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CIRCULAR ECONOMY AND SUSTAINABLE PROJECTS IN THE SPOTLIGHT AT MAKER FAIREME ROMA 2023

Innovators, makers and visionaries promote a circular and sustainable future

Today, sustainability has an important role, becoming a crucial objective to preserve our planet and guarantee prosperity for future generations. The growing awareness of climate change, the depletion of natural resources, and environmental pollution have pushed us to reflect carefully on our habits and spending.

From this systemic rethinking, the circular economy has established itself as a fundamental concept and viable path for a sustainable tomorrow. Maker Faire Rome 2023 is an event that projects into the future and is, therefore, an opportunity not to be missed to learn about innovators who, following their visions, have launched sustainable and circular projects, promoting change following a bottom-up innovation logic. With this year’s edition, traveling into a sustainable future will also be possible, meeting green innovation protagonists inside the “Life” pavilion.

Circular economy: what it is and how it works

A circular economy represents a radical remodeling of producing, consuming, and managing resources. Contrary to a traditional linear economic model, in which resources are used, transformed into products, and discarded, a circular economy promotes a continuous cycle of reuse, recycling, and repair. This approach aims to minimize waste while preserving the value of materials and resources. Following the dictates of the circular economy, products should be designed to maximize their longevity and facilitate the separation of materials at the end of their life cycle. This reduces environmental impact and increases economic opportunities, creating new recycling and regeneration markets and skills.

Circular economy and bottom-up innovation: makers’ projects

Maker Faire Rome 2023 is ready to host sustainable and innovative projects that promote active change within our societies by setting concrete and inspiring examples. The fair will be ideal to learn about bottom-up innovation initiatives promoted by Makers who want to spark needed social transformation. Today’s circular economy is more than a theoretical concept. It’s a reality that can transform our way of living and working, offering the possibility to contribute to a better world for present and future generations.

Circular Farm is a circular urban farm where “nothing is created, and nothing is destroyed, but everything is transformed.” The circulatory system of nature inspires this agricultural company in Scandicci (outside of Florence) which specializes in producing edible Pleurotus espresso mushrooms from coffee grounds — that are recovered and transformed into substrate — and medicinal mushrooms such as Shiitake. The mushrooms are cultivated in insulated shipping containers in innovative vertical systems. The company also grows microgreens and vegetables from soilless systems in synergistic raised gardens. Instead of waste, useful hot water is produced from the recovery of the mushroom substrate with a thermo-composting plant and earthworm hummus generated through earthworm farming. Circular Farm’s cultivation innovation is aquaponics — without soil or mineral fertilizers. People who want to learn more can attend courses, workshops, or training sessions.  

While Circular Farm creates a no-waste product, Cycled You offers a circular economy directly for the user by transforming used bike tires into personalized handmade belts. Customers send their used tires to Cycled You and receive a sustainable accessory made in Italy — from material collection to packaging and shipping. The mission is simple: do your part to make a positive choice for the environment by extending the life of an object. With this vision as part of its daily operations, Cycled You is a leading example of up-cycling.

PlanetART is an initiative led by GenB and BlueMissionMed to raise public awareness about the circular economy. GenB is a European project that aims to educate new generations about environmental awareness, sustainability, and circularity. The ultimate goal is to increase knowledge about the bioeconomy and the importance of having an active role in the transition to renewable energy. BlueMissionMed, is also a Europe-based project supported as part of the “Restore our Ocean and Waters” plan. It works to inspire and connect with actors who can support the prevention and elimination of pollution in the Mediterranean basin. The project is divided into two parts: the first is dedicated to the green economy, which offers a bioeconomy recreational program for young people. At Maker Faire Rome 2023, people can learn more through games, workshops, escape rooms, books such as “Let’s Discover the Bioeconomy,” bioproducts, and interactions with artists who use residual materials and biomaterials. A second part of the project will be to interact with “Our Blue Treasure,” a walk that expresses the connection with the sea and how to mitigate pollution. There will also be artists who use recovered plastic.

FAE Technology and the My Maker PCBA contest

Maker Faire Rome 2023 will be a center of change and sustainable innovation. The event is ready to consider some of the greatest challenges of our time, such as protecting our planet. For this purpose, in addition to filling the “Life” pavilion with stimulating and creative projects, a contest, born from the collaboration between makers and companies, will aim to build a better future and generate a positive impact through the power of ideas. With an awareness of how electronics can improve the world, Maker Faire Rome and FAE Technology are inaugurating “My Maker PCBA: your electronics for a better planet, a contest highlighting electronics projects that improve sustainability and quality of life. An evaluation committee will select three winners to be awarded the creation of 1 to 10 FAE-sponsored prototypes and the chance to present their projects during Maker Faire; September 22 is the last day to register for the contest.

FAE Technology is a design, embedded electronics, and industrial design Benefit Corporation. From a single idea, the company generates solutions and validates or transforms them into industrial products or methodologies to customize the supply chain. Its goal is to enable technological innovation quickly. It does this with the belief that technology and sustainability go together and imagines a future in which electronics will be increasingly indispensable to respond to challenges.

 

Maker Faire Rome – The European Edition has been committed since its very first editions to make innovation accessible and usable to all, with the aim of not leaving anyone behind. Its blog is always updated and full of opportunities and inspiration for makers, makers, startups, SMEs and all the curious ones who wish to enrich their knowledge and expand their business, in Italy and abroad.

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