Circularity goes Digital

Circularity goes Digital is an initiative that aims to launch an acceleration process for the adoption of the circular economy model by Italian companies through digital technologies and open innovation.

In an age when the transition to creating new business models is increasingly necessary, companies are called to rethink their strategies and actions.

It is necessary to reduce the negative impacts of the current economic model, such as the consumption of limited natural resources and the indiscriminate production of waste. It is also necessary to change perspective to migrate towards a new business process, able to overcome the rigid industrial models of “take-make-mistake” and to adopt a circular vision that aims to redefine economic and social growth.

Circularity goes Digital was born to respond to these needs. The initiative is promoted by Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center, a company of Intesa Sanpaolo Group dedicated to the frontier of innovation, Cariplo Factory, the innovation hub created by Fondazione Cariplo, and Microsoft, a leading company in the technology sector, and will be created by Circular Economy Lab (CE Lab ), the Cariplo Factory and Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center laboratory created to support circular business models and accompany companies towards the new economic-production model.

The initiative aims to map the most qualified innovative solutions, through the scouting of digital startups, and to spread a circular open innovation model to support the circular transformation of companies through new partnership opportunities.

Circularity goes Digital is aimed at post-seed startups and innovative small and medium-sized enterprises, able to operate in an open innovation ecosystem capable of focusing on technological and financial tools to support new transformative models in a circular perspective along with the entire supply chain.


Scouting Areas

Circularity goes Digital intends to enhance the opportunities offered by open innovation for the benefit of companies engaged in the transition to the circular economy, by selecting innovative solutions belonging to three specific areas:

    Accelerate the design of zero waste products and processes based on renewable sources.
    Increase the effectiveness and optimize the business models of the circular economy, especially with a view to an integrated supply chain.
    Develop the infrastructure needed to keep products and materials in use longer.


Some examples of Enabling Technologies, hardware, and software, which can undermine the linear economy paradigm by pursuing objectives from a circular perspective:

  • 3D printing
  • Apps
  • Big Data
  • Blockchain
  • Data visualization
  • Dynamic optimization
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Internet of Things
  • Machine Learning
  • E-Commerce platforms
  • Social platforms
  • Predictive analytics
  • Virtual/Augmented Reality
  • Automation & Robotics
  • Cloud service


Phases and Timings 

3 September – 7 November 2020 Scouting and Candidacy Collection

Projects interested in participating must apply no later than 11.59 pm on 7 November 2020.

15 December 2020 | Speed Date Networking

The selected innovative startups and SMEs will have the opportunity to participate in an interactive workshop and matchmaking meetings with interested corporate.

January – May 2020 | Circular Transformation Path

In the first six months of 2021, collaborations between corporate companies and selected startups & SMEs will be activated, through the definition of any pilot projects and their development through the definition of an activity plan. In this phase, Microsoft will ensure technical support and access to Microsoft for startups programs, while Intesa Sanpaolo will be responsible for evaluating the projects for possible access to its credit limit – dedicated to the circular economy.



Applications are officially closed.