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Loopsai-artificial intelligence naturally integrated, Source: WFB / Jörg Sarbach

Intelligent software from Bremen supports sustainable recycling management

Intelligent software from Bremen supports sustainable recycling management

University researchers created Loopsai - naturally integrated artificial intelligence

A team from the University of Bremen is working on intelligent software to ensure a more sustainable circular economy in Germany. The software is titled Loopsai (artificial intelligence that is naturally integrated).

The aim is to ensure that material flows are networked and thus set in motion a sustainable circular economy. The self-learning open source software should later, in the best-case scenario, automatically arrange companies in material cycles and make suggestions as to who can use other people’s garbage as a raw material for themselves.

“At the moment our economy is linear,” commented a scientist from the Cognitive Neuroinformatics working group. “Our food comes into the cities like a one-way street: a product that has been used up becomes rubbish. What is gone is gone - but how is it supposed to go on forever?” Ultimately, sustainable economic activity is only possible if individual material flows are networked and thus resources are conserved.

Pilot project: growing mushrooms on coffee grounds

During the development phase, the Loopsai team wants to test and optimise the software in an urban farm. The farm already works according to the principle of the circular economy. In a first pilot project with partners from Hamburg, it is planned to grow edible mushrooms on a culture medium from coffee grounds, which will then be sold regionally. Leftovers are supposed to serve as a food and protein source

According to the team, the project can run only if enough companies from different areas are on board. If that were successful, it would also be possible to link different cycles in an ecologically valuable way.

The project was as well awarded the German Sustainability Prize 2021 in the research category. One of the next goals is now to embed Loopsai in a larger research project. What is certain is that the software should be made available free of charge to all interested companies and municipalities so that it can be used as widely as possible.

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