kind of systemic changes are needed to create greener and smarter jobs in the Alpine region, increase the value of products, producer & user responsibility and address environmental issues, technological changes, and new business models in the Alpine region to which SMEs and industry can contribute greatly.

Connect. Engage. Participate. Act. Dare to share!

Join the new alpine Circular 4.0 community at the beautiful Lake Bled or online and help Alpine SMEs and industries accelerate the transition to a circular economy through the digitalisation.

The registration to the final conference is required and it is opened 


The Circular4.0 final conference will be in English, and it is free of charge.

The logistic information how to reach the venue is available here.

Location: Bled Congress Centre, Hall Island (B+C+D)


Access to online streaming


Moderator: Ram Dušić Hren 

8.30 – 9.00

Welcome coffee

Registrations and getting together

Onsite & online streaming

9.00 – 9.15


Welcome speeches

Majda Potokar, Technology Park Ljubljana (TPLJ) - lead partner 

Marija Čebular Zajec, Ministry of Economic Development and Technology (MEDT/MGRT), observer

Rok Capl, SPIRIT Slovenia Business Development Agency

9.15 – 9.35

Keynote speech

Toward the green transition through the circular economy & digitalization in the EU and the Alpine region

Getting out of our comfort zone


Bart Stegeman, EIT Climate KIC




9.35 – 10.30

CIRCULAR4.0 project – Digital technologies as enabler to foster the transition to the circular economy by the SMEs in the Alpine Space Area

 - Overall CIRCULAR4.0 presentation

 - Tools for assessing the circular & digital maturity

 - Results of circular & digital transformations in SMEs

 - Action plan & community



Roberto Sandrini, Technology Park Ljubljana

Cesar Pacheco, Fondazione Piemonte Innova (FPI)

Luc Schmerber, BWCON

Bianca Kahr, Austria Wirtschaftsservice (AWS)

10.30 – 11.30


Panel 1 Strengthening the circularity with innovation processes

Practices and experiences on circular economy in the Alpine Space (AS) from the Circular4.0 piloting phase.

-  Success cases implemented by SMEs with the piloting phase highlighting issues to be solved; approached method; solutions identified

 -  Lessons learned from the circular & digital processes planned and steps taken to set up the Circular4.0 community

 - Set of recommendations from the evaluation of the pilots coming by the evaluation process

Moderated discussion: Ram Dušić Hren





Maja Čibej, Beti
Florian Reininger, Gemini
Benjamin Lallemand, Grand E-nov/Envie Strasbourg, online

Jurij Giacomelli, Giacomelli Media
Dr. Albachiara Boffelli, University of Bergamo


Luc Schmerber, BWCON



11.30 – 11.45

Coffee break


11.45 12.30


Panel 2 We are building the Circular & digital community in the Alpine region!

A perspective of policy makers and regional authorities on the transition of SMEs to the circular economy through digitalization

Supporting the establishment of an ecosystem able to trigger circularity & digitalization to close the production “loop”

 State-of-the-art and the next steps for the implementation of the Green Deal strategy in Europe, particularly looking at SMEs

Moderated discussion: Roberto Sandrini

Marija Čebular Zajec, MEDT/MGRT

William Neale, EC, Directorate General for Environment (DG ENV) – Circular Economy (CE), online

Carlo Vigna, EU-Strategy for the Alpine Region (EUSALP), online

Blanka Bartol, Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning (MESP/MOP), Slovenian delegation in the Permanent Committee of the Alpine Conference (Alpine Convention), recorded

 Matija Pavlovčič, Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy (GODC/SVRK), EUSAIR facility point

 Andreas Jenne, REHAU Group

12.30 – 13.30

Lunch break


13.30 14.30

Round table To survive or to fly?

A future perspective of SMEs and the new technology/material providers to boost the transition to circular economy through digitalization

Moderated discussion: Ram Dušić Hren


Nina Meglič, SRIP Circular Economy

Florian Reininger, Gemini

Maja Čibej, Beti

Marko Mitrovič, Optifood

Matic Šerc, Elmibit, project eVine2Wine

Marco Galanti, Technology Transfer and Innovation (T2I)

14.30 – 15.00

CIRCULAR4.0: a story telling

Success cases brochure, virtual exhibition, videos

Francesca Maccatrozzo, Veneto Innovazione

15.00 – 15.15

Conclusions of the final conference

Roberto Sandrini, Technology park Ljubljana

Aleš Pevc, Technology park Ljubljana


If you are an SME or organisation with a success case (pilot, service, product, innovative solution, project etc.) of the circular & digital transformation you can disseminate this information (roll up, poster, brochure etc.) at the Circular4.0 final conference free of charge. 

Additional information:
Majda Potokar
+386 41 66 11 59


The Circular4.0 project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Interreg Alpine Space program.

The conference is organized by Technology park Ljubljana