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Global circular economy fellowship launches

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation has announced a new international fellowship to study the circular economy.

The fellowship is offered jointly with the Schmidt Family Foundation, an environment foundation founded by Google chief executive Eric Schmidt and his wife Wendy.

The Schmidt-MacArthur Fellowship is open to postgraduate students from partner universities, which include: London Business School, Imperial College London, Cranfield University, University of California Berkeley, Yale University, Stanford University, Euromed Management, Delft University of Technology, Milan’s School of Management and the India-based National Institute of Design. 


Ellen MacArthur and Wendy Schmidt

According to a statement from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation: “The fellowship programme will foster innovation through the conference of design, engineering and business disciplines from a number of the world’s leading schools. Students and academic mentors from universities in the US, Europe and India will take part in a London summer school before returning home to focus on a postgraduate, business innovation project.”

There are 10 spots for the fellowship this year, but the 2014/15 intake will be 25 students. The value of the fellowship is £14,000, including summer school attendence and a £2,000 bursary towards their project.

The first conference will take place at Imperial College London. Professor Peter Childs, professorial lead in engineering design at Imperial, said the transition to a circular economy presented “some of the biggest engineering and innovation opportunities of the 21st century”.

Those awarded the fellowship can also discuss their projects with the Circular Economy 100 alliance. MRW recently reported on the alliance in a Big Interview with Ellen MacArthur.

Wendy Schmidt, president of The Schmidt Family Foundation, said: “Eric and I have long been advocates for innovative technology that has a crucial role to play in the transition towards an increasingly intelligent relationship between human activity and the use of the world’s resources. In an era of higher energy costs and diminishing resources - including precious metals and fresh water - we need programs to encourage students to break out of the models established by the first Industrial Revolution and develop new tools, materials and techniques that shift the way we deliver progress and prosperity.”  

MacArthur said: “Teaming up with the Schmidt Family Foundation gives our higher education work a truly international dimension, which is crucial when it comes to accelerating the transition towards a circular economy.”

This development is a extension of the work the Ellen MacArthur Foundation is doing with secondary education. As MRW has reported, around two-thirds of all secondary school pupils will learn about the circular economy using resources from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation starting from the new school year in September.

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