Sino-European Circular Economy and Resource Efficiency (SINCERE)

Common global challenges for Europe and China have led to a joint initiative of national science foundations on “Europe-China Researchers Funded for Collaborative Research on The Green Economy and Understanding Population Change”. Reaching ambitious environmental targets requires to increase resource efficiency and to transform existing economies towards a circular-economy. This holds for both Europe and China, as testified by the “Circular Economy Law” passed in China in 2009, and resource efficiency being a flagship initiative of the European Union in its 2020 growth strategy.

SINCERE takes up the central policy objectives of a resource efficient circular economy and addresses the following research questions:

  • What are the appropriate indicators and metrics that would monitor change and could motivate actors to pro-actively pursue strategies beyond incremental progress?
  • What are the drivers and barriers for a circular economy and resource efficiency in the respective economies?
  • What methodologies and modelling approaches facilitate a collaborative learning towards greener economies in both Europe and China?

The following working steps are performed within SINCERE:

  • Theoretical Frames and applied approaches
  • Indicators and metrics
  • Analysing historical dynamics of resource use
  • Institutions and policies for innovations
  • Resource efficiency, circular economy and macroeconomic impacts
  • New economic modelling tools to understand the resource use patterns of China and the EU

A wide range of methods is applied including macroeconomic modelling, material flow analysis and patent analysis.


12/2014 - 11/2017

Funding agency

  • Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft DFG (German Research Foundation)


  • University College London (Koordination)
  • ARMINES, Paris
  • Fraunhofer ISI, Karlsruhe
  • Universität Wuppertal
  • University of Maastricht MERIT
  • Shanghai Jiao Tong University