On June 24th, 2021, IRT SystemX and NTU have signed an extension to their Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), and thus confirm their ambition to consolidate their strategic collaboration to broaden the scope of their common interests by addressing issues around data Driven approaches to circular economy & industry energy efficiency, autonomous mobility and electromobility. This collaboration also supports SystemX’s ambition to open up new research topics, in accordance with its 2025 strategic plan.
In 2017, IRT SystemX (Institute of Technological Research) and NTU (Nanyang Technological University) initiated a strategic collaboration on research and development of activities related to autonomous transport systems.
The topic of circular economy is very important for both parties.
Indeed, industrial business profit models are commonly based on the continuous launching of new manufactured products. This unstoppable rhythm is very harmful for the environment as it increases considerably the use of energetic and material resources as well as the waste, and carbon emissions, etc.
Recently, an emerging society more sensible to the environment is favoring new alternative models considering the repair or recovery of obsolete products. This society aspiration is also accompanied by the governmental incentives to address concrete environmental objectives.
Pain points are located at several levels, they are obstacles towards an efficient adoption of the circular economy approach, and they delay the good impact on environment. First, a clear comprehension of the system dynamics aspects as well as the products life cycle is lacking. Second, the knowledge of the stakeholders taking part in a multipartite circular economic system is missing. Third, new business models may be adopted for an alternative and disruptive approach.
A pragmatic approach linking the environment and the market mechanisms has to be implemented to encourage recycling and reduce the programmed obsolescence while insuring an economic viability to the industry, and satisfaction to the end-users.
A digitized traceability along all the life cycle of the product is a must. It brings a comprehensive and visual control on the used materials. Furthermore, advanced Digital technologies as well as expertise in eco-design and economy are key skills for the comprehension of habits and consequently the recommendation of eco-friendly behaviors.
The strategic collaboration between NTU and SystemX aims to address these challenging issues with promising solutions.