Chapter 1 Introduction to the Research Handbook of Innovation for a Circular Economy
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Circular economy has presented itself as a viable concept and solution for the accelerating resource extraction, consumption and piles of waste and pollution destroying our natural ecosystems. Although the circular economy principles of using resources and materials as long as possible is conceptually easy to grasp, implementation is challenging and depends on the collective effort of all actors, at institutional, organisational and individual levels. Due to the lack of knowledge on how actors enable the circular economy transition, innovation studies are key for understanding how the circular economy may go from being a promising concept, to an integrated part of all economic activity. This edited volume focuses on enhancing our understanding of the relations between circular economy and innovation, and how actors at different levels may facilitate the transition towards a circular economy. The collective findings from this handbook offers inspiring empirical examples of circular innovations at the system, organisational and individual levels, illustrating that the transition towards a circular economy is on its way. However, most circular innovations are incremental, which calls for more coordinated and radical innovation efforts to fully realize a circular economy. In sum this book provides practitioners, policy makers and researchers with ample encouragement of pushing the understanding and the development of circular economy innovations further.