The Circular Revolution
Riversimple presents innovation centre to help businesses embrace the circular economy
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Published: 13 March 2021
This Article was Written by: Katie Hill - My Green Pod
Welsh hydrogen car manufacturer Riversimple has announced the launch of the Circular Revolution – a Circular Economy Innovation Centre for Wales.
When Riversimple’s cars go into production, they will be offered to customers on a subscription basis, where a monthly fee will cover everything from the car and maintenance to insurance and all fuel.
The goal is to bring new technology to market and make efficiency profitable without asking the customer to pay a premium for it.
The Circular Revolution will take the same thinking up into the supply chain to see how it could be applied to real-life business challenges.
‘It is a privilege to be afforded this opportunity to host the centre and drive circular thinking forward globally from Wales. While there is a lot of enthusiasm for the concept of circular business models, they are hard to adopt and embrace fully. With Circular Revolution’s pilot programme, we are uniquely positioned to trial, test and refine this research on a real small business in Wales, Riversimple.’
Promoting circular business
Designed and delivered in partnership with Swansea University and the University of Exeter, the Circular Revolution is the first business-led hub in the UK focused on circular thinking.
The £2.3m operation is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government, which is contributing over £1.5m.
The Circular Revolution will be run from a dedicated centre in Riversimple’s HQ in Llandrindod Wells, and will deliver two programmes of activity.
The first is an outreach programme for business in West Wales and the Valleys who are keen to engage with more sustainable products, services and business models.
Swansea University and the University of Exeter will be supporting companies in discovering the latest practices and exploring how to embed circular principles into their business.
The second programme of activity is pioneering research and innovation aimed at tackling the specific challenges businesses face in adopting a sale of service circular model.
Six pilot projects will focus on developing procurement, computation systems and legal frameworks.
‘With businesses increasingly aware of the need to embed sustainability at the heart of organisations, the Circular Revolution provides an excellent opportunity to connect Welsh industry to the expertise in our universities, creating new opportunities and enabling Wales to be at the forefront of circular economy.’
DR GAVIN BUNTING
Associate Professor from Swansea University
Riversimple’s hydrogen car
Riversimple has also announced an investment round to raise £150 million over the next three years, which would fund two manufacturing plants.
The Powys-based firm aims to start commercial production of its eco coupe, the Rasa, in 2023, and a light goods vehicle the following year.
It is estimated that each plant would create around 220 direct skilled jobs, making 5,000 vehicles per annum, as well as indirect jobs with suppliers.
Currently, Riversimple is building a low-volume production run of Rasas for a trial with the general public based in Abergavenny in Monmouthshire. The trial is being supported by OZEV as part of the HTP programme.