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Challenge / Goal

The objectives were to use this SSA as a test case for the development of a bio-lab in the Impact factory, the city’s planned Urban Resource Centre, which will promote collaboration between citizens, associations, entrepreneurs and researchers. 

Additionally, it was intended to find out how the city can support start-ups and local associations that want to develop a circular business model. The overall goal is to make the circular economy potential tangible to the broader public, including citizens of Mechelen. In this way, bottom-up innovation can be stimulated by teaching citizens the needed skills for circular entrepreneurship (offering open source tools, room and gear for experimentation and workshops).


The nursery uses coffee grounds and other organic waste streams (grasses from berm management) as a soil for local food production. Oyster mushroom based nurseries on coffee grit struggle to survive because the current, classic business models are not profitable. This action wanted to change this, testing new ways to create value and income by promoting awareness raising through workshops and providing open source tools for citizens to grow mushrooms at home, through storytelling for businesses and exploring new ways of working across the value chain. 

Citizen participation

Teaching citizens the needed skills for circular entrepreneurship


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Time period

Implementation time: 1 to 2 years


Thomas More (Higher Education); Pronatura

Service providers

The City of Mechelen; Citamine

End users

All Citizens

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