Knowledge hub

Conducting research

Public sector research can have a direct influence on the creation of scientific knowledge that can support policy and business decisions towards a circular economy.[1] Public sector research refers to research and development activities that are performed by institutions that are publicly owned, operated or financed. Public sector research falls into two categories; Public research institutions and universities, are important for the creation, discovery, use and diffusion of knowledge,[2] as well as prospecting or evaluating research targeted at the national, city, sectoral, departmental or policy levels.[3] Furthermore, important research and development can also be stimulated in the private sphere through direct government funding and investment directed towards particular foci, and can include en block funding as well as prize money within innovation competitions.


[1] EMF (Ellen MacArthur Foundation). 2015. Delivering the Circular Economy: A Toolkit for Policymakers. Available online via:

[2] OECD. 2011. Public Research Institutions: Mapping Sector Trends. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Available online via:

[3] IPP (Innovation Policy Platform). N.d. Universities and Public Research Institutions. The Innovation Policy Platform, OECD & World Bank. Available online via:

Relevant case studies and articles