Fostering ecosystems for better waste management

With support from the IKEA Foundation, EIT Climate-KIC and our partners are creating self-sustaining innovation ecosystems or ‘clusters’ in Nairobi and Bengaluru, designed to generate solutions for waste prevention through circular economies while also benefiting marginalised communities.  By implementing our “innovation cluster” approach, we will focus on activating entrepreneurial activities in a cohesive and systemic way, building a locally embedded innovation ecosystem that includes entrepreneurs as well as other key stakeholders such as local government and businesses, policy makers and investors. The project will be implemented from June 2023 to December 2025. 

60 Entrepreneurs
120 Stakeholders
60 Solutions
2 Innovation Clusters

The Nairobi innovation cluster


The solid waste burden continues to grow in the greater Nairobi area, generating about 3,207 tonnes of waste per day. At the same time, Nairobi is the regional hub for business and innovation in East Africa providing aspiration, inspiration and examples for the rest of the region and beyond. EIT Climate-KIC is working with local partner GrowthAfrica, key stakeholders in the Kenyan innovation ecosystem and relevant public institutions to co-design and develop this programme. 

The Bengaluru innovation cluster


Despite Bengaluru’s phenomenal rise in become the world’s eighth largest tech hub, the city has not been able to upgrade its waste management to match this pace of growth. But harnessing innovation and supporting connectivity within the ecosystem can strengthen the city’s solid waste prevention. EIT Climate-KIC is working with local partner SecondMuse, key stakeholders in the Indian innovation ecosystem and relevant public institutions to co-design and develop this programme. 


Stages of the Project

Stage 1: Creating the systems map

The first step requires a shared understanding of the circular economy challenges of the specific contexts. Therefore, we will carry out a baseline study then align key stakeholders that will take part in the project's implementation and outline existing inter-dependencies and opportunities for collaboration.

Stage 2: Enabling the ecosystem

In this stage, we'll build capacities for entrepreneurship and circular economy among entrepreneurship support organisations, representatives and entrepreneurs. We'll implement early- and late-stage ideation and entrepreneurship activities to accelerate the best waste prevention solutions and ensure they are aligned to the needs of the demand.

Stage 3: Preparing to scale

Lastly, we'll enable stakeholders, local government and businesses, and investors to connect with the lessons of innovators, integrate them in the iterative development of the cluster and identify opportunities for scaling up innovations [regulatory, procurement, others] and thereby set the basis for a permanent cluster around circular economy.

Our funding partner

IKEA_Foundation_Logo (1)

The IKEA Foundation is a strategic philanthropy that focuses its grant making efforts on tackling the two biggest threats to children’s futures: poverty and climate change. It currently grants more than €200 million per year to help improve family incomes and quality of life while protecting the planet from climate change. Since 2009, the IKEA Foundation has granted more than €1.5 billion to create a better future for children and their families.

In 2021 the Board of the IKEA Foundation decided to make an additional €1 billion available over the next five years to accelerate the reduction of Greenhouse Gas emissions. Learn more at: or by following them on LinkedIn or Twitter.

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