Innovation in the Furniture Industry in the era of circular economy
The EU furniture industry is a labour-intensive sector dominated by small and medium-sized enterprises, employing around 1 million workers in 130.000 companies, with an annual turnover of around 110 billion € and responsible for 1⁄4 of the world’s furniture (Eurostat).
The current challenges are mainly represented by an increasing competition from countries with lower production costs, increasing raw materials and labor costs, the aging of the European workforce and difficulties in attracting younger workers.
The reconversion of the industry applying circularity has the potential to tackle those challenges, through repairing, refurbishment and remanufacture, allowing value recovery, economic growth and job creation within the European furniture industry, while saving on resources and the environment.
A set of Living Labs, MOOCs and other innovative learning materials have been conceived to make INFURI concretely support furniture companies in a path towards sustainability, namely through the equipment of employees with relevant skills related to circularity, circular procurement and corporate social responsibility; the spread of innovative, sustainable and more competitive circular business models; the enhancement of the networking potential and the promotion of synergies and cooperation among businesses, universities, research centres and other relevant stakeholders operating in the sector.
Launched in December 2020, the project has been funded under the Erasmus+ program to a partnership made up of 9 organisations from 7 European countries: The Netherlands, Poland, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain.
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