Sovereign Value Cycles

© © Fraunhofer UMSICHT
Die rein fossilbasierte, lineare Wertschöpfung muss neu gedacht werden und sich zu einer zirkulären, souveränen Wertschöpfung transformieren.

Project objective: Development of sovereign, sustainable and circular value cycles

Consumers are increasingly opting for sustainable products and services. Companies are faced with the challenge of meeting the increased demand through responsible action. Therefore, the purely fossil-based, linear value creation must be rethought and transformed into a circular, sovereign value creation. To this end, Fraunhofer is working with a total of 14 institutes to develop a Fraunhofer Charter, which sets the guidelines for an R&D roadmap for research into sovereign value cycles, a new production and consumption concept. The core of the charter is a Corporate Sustainability Platform (CSP) for physical and digital products.

Project benefit: Sustainable consumption and production

Industrialized nations are dependent on imports and exports as well as long, difficult to control trade routes. Companies have delegated sovereignty over processes and products to global supply systems, whose structures are difficult to understand and difficult to develop in a sustainable manner. Global supply chains often lack transparency about which raw materials, additives, semi-finished products or components used and which environmental and occupational safety standards are complied. Sustainability, resilience and flexibility have an enormous impact on the social and economic value of products; in addition, the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goal 12 provides for sustainable consumption and production. The Fraunhofer approach to this is new because it relies on the knowledge-based, digital representation of entire value cycles.

Sovereign decisions for companies and consumers

Tomorrow's value creation must become more sustainable, more intelligent and above all more circular. Sovereign value creation cycles are replacing global value chains. To facilitate this transformation, Fraunhofer is developing a charter that sets the guidelines for an R&D roadmap for research into sovereign value cycles. It is Fraunhofer's commitment to how consumption and production can be made sustainable through application-oriented research and development - in the short, medium and long term.

To this end, Fraunhofer is developing a novel Corporate Sustainability Platform (CSP), which enables confident decisions by companies and consumers on the basis of secure and reliable, credible and customized information on supply chains and production conditions. Currently, 14 institutes are working on the requirements of a CSP for the three lead markets of nutrition, chemicals and energy. These will be linked to complementary research fields (bio-economy, hydrogen, AI), developed on the basis of four technology demonstrators (e.g. muesli bars, child seat, PV module, battery box) from the Fraunhofer lead markets and backed up with business models. In this way, Fraunhofer provides a modular, knowledge-based and digital technology platform as the central hub of the circular economy, creating cross-industry solutions for companies.

Definition: Value creation cycle

A value cycle comprises all stages of raw material extraction, material production, energy supply, product manufacture, product use, refurbishment, repair and the conversion of products or their components into renewed value-added - across established value-added chains.

Projekt partners

Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety, and Energy Technology UMSICHT (project lead)

Fraunhofer Institute for Intelligent Analysis and Information Systems IAIS

Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP

Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology ICT

Fraunhofer Research Institution for Energy Infrastructures and Geothermal Systems IEG

Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB

Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics

Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA

Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE

Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST

Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV

Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology

Fraunhofer Institute for Structural Durability and System Reliability LBF

Project funding

Internal Fraunhofer Support Program Innopush

Project duration

August 2020 to Dezember 2020

Center for Economics of Materials