|Mohammed Ali Berawi||Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Indonesia (UI), Kampus UI Depok, Depok 16424, Indonesia|
Building on my 2019 editorial note from last year on managing nature 5.0 in the industrial revolution 4.0 and society 5.0 era, I would like to expand our discussion on how the concept can be a booster for the circular economy. Innovative digital technology supported by a human-centered society is required to balance our economic advancement and environmental regeneration. Nature has provided us with useful resources that speed up the growth of our industries and economies and their shift toward sustainability. The well-being of our future will be dependent on how we can produce technology that can govern our climate, health, social equity, and stability.
The circular economy is defined as a redesign of industrial systems to make them restorative and regenerative. The system aims to eliminate waste and continually use resources by reusing end life-cycle products and product waste, and recycling them for other uses or as regenerative resources for nature. As such, the circular economy becomes a systemic economic approach that contributes to the environment and yields society-wide benefits.
Managing Innovation in the Circular Economy
Innovation thus plays an important role in the development and implementation of the circular economy in which all production and consumption chains must be effective and efficient. Digital technologies increase production and resource efficiency in order to contribute to business performance improvement.
The digital technologies, such as big data, artificial intelligence, internet of things, 3D printing, and machine learning, could be used to improve project, product, and service delivery in different industries and to create value added. The technologies should be created to support economic and social development goals, such as economic, social, health, education and environmental sustainability.
The technologies have been used to enhance productivity, increase the quality of education, enhance quality of life, and promote healthy lives for everyone. For example, we are using technology to tackle global challenges, such as for Covid-19 pandemic-related health improvement and virtual activities. Furthermore, the cities are more sustainable in terms of providing economic resource sharing, autonomous mobility systems, zero-emission industrial products, recycling materials and food organic urban to name few. Digital technology solutions can be used to integrate circular economy principles from the design stage to the post construction/manufacturing stage. The technological revolution has made it possible to transform entire systems of production, management, and governance into more effective and efficient systems in connected societies. With current advances, digital technology has the power to support the circular economy by increasing productivity, efficient and effective resource usage, and the digital ecosystem.
The creation of new technologies that foster research and stimulate innovation is thus required. These processes can be boosted by strengthened knowledge sharing and collaboration among stakeholders in both national and international contexts. The plans and execution actions to achieve the circular economy require strong collaboration from various stakeholders. Governments need to produce robust policy and legal frameworks for implementing the economic system by providing incentives as well as mitigating barriers, business industries need to produce added value via eco-friendly products and services, and society requires positive behaviors in terms of utilizing recycling products and waste reduction. Intensive collaboration in private and public partnerships will accelerate appropriate and sustainable technology development, scale-up, and transfer in order to generate more social benefits and reduce environmental impacts alongside economic returns.