UNECE recently organized a two-day study trip in Tbilisi, Georgia, for senior policymakers and practitioners from the SPECA subregion that offered a comprehensive learning experience, combining practical insights from business incubators and accelerators with discussion of policy implementation. By equipping the SPECA participating States with enhanced administrative capacity and knowledge, the trip aimed to foster the effective incorporation of circular principles into innovation and start-up programmes, ultimately contributing to sustainable economic growth and environmental conservation in the SPECA region. SPECA participating States had expressed a strong interest to learn from the Georgian experience in building strong innovation ecosystems.
UNECE conducted a theoretical training to discuss fundamental principles and concepts of the circular economy, such as designing out waste and pollution, keeping products and materials in use, and regenerating natural systems. The training also explored how innovation policy can be aligned with the goals of a circular economy, including regulatory measures, incentives, and support mechanisms that encourage businesses and organizations to adopt circular practices. Practical case studies and mapping exercises were used to illustrate successful policy initiatives and their impact.
Together with Impact Hub Georgia, which is at the forefront of promoting circular economy concepts in the country, UNECE organized meetings with a number of start-ups to learn more about best practices employed in nurturing circular economy-oriented businesses. Participants learned about the strategies used to identify and support start-ups that focus on sustainable resource management, waste reduction, and product lifecycle enhancements. These meetings also provided a platform for networking and knowledge sharing, allowing participants to establish valuable connections with industry experts and entrepreneurs.