Defining the relevance of
eco-design in Horizon Europe

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Eco-design in Horizon Europe

The growing dependence on products and services in the global economy leads to a considerable increase in the consumption of resources and the production of waste, which significantly impacts the environment, causing problems such as climate change, pollution and the decline of biodiversity. To address these challenges, a new design philosophy has emerged.

The European Union’s research and innovation programme, Horizon Europe, focuses on eco-design results, and aims to support research and innovation that contributes to a more sustainable future for Europe. Most of the calls and themes are in Clusters 4-5-6, and in the period 2023-2024 a budget of 307 million euros is proposed for the topics, which include ecodesign activities to a greater or lesser extent. Horizon Europe seeks to encourage eco-design to reduce the environmental impact of products and services, create new green business models and promote innovation in key areas such as renewable energy, sustainable mobility and the circular economy.

Reducing environmental impact from the start

It seeks to apply an environmental impact reduction perspective from the extraction of raw materials to the total disposal of products, including steps such as production, transport, distribution, use and 3R actions (reduce, reuse, recycle). Ecodesign focuses on minimising environmental impact by considering factors such as energy efficiency, resource use, waste reduction and the use of environmentally friendly materials and technologies.

Furthermore, eco-design contributes to the circular economy model, which seeks to reduce waste and keep resources in use for as long as possible. Designing products and services that are easily reusable, repairable, renewable and recyclable not only reduces waste and conserves resources, but also generates new business opportunities and supports economic growth. Horizon Europe aims to support the development of new technologies and systems that promote eco-design. The programme covers a wide range of processes and technologies including biodegradable materials, renewable energy sources, advanced manufacturing practices and smart systems that optimise the use of resources.The new Right to Repair regulation could encourage manufacturers and designers to incorporate eco-design actions into their industrial processes in anticipation of user demands.

In short, eco-design is a key aspect of sustainable development and a fundamental pillar of Horizon Europe. By focusing on eco-design and the circular economy, HorizDefon Europe plays a crucial role in promoting innovation and supporting sustainable development in Europe and beyond.

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