Circular Economy Project

As part of a Masters in Design and Innovation through the engineering department in GMIT in Galway, I have decided to try to address problems that I see in the practicalities of moving Irish Furniture manufacturing SME’s and Micro enterprises to a Circular Economy Business Model.

The aim of the project is to develop a methodology that can be used to prepare for the journey towards a Circular Economy Business Model (CEBM).

If you are interested in taking part and would like to read more about how your participation in the project will work, please click the “Read More” button, or contact Knut Klimmek on: or +353 (86)2408330

Read More

In order to do this I would like to enlist your help with the following:

  • Complete a questionnaire 
  • Participate in Interviews 
  • Participate in Testing the Methodology 

If you would like to complete the questionnaire please click on the button below.


In 2020 the European Commission passed directives to allow it to meet its environmental obligations under the Paris Treaty.

It intends to become carbon neutral by 2050 and plans to do this by transitioning from a linear to a circular economy.

In September 2021 the Irish government published the “Circular Economy Act 2021” with the intention to introduce legislation in this area by the middle of 2022.


Information about the circular economy tends to general, describing its principles of preventing waste, re-use, re-purposing and re-cycling of products and materials, without going into detail about how to begin to implement it.

What seems to be missing is detail on what information needs to gathered and how processes should be reviewed in order to begin to make the transition.


The project has been approved by the ethics committee in GMIT and all information will be handled in the strictest confidence, using GDPR guidelines.

All data will be anonymised to 3rd parties in reports or published material.

Purpose of the Study: 

As part of the requirements for a module in MSc in Design and Innovation in GMIT, I am carrying out an action research study that is concerned with developing a methodology that will allow SMEs and micro enterprises in the furniture industry in Ireland begin the process of transitioning to a Circular Economy.

What will the study involve?

The study will involve your answering some questions and/or being interviewed. Interviews will happen online (via Zoom, Teams or similar) by telephone or in person at a time of your convenience. Email and SMS may also be used to confirm information or follow up on other topics.

Why have you been asked to take part?

You have been asked to participate because you are a suitable candidate to be a subject for our research. Typically, this means that you are a person that works in the wood processing or furniture industry at a managerial level and has an overview of that business.

Do you have to take part?

Participation is voluntary and you will be asked to sign a consent form.  

You have the option of withdrawing before the study commences (even if you have agreed to participate) or discontinuing after data collection has started. Where data are identifiable (e.g., from interviews yielding qualitative data), you have the option to withdraw within two weeks of participation and ask to have your data destroyed.

No identifiable data will be used in the published reports, but a secure record will be kept in confidence. Such personal information as is held will be treated with respect and GDPR guidelines will be followed in all matters related to personal data.

What will happen to the results?

The results will be analysed and presented in the dissertation. They will be seen by our supervisor, a second marker and the external examiner. The dissertation may be read by future students on the course. It may be published in conference and journal publications (only with permission of those partaking in the research and keeping strict anonymity).

What are the possible disadvantages of taking part?

I don’t envisage any negative consequences for you in taking part. 

Who has reviewed this study?

GMIT’s Ethics Committee has a reviewed and approved the project.

What will happen to the information which you give?

Your information will be kept confidential from third parties but might be shared where necessary with internal or external examiners and project supervisors.

Any collected data that becomes part of the final published report will be anonymised, so individuals or businesses cannot be identified. The data will be kept confidential for the duration of the study, following GDPR best practice. On completion of the dissertation, they will be retained for a maximum of five years in a secure environment and then destroyed.

Text messages may be subject to the privacy policies of the platforms chosen i.e., WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, etc.

If you choose to communicate via a given platform, be aware that we do not have complete control over that data and the privacy policies of that platform would dictate the retention and destruction aspects of those messages.

Emails would be held within GMIT’s servers, and we would have control over those.

You will be asked for your permission to record Teams or Zoom meetings for later reference before any such recording is made. Verbal permission would be sufficient. Retention and destruction of voice and video data will follow the same procedures as that of written materials described above.

The data would be stored securely, including encryption of devices where necessary. Only authorised persons would be allowed to view the data. This could include the research team, their supervisors, and possibly external examiners.

Will your participation in the study be kept confidential?

Yes. The team will ensure that no clues to your identity appear in the dissertation. Any extracts from what you say that are quoted in the dissertation will be entirely anonymous.


Dr Aurora Dimache, Dr Gabriel J Costello, Ms. Emer Cahill

What if there is a problem?

If after the end of the interview or interaction you subsequently feel that you longer want the information you have given or the statements, you have made to form part of the research material you have the option to withdraw from the study as previously explained. All gathered information will then be removed, deleted and/ or destroyed.