UCA creatives are using design to produce new thinking on what a circular economy might look like - where waste is eliminated, and materials are reused.

Our academics are leaders in developing approaches to and understanding of circular design, with a particular emphasis on solutions related to innovation, products, technologies, services and systems through projects, training, events, networks and information.

Circular Innovations

Based in the Business School for the Creative Industries at UCA Epsom, the Centre for Sustainable Design (CfSD) has built world-class knowledge and expertise of sustainable innovation and product sustainability with extensive Knowledge Exchange activities, including:

  • Farnham Repair Café was featured in one of UCA’s REF2021 Impact Case Studies. In partnership with Farnham Town Council and Spire Church, it was set up as a community initiative and ‘living laboratory’.
  • Circular Ocean is a project that inspires enterprises and entrepreneurs to realise the hidden opportunities of discarded fishing nets and ropes in the Northern Periphery & Arctic (NPA) region.
  • Operational Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment Methodology Supporting Decisions Towards a Circular Economy (Horizon 2020) EU Project Three-year project. Total project awarded Euros 1,817,254. UCA awarded Euros 201,629 (£182,614), start date of January 2021.

Arts & Creative Ecosystems

We develop capacity building by exploiting arts and creative and cultural industries (CCI) strategic innovation in the economy and society through knowledge exchange with a variety of industry and government stakeholders at local, national and international levels, including:

  • Innovation in the arts and creative and cultural industries. We are currently part of the UK consortium pre-selected for the new Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC) in the Cultural and Creative Sectors and Industries (CCSI) of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT).
  • Creative and cultural entrepreneurship. We are partners in the international research project “Crowdfunding in the Culture Sector: Adoption, Effects and Implications (CROWDCUL)”, funded by the Research Council of Norway (project coordinator: Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, grant £704,385). The project was launched in 2020 and will run through 2024. To learn more about and stay up to date with our activities please visit CROWDCUL.
  • Digital and technology innovation in the creative and cultural industries. British Academy-UKRI awarded us a Pump Priming grant to support international collaboration in cutting-edge research and digital innovation in the arts and culture and socio-economic impact.
  • The art market. Our entrepreneurial attitude also characterises the co-founding and co-steering of the international interdisciplinary forum Researching Art Markets Past &Present: Tools for the Future (RAMP). Since then, RAMP has seen a steady growth of an international community of hundreds of art-market scholars as well as practitioners from six continents, meeting and exchanging knowledge, research and best practices through international workshops, peer-reviewed publications and a wider dissemination and other initiatives. Big Data and the business of the contemporary art market have seen our collaboration with a major leader in data provision Arfacts.net.
  • The arts and creative and cultural industries for local development and inclusiveness. creative and cultural industry policy design, capacity building and assessment is other key area of our experience and expertise. We are experts in UNESCO’s Inclusive Policy Lab.

Consumer Research and Big Data Analytics

Consumers stand in the centre of the circular economy and are pivotal in shaping policies. Production and consumption systems in the circular economy are strongly linked; this system not only responds to but also shapes demand through marketing strategies and advertising.

At UCA, a team of world-leading behavioural scientists with strong commercial backgrounds will support you in exploring hidden insights from your customers throughout their journey in the circular economy. Our experts have successfully helped many organisations to manage the ‘big data':

  • Track and visualise the key performance indicators.
  • Segment customers.
  • Predict behaviour.
  • Explore cognitive drivers and barriers in the purchase and post-purchase decisions.