On 15 December, Jaya Ratnam, Ambassador of Singapore, and Henk Snoeken, Deputy Director of International Affairs of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and thirteen partners, including KWR, signed a covenant, creating the PIB Cluster ReCirc Singapore. This covenant connects the partners in the exploration and realization of circular solutions in the field of sludge and waste processing and resource recovery solutions, both in Singapore and the Netherlands.
Idsart Dijkstra signed the covenant on behalf of KWR. The circular economy is an important theme for KWR, including in the new WiCE program (water in the circular economy), and in the TKI Water Technology research. KWR is also founding father of Watershare, an international network that brings together knowledge and expertise in Communities of Practice (CoPs), containing a CoP Resource Recovery & Upcycling. The cooperation agreement ReCirc fits well with the above activities and with this the link with Singapore can be further tightened with, among other things, knowledge exchange and research. The consortium starts with the PIB ReCirc program (2018-2020), creating the basis for a Centre of Excellence on Resource Recovery for Circular Economy (2021 and beyond).
Many similarities between Singapore and the Netherlands
This cooperation came about because the initiators, together with Singaporean partners, concluded last year that there are many similarities between Singapore and the Netherlands: both countries have limited natural resources, limited land space, are densely built, and are facing an ageing population which puts pressure on productivity. These similarities can be benefited by working together, exchanging knowledge and jointly exploring new markets and solutions. The Dutch embassy in Singapore has embraced this initiative, and together with RvO.nl, ReCirc Singapore has developed within the Partners for International Business (PIB) programme of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Knowledge, know-how and business
ReCirc Singapore is built as a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) of RvO.nl: a coalition between business, government, civil society organizations and knowledge institutions. The cooperation within this covenant focuses on pragmatic solutions, more applied R&D, business development and cross sectorial collaboration. The following critical topics will be tackled:
- Incinerated Bottom Ash and Fly Ash Treatment and Application as Building Material
- Sorting, Separating, Segregating and Recycling of Urban Waste
- Integrated Recovery of Renewable Energy and Resources from Waste, Used Water and UWTP Sludge
- Packaging and Plastic Waste Management and Treatment
- Food Waste Management, Treatment and Resource Recovery
- E-waste Handling and Recovery of Valuable Materials
In ReCirc Singapore the following companies and institutes are working together: Witteveen+Bos (cluster coordinator), Waternet, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions, Nijhuis Industries, Paques, CirTec, World of Walas, Asia Pacific Breweries, Organic Village, KWR Watercycle Research Institute, Delft University of Technology, Wageningen University and Research and Upp! UpCycling Plastic.