Madrid + Circular is a new technological consortium in the Community of Madrid led by Repsol and in which IMDEA Energy participates with the aim of encouraging public-private collaboration in the region. This innovation hub will focus its efforts on developing new technologies that enable the use of all types of waste as new raw materials to produce sustainable materials and fuels with the integration of renewable energy sources. Due to its relevance, it has been selected by the Community of Madrid as part of the Regional Research and Innovation Strategy for Smart Specialisation.
The Madrid + Circular hub is based at the company's Repsol Technology Lab research centre in Móstoles, which brings together some 240 scientists and researchers from different disciplines such as biotechnology, engineering, mathematics, computational chemistry and electrochemistry, among many others.
Institute IMDEA Energy, a foundation belonging to the Community of Madrid that develops its activities in the field of renewable energies and clean energy technologies, also participates in this initiative. Since its creation in 2006, the centre has carried out high-impact R&D activities in the energy sector and was accredited in 2020 with the "María de Maeztu" Recognition of Excellence awarded by the State Research Agency.
The other members of the project are Ariema, the Spanish benchmark company in hydrogen and fuel cell technologies; Seenso Renoval, a Spanish company that since 2004 has led the development for the thermal use of solar energy; and EvoEnzyme, a CSIC biotechnology-based spin-off with extensive experience in biocatalysis and the first Spanish company in directed enzyme evolution.
For two years, the partners will promote the region's circular economy through projects throughout the value chain, addressing key aspects such as the characterisation and segregation of all types of waste, including urban waste, used plastics and different types of oils. In addition, the consortium will explore new technological routes to transform this waste into value-added products such as circular materials, advanced biofuels and renewable hydrogen, among others, contributing to the decarbonisation of society.
The Community of Madrid, through the Regional Ministry of Education and Research, has valued the strategic importance of this initiative for the Madrid economy by supporting it with funds within the framework of the Regional Research and Innovation Strategy for Smart Specialisation (RIS3). In this way, the Community of Madrid values not only innovation, but also the use of the circular economy as a tool to achieve a more efficient and sustainable management, in this case, through the use of waste as raw material, allowing its revaluation in high added value products with lower carbon footprint and reducing the amount that ends up in a landfill.