Envision it: The Netherlands, 2050 – The transition to a sustainable society with a carbon-neutral circular industry is well under way. Smaller flexible factories operate in close proximity to the consumer. New business models mean that products are leased rather than sold to customers and taken back after use.

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Start today and help build a circular industry by 2050

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The success of this transition to a sustainable ecosystem of smart digital factories and smart chains requires that all parties involved meet several important requirements. It is essential for all players in the chain to work together and start digitising their processes. Industrial processes need to be redesigned and adapted and this requires the use of new technology.

Christa Hooijer, Science Director Industry at TNO: “Now is the time to take action to work towards maximum reuse of materials, minimisation of waste, carbon-neutral production and generation of sustainable renewable energy. Digitisation is essential to monitor the use, loss and condition of the materials used throughout the production chain.

Climate change compels us to move to a circular industry

Digitization in the manufacturing industry

The prospect of material shortages and inevitable climate change forces us to unite and take action. The recent pandemic simply underscored the importance of resources and production chains and showed what changes are needed. Europe faces a major digitisation challenge.

achieving a FULL CIRCULAR industry IS ESSENTIALLY A Digitisation CHALLENGE

Timeline for the Neterlands

TNO has published a paper that describes the steps the Netherlands needs to take to become a world-leading supplier of automated systems for high-tech factories. The aim is to enable factories to operate sustainably. TNO notes that the Netherlands has several very strong regional technology ecosystems, especially in the chip technology, shipbuilding, agro and food industries. 3D printing is expected to play an important role. In the paper, TNO outlines a timeline for the Netherlands.

A glimpse of the future: A circular car industry

Our vision of 2050 - All cars are fully electric. We no longer own cars. Traditional car dealers and garages have disappeared and been replaced by new production chains and new forms of use. Manufacturers build sustainable cars equipped with sensors that send the manufacturer real-time data about the status of each part and its use. Small parts are manufactured on demand by specialised 3D print shops. Larger parts are supplied by the refurbishment facility in your region. When too many parts of your car reach the end of their service life, the manufacturer delivers a new one to you. Your old car is fully recycled at the factory.


Learn more about the road to a circular industry

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Mark Courage MSc MBA

  • Director Smart Industry