The relevance of circular economy, in these days where the environmental impact and toll of humans’ activities is undeniable, grows steadily. Circular economy, founded on three basic principles, advocates for all materials to be kept in use for as long as possible. This takes a concrete shape, for example, in the importance of recycling materials.However, recycling materials can be a trickier business than one might think. Nowadays materials are so complex and specialized, that recycling them properly requires precise knowledge of their composition and content. In a way, then, it can be argued that the exchange of this knowledge, from material manufacturers to recyclers, is a core enabler of circular economy. As information exchanges happen mostly digital, data becomes then the key asset in this depicted scenario.Data exchanges are as well not an easy feat. Looking only at a business to business market, several obstacles refrain companies from sharing data more liberally. For once, openly sharing data exposes companies to threats from competitors and losses in their negotiating power.Circularise, the start-up this project has been developed for, has come up with a technical solution for a data exchange system that relies on a distributed ledger. Thanks to their technological protocol, circularise can enable secure collaboration between material manufacturers and the rest of the supply chain, all the way to recyclers.Despite the technological feasibility of the protocol, Circularise is struggling with finding clients. Currently the start-up has developed a value proposition that caters mainly towards material manufacturers and, as a consequence, material manufacturers are the only paying customer segment for them. In order for the protocol to have an effective impact and benefit on circular economy activities, expanding the client range is necessary for Circularise. This can be accomplished by expanding the start-up’s business model portfolio, so to speak. This means running two different business models at the same time, one being the existing one, catering to material manufacturers, and another one ensuring that a new customer segment receives an offer worth paying for.This is the opportunity this project is built around. In the course of this graduation project a digital platform has being design and is explained in this report, together with a new business model for Circularise to cater to automotive OEMs with a tailored offer.
Master Thesis: TU Delft repository