European Commission logo
English English
CORDIS - EU research results

Collaborative production for the circular economy; a community approach

Project description

Circular collaborative production in urban areas

Promoting a more circular production paradigm, engaging communities, and promoting urban and community development can be achieved through collaborative production in cities. The EU-funded Pop-Machina project will create a network of existing and new communities in urban areas, and use cutting-edge technologies (factory-of-the-future, blockchain) to engage urban planning, boost social dialogue, recognise local needs in training and skills development. Successful case studies will be learned from to develop a framework for implementing circular collaborative production in urban areas. This framework will be tested in living labs in seven cities: Leuven (Belgium), Thessaloniki and Piraeus (Greece), Kaunas (Lithuania), Venlo (The Netherlands), Santander (Spain), and Istanbul (Turkey).


POP-MACHINA aims to demonstrate the power and potential of the maker movement and collaborative production for the EU circular economy. We draw from a number of cut-edge technologies (factory-of-the-future, blockchain) and disciplines (urban planning, architecture) to provide the support necessary to overcome scaling issues; a typical drawback of collaborative production; to find the areas more in need of our intervention and to reconfigure unused spaces. We put forth an elaborate community engagement program to network, incentivize and stimulate through maker faires and events existing and new maker communities in all our municipalities. We build upon the current informal curriculum for maker skills development by nurturing the social side and we put educators and makers together to exchange ideas on the training modalities. A particular focus on the skill development of women and vulnerable groups will aim to empower these (underrepresented) segments to partake actively in collaborative production. In every pilot area we will demonstrate business oriented collaborative production of feasible and sustainable concepts from secondary raw material or other sustainable inputs, based on the needs and preferences of the local stakeholders. A thorough impact assessment framework with increased scope (e.g. social) will be co-designed with stakeholders after short basic assessment trainings and will be used in the assessment of our pilot work. Based on the findings we will kick-start a series of policy events to discuss openly – without pushing our results – the tax and legal barriers that hamper collaborative production.

Call for proposal


See other projects for this call

Sub call



Net EU contribution
€ 1 560 417,50
3000 Leuven

See on map

Vlaams Gewest Prov. Vlaams-Brabant Arr. Leuven
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 1 560 417,50

Participants (23)