Back to R&D main

Queensland circular economy lab outcomes report

Did you know MLA is collaborating with other industries to turn waste into resources?

Project start date: 15 October 2018
Project end date: 30 June 2019
Publication date: 06 March 2020
Project status: Completed
Livestock species: Sheep, Goat, Lamb, Grassfed cattle, Grainfed cattle
Relevant regions: National
Download Report (1.3 MB)


In a circular economy, stocks and flows of resources – such as money, materials, information and energy – interact with one other.

In 2019, MLA joined the Queensland Circular Economy Lab (CE Lab), which is an immersive program designed to provide a collaborative environment to tackle challenges to transitioning to a circular economy.

MLA teamed up with Cisco Australia, Grove Juice and Freeze Dry Industries to establish a collaborative Lab team. The team created Ripple (Regional Investment Platform), a business model that encourages prosperity by identifying problems and solutions that can be addressed by collaboration from multiple industries.


The purpose of this project was for MLA to participate in the three-month CE Lab program that began in February 2019. The program involved a series of workshops designed to align each participant with a core concept team to build a shared understanding of areas where they could create, deliver and capture value in the circular economy.

Key findings

The majority (82%) of the CE Lab participants are moving their organisation toward a circular economy and 78% agree that co-innovation will accelerate the circular economy in Queensland.

MLA's team during the CE Lab program co-created Ripple, a case study for a new business model that aims to transform and secure the food and agricultural systems that are essential for Queensland's regional economies to survive.

The Ripple business model explores opportunities for new ways to upcycle waste from the Australian red meat industry in collaboration with similar industries.

Ripple's goal is for local communities and businesses to work together to identify new opportunities and re-evaluate waste as a valuable resource. This transformation of waste to a resource is designed to attract investment back into communities to grow regional economic development.

Benefits to industry

The proposed benefits from MLA's participation in CE Lab include:

  • new commercial partnerships with similar industries to solve "common problems"
  • increased resource sustainability by enhancing the profitability of waste streams
  • increased resilience in regional communities.

MLA action

This project aligned to MLA's Rural R&D for Profit: Waste to Profit activities, which are seeking creative solutions to use waste resources to drive a broader transition to the circular economy. MLA now has ongoing collaboration with other participants of the CE lab program to create effective solutions to the common problems faced between the similar industries.

Future research

This project highlighted the need for businesses to adopt new behaviours such as:

  • re-evaluating waste as a valuable resource
  • recognising circular economy business models
  • increasing collaboration and co-innovation using the principles of 'design led thinking' to identify common challenges and new solutions.

More information

Project manager: Michael Lee
Contact email:
Primary researcher: MLA