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Nordic Circular Accelerator

Project 2024 - 2025 Active

Join the Nordic Circular Accelerator together with your collaborative partners to enable data sharing capabilities and unlock the full potential of business value from a Circular Economy.

Seize the opportunity to join Nordic Innovation's free, one-year program together with your partners, to scale your circular efforts.
Get access to an exclusive network of cross-industry leaders and experts in circularity and data, receive one-to-one guidance, learn from real company examples, and much more!

Apply here

Circular Economy can only be achieved through extensive collaboration across value chains and ecosystems. Successfully sharing data on resources, products, their usage, and location with a variety of partners throughout the value chain, is a key enabler for circularity. Yet, the maturity level of data sharing between companies is still low, and there is a need for supporting companies on how they can utilize data and insights to enable circular business value.

Imagine a future where... 

  • designers utilized material component details to optimize material usage, durability, and recyclability.
  • manufacturers obtained comprehensive material compositions and quality specifications to remanufacture.
  • customers had access to product reuse and recyclability options at end of use to optimize product lifetime.
  • recyclers had access to product design and material compositions to better extract valuable materials.

To get there, it requires businesses and their partners to navigate data sharing complexities and find answers to questions such as:  

How can we…

  • achieve value through data sharing and derive insights for decision making?
  • encourage harmonization and overcome barriers to data sharing?
  • resolve data privacy and security concerns when collecting and sharing data?
  • ensure technology platforms are fit-for-purpose for all stakeholders?
  • embed collaboration in day-to-day business activity, roles, and responsibilities?

These and many more questions will be addressed in a free, one-year Accelerator program designed to equip Nordic Businesses with the prerequisites necessary to succeed with data sharing to enable circularity.

Why join?

The Nordic Circular Accelerator stands out by offering tailored guidance on circularity and data sharing. You will learn from leading practices and companies and attend sessions covering topics such as what data and analysis is needed, the value potential, how technical solutions can enable circular data capabilities, and ecosystem collaboration.
This approach not only addresses specific challenges but also fosters a network for sharing innovative solutions and best practices in circularity and data. 

The participants will accelerate their circular initiative and data insights through:

  • 1:1 guidance: Receive personalized expert guidance to develop and improve your circular initiative and address specific business needs.
  • Network: Access an exclusive network of likeminded companies and leading experts for collaboration and valuable connections.
  • Best practice sharing: Engage in interactive sessions to share knowledge, gain insights from real company cases, and solve business problems for your circular initiative.
  • Capability building: Advance your data capabilities through expert-led sessions, gaining expertise and understanding to navigate data complexities to scale your circular initiative.
  • Influence policymakers: Impact Nordic policymakers by sharing experiences, giving you an opportunity to influence policy recommendations supporting data-driven collaborations.

Please note application closes February 25.

Who should join this accelerator 

The Nordic Circular Accelerator seeks Nordic businesses involved in collaborations on circularity to bring along their collaborative partners and join our program together.

Your collaboration is eligible for this program if you are committed to enhancing your circular initiative. In addition, the following eligibility criteria needs to be met:

  • Geographic location:
    The applying company must operate in the one of the Nordic countries (Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Greenland, Faroe Islands or the Åland Islands). Collaborative partners can be located outside the Nordics.
  • Collaboration Type:
    A collaboration refers to partnerships between several actors, working on a circular initiative that require information and data sharing. The maturity of your collaboration could vary, e.g., early-stage (initial phase of data sharing with partners) or more established (mature collaborations formalized into a circular initiative), however, the aim should be to scale your circular initiative. Examples of circular initiative are detailed under "Application Categories".
  • Collaboration Size:
    Encouraging collaborations of all sizes to apply, with priority given to larger collaborations involving three or more partners. Size is based on the number of partners (i.e., companies, organizations, etc.) in the collaboration.
  • Industry:
    The application is open to all industries, with priority given to Manufacturing, Construction, Automotive, Textile, Battery, and Electronics.

Application Categories

The collaborations within the program may differ in maturity and circular focus. To simplify the application process, five categories of circular initiatives are developed. Please familiarize yourself with these before submitting your application as you will be asked to select the most appropriate category that aligns with the circular focus of your collaboration.

Circular design

Minimize waste and create durable products; collaborate on data sharing upstream and downstream for product design and use extension.

Product use extension

Extend product life through product-as-a-service, repair, upgrade, and refurbishment; collect performance data to tailor offers and create new value streams.

Resource recovery

Extract value from waste; collaborate across industries to increase efficiency and gather data on end-of-use materials for reuse.

Traceability

Track product or material origin, production, and supply chain journey; collaborate for data exchange along the product lifecycle.

Other initiatives

If your circular initiative doesn't fit into the four specified categories of circular initiatives, you can use the fifth category, "other Initiatives," when submitting your application.

Click here to learn more about specific examples of data needs and challenges in some industry-focused collaborations on circular initiatives, and to understand how the Nordic Circular Accelerator enhances them. 

Program expected outcome

During the free, one-year accelerator, participants can expect to get:

  • Fundamental knowledge to leverage data for scaling your collaboration
  • Company case examples and expert led sessions
  • Concrete approach to address data and circular challenges
  • Hands-on understanding of the value of data and insights
  • Insight into IT and tech solutions for circular collaboration
  • Awareness of upcoming data regulations (e.g., CSRD, CSDDD, Digital Product Passport)
  • Access to consolidated learnings and best practices across the Nordics  

Timeline 2024/25

One-year program consisting of 11 sessions (7 virtual, 4 in-person) including 3 ecosystem networking events, 5 capability sessions, and 3 individual working sessions. Explore program activities in detail here.

  • January 15 – Application opens
  • February 25 – Application closes
  • March 15 – Announcement of selected participants

Accelerator program April 2024 – April 2025*

Illustration of the programs timeline from 2024 to 2025.
  • April 23 - 24 – Ecosystem networking session 1; Program Launch Event**
  • April 24 – Individual working session 1; Data Priorities and Barrier Exploration**
  • May 2024 – Capability expansion session 1; The Power of Data
  • June 2024 – Capability expansion session 2; Enable Harmonizing
  • September 2024 – Capability expansion session 3; Data Assurance
  • October 2024 – Individual Working session 2; Dynamic session, tailored to your collaboration’s need**
  • November 2024 – Ecosystem networking session 2; Knowledge sharing and Lessons Learnt
  • December 2024 – Capability expansion session 4; Technology solutions
  • February 2025 – Capability expansion session 5; Collaborative Excellence
  • March 2025 – Individual working session 3; Dynamic session, tailored to your collaboration’s need
  • April 2025 – Ecosystem networking session 3; Ecosystem Knowledge Sharing Results and Wrap-Up**

*Missing dates will be updated before the program starts.
**In-person sessions.

Upcoming publications

  • June 2025 – Data sharing playbook with guidelines for data sharing capabilities including concrete use cases and business needs.
  • June 2025 - June 2025 - Report on how policy makers can incentivise and scale data sharing ecosystems across Nordic businesses.

Practicalities:

  • Average monthly commitment: 4 hours *  
  • Sessions are hosted in English, mostly online, with a few selected in-person sessions in one of the Nordic capitals. The exact location of the sessions will be confirmed before the program start.    
  • We recommend at least 1 person from each partner in the collaboration to attend the program. 
  • Active participation in all program sessions is encouraged for representatives from all collaborating partners. Multiple individuals from each partner can join the program, with the option to divide their involvement in sessions based on roles, expertise, and project contributions.

*Online sessions will be shorter than in-person sessions, thus there will be an average of ca 4 hours per month.

Testimonials

”There is a challenge to track the vehicle and components after its second life, and tracking data of the truck may conflict with drivers’ data privacy. We need to collaborate across the value chain in order to enable traceability.”
- Christian Claeson 
Head of Communications & Circular Business Developer at Volvo Group

"We participated in the Circular Business Models workshops with Nordic Innovation and Accenture in 2022. It was good getting insights into company's circular challenges and opportunities. We see that identifying relevant data and managing the collection in an effective way will be vital. Collaborative sharing of data and methodologies across the value chain is key to enable traceability and scaling circular business models."
– Caroline Goodwin, Group Vice President Business Development at Kongsberg Gruppen

"I'm excited to support the Nordic Circular Accelerator. There is a need for innovative solutions, transparency, and ethical investments to fuel a transition, and this program recognizes a crucial enabler, data. Leveraging data insights can guide companies in making better informed decisions to drive circularity."
– Tomas Zimmerman, Head of sustainable finance transformation, Swedbank

Jury

Leading experts in circularity, finance, data & tech, and business form our Nordic jury, selecting the collaborations that will participate in the accelerator.

Pictures of all the members of the jury.

Tomas Zimmerman - Head of sustainable finance transformation, Swedbank Corporates and Institutions.
Tomas has 15+ years of professional experience working with corporate sustainability across multiple sectors. In his role at Swedbank, he focuses on accelerating transition to sustainable finance in the Nordics and Baltics. He is passionate about leveraging organizations’ core competencies and assets to profitably address key societal needs in their markets emphasizing Circular Economy. 

Tiina Antturi - Head of Sustainability SAP Nordics.
Tiina recognizes the important role data and technology play in fostering sustainability and circularity.  She believes that companies today should have a stated ambition to influence sustainable development of society. Tiina’s expertise is having a combination of experience from business, sales and NGOs as a former CEO of World Vision. As a result, Tiina is interested in both ends of the value chains, profitability, technology, and human rights.

Einar Kleppe Holthe - CEO & Founder Natural State​. Managing Partner Nordic Circular Hotspot​.
Einar has 20+ years working with sustainability and transparency in the coffee industry’s global value chains within Fuglen. He has an broad and deep understanding of circularity, from launching a circular furnishing brand "Norwegian Icons", engaged in Oslo’s circular and sustainable real estate developments, project lead of the Poland Circular Gap Report, to even developing a Circular Economy division in Natural State.

Elva Rakel Jónsdóttir - CEO for Festa - Center for Sustainability.
Elva leads a coalition of 200 major Icelandic companies, driving sustainability. Previously, she directed the Department of Climate and Circular Economy at the Environment Agency of Iceland, emphasizing societal behavior, circular economy, and climate change mitigation. With a background in anthropology and international environmental studies, she also served as CEO of the Icelandic division of the Nordic Ecolabel, The Swan, for thirteen years.

Christine Mürbeck - Service Offer Leader Circular Services at Ingka
Christine has been actively involved in the Innovation & Development sector, specializing in establishing circular business models such as second-hand markets, rental platforms, peer-to-peer networks, and repair services.
She also has a background in business development. Today, Christine is overseeing Ingka’s circular services, including Removal & Recycling and Buyback & Resell.

Katrine Winding - Director General of the Danish Business Authority
Katrine has extensive experience helping businesses focusing on digital transformation, data-driven solutions, and advanced technology. Her emphasis on promoting business opportunities in the circular and climate-neutral transition involves leveraging data for sustainable innovation and facilitating companies' sustainability reporting through digitalization and automated data processing.

FAQ - Frequently asked questions

What do we mean by data and data sharing? 

In the circular economy and data context, "data" encompasses information on products, materials, processes, and lifecycle aspects, including details on recyclability, transportation, customer use, CO2 emissions, product performance, etc.  “Data sharing” involves making the same data sources available to multiple applications, users, or organizations.

What can participating companies expect from the program? 

By accessing our exclusive network of cross-industry leaders and experts in circularity and data, you will learn from real company examples and best practices and enhance your data capabilities. The program doesn't focus on developing a digital platform to share data; instead, it offers guidance to navigate and overcome data complexities to enable data sharing practices.

Who can apply to the program?

Nordic businesses in a collaboration working on a circular initiative with collaborative partners. Eligibility criteria: 

  1. Geographic Location: The applying company must operate in the one of the Nordic countries (Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Greenland, Faroe Islands or the Åland Islands). Industry: The application is open to all industries, with priority given to Manufacturing, Construction, Automotive, Textile, Battery, and Electronics.
  2. Collaboration Type: A collaboration refers to partnerships between several actors, working on a circular initiative that require information and data sharing. The maturity of your collaboration could vary, e.g., early-stage (initial phase of data sharing with partners) or more established (mature collaborations formalized into a circular initiative), however, the aim should be to scale your circular initiative. Examples of circular initiative are detailed under "Application Categories". 
  3. Collaboration Size: Encouraging collaborations of all sizes to apply, with priority given to larger collaborations involving three or more partners. Size is based on the number of partners (i.e., companies, organizations, etc.) in the collaboration.
How do I apply?

Nordic businesses in a collaboration working on a circular initiative with collaborative partners. Eligibility criteria:

  • Mobilize the team. Choose who will participate in the program from the collaboration, preferably one from each collaborating company/organization.
  • Designate a main contact person to fill out the application form on behalf of the collaboration.
  • Apply here

What is a collaboration?

A collaboration involves diverse partners working together across and/or outside of the value chain to drive a circular initiative. The partners can be product designers, suppliers, manufacturers, logistics provider, recyclers, non-profit organizations, governmental organizations, academic institutions, or similar. The collaborations can vary in maturity and type of circular initiative, for example, address traceability, market platforms, waste reduction, transportation optimization, and product performance. 

Which people from the collaboration should participate?

  • We recommend at least 1 person from each partner in the collaboration to attend the program. A suggested approach is selecting individuals who regularly face data-related challenges to participate in the program.
  • Depending on the type of circular initiative, relevant individuals will differ. For example, people with the following insights could be relevant to include: sustainability, procurement, individuals with supplier and customer dialogue, product knowledge, technology, data, etc.
  • You can later decide whether the entire team attends all sessions or if specific individuals join certain sessions based on roles, expertise, and project contributions, ensuring effective collaboration throughout the program.
I have a question that is not answered here. Who can I ask? 

No problem, just send an email to silje.hansen.eeg@accenture.com

Want to know more?

Download the detailed info about the Accelerator program. (PDF)

Contacts

Hanna Törmänen Innovation Adviser

Hanna Törmänen

Senior Innovation Adviser
Hanna has background in Nordic and international exports, public-private cooperation, project management and market analysis. Her focus at Nordic Innovation is to support Nordic businesses and ecosystems in their transition towards sustainable and circular business models.

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Marthe Haugland - Senior Innovation Adviser

Marthe Haugland

Senior Innovation Adviser
Marthe combines her international experience with her knowledge of business development and innovation to promote Nordic cooperation within the circular economy. She belives Nordic cooperation can drive the systemic change and give Nordic companies a competitive edge going forward.

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Ville Mäkinen portret

Ville Mäkinen

Senior Innovation Adviser
Ville has broad experience in strategy, business development and corporate venture capital roles in industrial corporations striving towards green transition. He has also worked in corporate finance advisory. He holds M.Sc in Industrial Engineering and Management as well as M.Sc in Accounting and Finance.

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