Towards verifiable Green Future Transformation

One of the most pressing challenges of our time is to keep global warming below the 2.0 °C mark. This goal can only be achieved if trustworthy and verifiable data about the product origin and it’s lifecycle can be shared along the supply chain to drive circular economy.

Welcome to the CircularTech Forum that brings together leading experts, innovators, and stakeholders of the circular economy and digitalization fields.

Our mission is to bridge the gap between the Circular Economy and Digitalization, exploring the latest advancements and challenges in fostering these topics. With a particular focus on financing circular transitions and leveraging digital solutions such as Digital Product Passport (DPP) within this domain.

The CircularTech

The CircularTech is the platform, that aims to spark the international level dialog  between the main stakeholders in the Circular Economy world with different Digital solutions and  Digital Product Passport initiatives in several key product value chains EV Batteries, Textiles, Furniture, Cosmetics, Electronics and Constructions – to assemble the Digital Product Passport “Puzzle” By hand-picking participants we ensure the high quality of impact for everyone.

This Awaits You at CircularTech Forum:

  • Inspiring keynotes from circular economy experts and EU policymakers
  • Panel discussions about the Economic Growth within the Circular Economy and the DPP System
  • Best practices of Circular Economy and Data Integration Startups
  • High quality networking with the most relevant Circular Economy players


moderated by

Global Battery Alliance (GBA)
Cornelius Laaser
Head of unit for resource efficiency and circular economy |
Philipp Horn
Head of Circular Economy Division | European Investment Bank

Featured speakers

We add our speakers on a rolling basis. There will be more within the next weeks.

Ministry of Environment, Agriculture, Nature, and Consumer Protection NRW
Cornelius Laaser
Head of unit for resource efficiency and circular economy |
Philipp Horn
Head of Circular Economy Division | European Investment Bank

Our Partners

Funded by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Industry, Climate Protection and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia

Our Media Partners

Stay Connected!

Dr. Susanne Guth-Orlowski

Chief Innovation & Solution Officer Spherity

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Susanne is founder of the consulting company 4TheRecord, SSI expert, author, podcaster and speaker. Her background is in security technology, and she has 20 years hands-on, technical experience in cryptography.

Today, Susanne is consulting companies and non-profit organisations on how to define IT-Security services and standards and bring them to market. She is a strong believer that technology based on open standards can help reach the climate goals and is currently engaged in defining the technical concepts for a digital, decentralized product passport to enable better repair, reuse, and recycling of products.

Dr. Thomas Ebert

Policy Analyst – Seconded National Expert, DG CONNECT, European Commission

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Thomas Ebert has been working for the German Environment Agency since 2018 as Research and Policy Officer in product policy and circular economy.

In September 2023 he joined DG CONNECT at the European Commission as a Seconded National Expert focusing on the sustainable and digital twin transition.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Manfred Renner

Institute Director Fraunhofer UMSICHT

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Institute Director Fraunhofer UMSICHT| 600+ employees, 78 million turnover

Professor Ruhr University Bochum | Chair of Responsible Process Engineering. As part of his professorship, he shapes the systemic development of the Circular Economy at corporate, regional and European level.

Head of Fraunhofer Cluster of Excellence Circular Plastics Economy CCPE

Since 09/2019 Prof. Renner is a representative of the FhG in the “acatech – Circular Economy Initiative Germany” | Member of working group. Since 03/2019 |

Representative of the FhG in the “Circular Plastics Alliance” of the EU in Brussels.

He has set international standards with his award-winning research work on process engineering using compressed carbon dioxide.

Vice President Corporate Sustainability and Regulatory Affairs Miele

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Christoph Wendker has been working for Miele & Cie. KG since 1988 and has since assumed numerous responsibilities.

Among other things, he worked as a project engineer in the laundry care division and was head of development for tumble dryers.

From November 2012 to the end of 2020, the mechanical engineer was responsible for the Technical Product Management and Environmental Office.

Since January 2021, as Vice President Corporate Sustainability and Regulatory Affairs at Miele, he has been responsible for the overarching sustainability strategy and coordinates the company’s sustainability activities

Michael Kuhndt

Executive Director CSCP

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Michael Kuhndt is the founder and executive director of the Collaborating Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production gGmbH (CSCP) with more than 20 years of experience in international cooperation, development and sustainability.

Mr. Kuhndt has worked with various organizations such as UNEP, UNIDO, the World Bank, ILO, the European Commission, the European Environment Agency, the Wuppertal Institute, the Global e-Sustainability Initiative, GIZ, WWF, various companies in the European retail sector such as REWE, consumer goods industry (REAL) and the ICT sector, as well as ministries and associations of small and medium-sized industries, and has led programs in the areas of: strategy development for One Planet Living, developing approaches for collaborative consumption, up-scaling sustainable business models and value chains, triple bottom line innovation, product stewardship and strategy design, based on multi-actor approaches, at company, value chain and industry level.

He is member of various international boards and expert groups and has published a range of interviews and articles.

Tim Schumacher

Entrepreneur Founding Partner World Fund

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Tim Schumacher is a German Investor and Entrepreneur, with a focus on Impact and Climate Investments.

For over ten years, he was the CEO of publicly traded, which he co-founded. Since 2012, he has founded and/or invested in multiple start-ups like  Eyeo (makers of Adblock Plus),, Zolar, CarbonCloud, Sirplus, Pachama and Ecosia.

Ecosia is especially notable. Ten years after its foundation, it’s now the largest independent European search engine. It uses all its profits to plant trees, and it has until 2020 planted over 100 million trees. Under the roof of Ecosia, Tim Schumacher also very recently co-founded the Ecosia World Fund (see with a focus on Climate Investments

Dr. Claas Heise

Executive Director Corporate Finance Head of Early Stage/ Venture Capital NRW Bank

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For more than 15 years now, Claas Heise is responsible for NRW.Venture, the venture capital activities of NRW.BANK in Düsseldorf, Germany. NRW.Venture includes the management of a family of venture capital funds focused on the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia that together now have made more than 70 investments. He also led over 15 investments in European venture capital funds and managed fund-of-fund activities sponsoring 13 regionally focused seed capital funds. 

From 2006 to 2008, Claas Heise has been a partner at Innovature Capital Partners, an advisory and venture capital / secondary services firm based in the Silicon Valley, California. From 2002 to 2006, he has been the Managing Director for T-Venture of America, the U.S. arm of the Corporate Venture Capital unit of Deutsche Telekom / T-Mobile, based in Foster City, CA, USA. 

He joined Deutsche Telekom in 1995 and held a variety of management positions. He helped to found the enterprise software start-up TRAIAN and joined TRAIAN in October 2000, where he led the partnership business development efforts. 

Claas Heise received his PhD in physics and worked for seven years in science, including a postdoc fellowship at Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass., USA. He won a Feodor Lynen fellowship of Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung and a NASA grant.

Florian Kriependorf

Founder and Managing Director Scrapbees

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Florian is an MBA holder (WHU) and lawyer by profession, boasting 15+ years of expertise in the recycling sector. He has served as General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer and CDO across diverse industries, and notably at the world’s largest stainless steel recycler. Florian’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to found and lead REMETAL and 

His latest venture, ScrapBees, co-founded in 2020 with Software Developer Sebastian Kopsan and Engineer Thilo Hamm, accelerates circularity in the scrap metal industry by accessing the urban micro-mines and connecting them with recyclers and metal producers through a growing swarm of “BeeVans”. By their proprietary tech solution, they are able to track&trace every kilogram of secondary raw material retrieved, making the value chain fully transparent and more efficient.

Emma Wehrwein

Project Manager Digital Business Models eco Verband, Gaia-x

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Emma Wehrwein is the Project Manager Digital Business Models at eco Association for the Internet Industry. She holds a master’s degree of Science and worked as IT Project Manager within the chemical industry for many years before joining eco.

Since 2020 she is heading the Project Management Office for the German Gaia-X Federation Services initiative and is active as Ambassador for Gaia-X via Events and Social Media.

Dr. Holger Berg

Deputy Head of department of Digital Transformation initiative, Wuppertal Klima Institute

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Dr Holger Berg is Vice Director of the Circular Economy Division and Co-Head of the Digital Transformation Research Unit at the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy gGmbH. His research interests focus on the opportunities and influences of the digital transformation on sustainable development, especially with regard to enabling circular economy. A specific interest are Digital Product Passports and Circular Economy Data Spaces. 

Holger Berg is member of various advisory boards on the interface of digital transformation and circular economy. He has long-term experience as a coach to start-ups and innovators, and represents Wuppertal Institute as Co-Lead Partner of the UNEP initiative Digital for Circular Economy (D4CE).

Tim Wilms

Managing Director Remondis Electrorecycling

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Tim Wilms embarked on his career journey by earning a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and entrepreneurship within the circular economy sector from 2011 to 2017. 

In 2017, Tim Wilms ventured into the corporate world, taking on the role of a Trainee in Key Account Management at TSR Recycling GmbH & Co. KG. His diligence and capability led to his promotion to the position of Key Account Manager from 2018 to 2019, showcasing his ability to thrive in demanding professional environments.

From 2019 to 2022, Tim assumed the position of Managing Director at TSR Südwestfalen GmbH, where his leadership played a pivotal role in the organization’s success.

Currently, Tim holds the esteemed position of Managing Director at REMONDIS Electrorecycling GmbH, a testament to his dedication, visionary leadership, and profound commitment to the principles of environmental sustainability. His journey, characterized by a blend of academic excellence, hands-on experience, and exceptional leadership, is a testament to his enduring success in the professional arena.

Dr. Johannes Velling

Director General “Digitalization and Startups MWIKE

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Dr. Johannes Velling is the Head of the “Digitalization and Startups” department at the Ministry of Economy, Industry, Climate Protection, and Energy in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW)

Since his move to NRW in 2018, he has implemented the Excellence Start-up Center in NRW and played a significant role in shaping the NRW Founder Scholarship, NRW.Venture, and the Scale-Up.NRW program. Prior to this, he was responsible for various startup financing programs of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) for over ten years. This included the High-Tech Gründerfonds, of which he was the Chairman of the Advisory Board until the end of April 2018, as well as the EXIST program and the “INVEST – Zuschuss für Wagniskapital” initiative. In 2012, he initiated the German Accelerator and expanded it from its Silicon Valley base to New York and Boston, and in early 2018, to Singapore.

Cornelius Laaser

Head of the Circular Economy Unit at the Ministry of the Environment of North Rhine-Westphalia

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Cornelius Laaser has been Head of the Circular Economy Unit at the Ministry of the Environment of North Rhine-Westphalia since October 2021.

He was previously a sustainability and climate adaptation officer at the same ministry. Cornelius Laaser studied geoecology at the University of Potsdam. Between 2003 and 2013, he worked for the think tank Ecologic gGmbH in Berlin and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK).

There he focussed on sustainable water management and adaptation to the consequences of climate change in European and international contexts.  As head of the Circular Economy Department, he coordinates the Ministry’s approaches in this area and designs funding programmes for the transition to a circular economy.

He is also responsible for the work of the Efficiency Agency NRW, which advises SMEs in NRW on how to optimise their products and processes in a resource-efficient and circular manner. Together with a counter unit at the NRW Ministry of Economic Affairs, his department forms the joint office for the NRW Circular Economy Strategy.