GECKO – Green and Circular Innovation for Kenyan Companies

The 2 year Danida funded GECKO research project (Green and Circular Innovation for Kenyan Companies) addresses the topical agenda of the circular economy inquiring into the potentials and opportunities for a developing country like Kenya to leapfrog into the circular economy. Specifically, we seek to provide a methodology and a scientific knowledge base for developing circular eco-industrial parks in Kenya. We have a special emphasis on investigating the prospects of 'industrial symbiosis', i.e. when one companies' residue becomes another proximate companies' resource. We use the Ruaraka industrial zone on the outskirt of Nairobi and 31 mixed manufacturing companies as a pilot case. 

The project overall takes a strong business perspective to the circular economy combining business innovation, technical feasibility studies, modelling and governance research. 

The project is based at the Technical University of Denmark, collaborating with Nairobi and Kenyatta Universities as well as KIRDI (The Kenyan Industrial Research and Development Institute), the latter being the main Kenyan partner. Rubicom, the local business association and a Gecko partner, plays a key part in engaging the companies and creating trust and dialogue between the companies and GECKO researchers. Project leader is senior researcher Maj Munch Andersen, DTU Management. Gecko cooperates with a range of stakeholders in Kenya, also some in Denmark. 

In the pilot project  our main activities have been to develop and apply a circular screening tool and engage and screen the Ruaraka companies. By mid 2019 nearly all, 26 of the 31 targeted main Ruaraka companies, have been screened. The data collected forms the basis for further research into circular innovations and business development within and between the Ruaraka companies.

Gecko is a pilot project funded by Danida under the new Window 2 program, running from April 2018-end March 2020. In 2020 we can apply for a 5 year 10 mio. DKK follow up project.