PlatformU helps you count what matters!

Are you an entrepreneur and want to turn someone’s waste into new treasures? Are you a landowner with available space temporarily? Do you run a company and have no idea how much material enters and exits your business? Are there specialist skills that you need occasionally? Are you a researcher or institution interested in sustainable waste management? If so, we could be developing just the platform for you! PlatformU is a free online platform that will be built specifically to help makers, make.

What is PlatformU?

PlatformU is about helping businesses adapt to the 21st century. At its core, the platform will help your business to measure material use, waste, the amount of space used and even additional staffing needs. You can include a vast range of materials (wood, water, steel, oil, paper…), spaces (storage areas, meeting space, showrooms...) or skills (graphic design, engineering, waste management…). The simple tool for your phone or computer can be easily and quickly be completed by anyone in your organisation.

What does it look like?

You may be familiar with Google Analytics, to help track the amount of hits on your website. Or you may use Strava to track your fitness. PlatformU provides customised reporting, that can be viewed through the platform or shared directly with your colleagues by email. Simple infographics will help you to visualise your material consumption and find ways to reduce waste or costs. Importantly, all of your data remains yours and anonymised.

What is the ultimate result?

Once you have used the tool for a few months, you will be able to spot trends and/or irregularities - you may be able to pick a waste stream to reduce or find a business that wants to use your waste. Once a group of businesses start using the platform regularly, the anonymised data will become visible for the larger community. The platform will then provide previously unknown insights on how the district operates. The more that can be learnt about the district as a whole, the better services can be provided to support it. This means that the district will become more competitive and efficient and businesses and public institutions can share dialogue about how to plan for the future based on clear data. “We can go faster alone, we can go further together” - only through collaboration will industrial areas retain their place in the 21st century.

Why is this free? What happens to my data?

With the generous support of Vlaanderen Circulair, this platform has been developed for free. Three researchers from the ULB / Metabolism of Cities VZW - Paul Hoekman, Adrian Hill and Aristide Athanassiadis - are developing PlatformU. Therefore we do not sell advertisement or use your data in any other way: all data will remain private and anonymised. Through anonymising data we can gain a better understanding of the needs and opportunities of an industrial district. Currently this information is simply unavailable. Without having an accurate insight into how industrial areas operate, they risk the effects of gentrification or poor public support.

What is in it for me?

As a pioneer, you will be able to shape the platform according to your needs by providing us your feedback on how to use it. Furthermore, our team will be able to help you by providing support for resource consumption or waste. We’re looking for enthusiastic volunteers to join from March 2019. If you’re interested, don’t hesitate to contact us to arrange a one on one meeting (, or complete the form below for regular updates.

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