The TecnoCampus presents the Chair on Circular Economy and Sustainability, promoted by the patronage of the Maresme Consortium for Waste and Aigües de Mataró.
On Friday 5 February, the TecnoCampus presented what is the third university-business chair to be launched since the inauguration of the park. This is the Chair of Circular Economy and Sustainability, which is added to the existing ones, Ageing and Quality of Life and Social and Cooperative Economy. The Chairs, said the general director of the TecnoCampus, Josep Lluís Checa, are an instrument available to universities to work hand in hand with the private sector and public institutions in themes of research and transfer. On this occasion, the creation of the Chair was driven by the two employers: Aigües de Mataró – a public company owned by Mataró City Council – and the Maresme Consortium for Municipal Solid Waste Treatment, chaired by the Mayor of Mataró, David Bote, and managed by Carles Salesa. At the end of the presentation ceremony, Bote pointed out that the Next Generation funds open doors to make investments in areas such as the one to be studied by the Chair of Circular Economy.
The director of the Chair, Sònia Llorens, pointed out that, if we analyze the data on annual consumption and emissions, “we can conclude that our consumption model is absolutely unsustainable, and requires urgent action towards new forms of production and consumption”. Along these lines, the Chair will focus on providing the academic means for research, training, technology transfer, and dissemination to train and empower the agents driving change towards this new, more sustainable model. “In the implementation of the circular economy, we have to reincorporate patterns of behavior from the past and apply new technologies, as well as involving, public entities, industry, and society as a whole.”
Manuel Mas, in his role as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Aigües de Mataró and Chairman of the Chair’s Board of Directors, highlighted the initiative of the Maresme Consortium for Municipal Solid Waste Treatment as a pioneer in Catalonia in its time and expressed his conviction that the commitment now to create the Chair responds to an evolution in society to seek new mechanisms for sustainability. “Aigües de Mataró thought it would be a good option to allocate resources to think about the future and promote an initiative in the field of the university,” said Mas.
During the presentation ceremony, Carles Salesa, from the management of the Maresme Consortium for Municipal Solid Waste Treatment, stressed that in the more than 35 years of the Consortium’s history, the strategic vision has always been a fundamental feature. A vision that has made the Maresme a privileged territory with stable, effective, efficient, self-sufficient and technologically advanced waste management. Traits that, in his words, “have made the Mataró-Maresme brand an international and national benchmark in the field of waste management.” Salesa also referred to the current context, highlighting how the circular economy project, developed over the last few years, has come to light thanks to this strategic vision. For Salesa, moreover, “the Chair is an extraordinary tool which helps us to fill the gap that usually exists between the knowledge part and the practical materialization of the projects”.
In the inaugural lecture, UAB professor emeritus Jordi Batrolí, member of the Chair’s advisory board, stressed that “there are many indicators of the biocapacity of sustainable regeneration of the land”. But, at the same time, he launched this warning: “We cannot exceed the system’s regenerative capacity”.