‘Waste is material without an identity’. With this motto in mind, Madaster is linking the demand and supply of used materials in the built environment by way of an online material passport. Materials need to be documented if they are to remain available for infinite reuse. Co-founder Thomas Rau: ‘Where things are recorded, history is being written. This is happening in Utrecht, the fastest growing city in the Netherlands. Its enormous need for new housing offers possibilities for organising such new buildings as repositories of materials.’

The financing provided by the Green, Healthy, Smart Fund of the Economic Board Utrecht (EBU) was announced during the Week of the Circular Economy. This week had an additional focus on the task ahead: to achieve a reduction in the consumption of primary resources of 50% by 2030 and 100% by 2050.

Provincial official on economy, Pim van den Berg: ‘This region is very open to innovation, and, in my view, its clean energy and circular economy are self-evident. As was shown in 2016, when TNO estimated the economic potential of circular construction and dismantling of buildings in the Province of Utrecht at 180 million euros and 1,500 additional jobs.’


The Madaster platform functions as an online public library that documents materials in the built environment. It couples material identity to a certain location and records this in a material passport.

A material passport shows the types and quantities of the materials used in a certain building. It also contains information about the quality of those materials, as well as their location and financial and circular value. These buildings are thus given a digital identical twin, so to speak. This minimises waste, makes it easier to recover and reuse materials and saves costs.


Over the coming period, the Madaster ICT platform, established in Utrecht, will continue their substantial investments in the autonomous and partner functionalities of the platform. Since its foundation, Madaster’s number of customers has exceeded 200 and it is now approaching a registered total of 1,500,000 square metres.

The financial impulse from the Green, Healthy, Smart Fund will enable Madaster to help facilitate Utrecht’s ambitions related to the construction of new builds and the registration of the materials in the province’s existing building stock. The municipality, province and Economic Board Utrecht are, for example, already collaborating on the development of the Merwedekanaalzone and the application of blockchain in the Koplopersstraat project. Rau: ‘This investment in Madaster’s development enables us to substantially increase our mutual collaboration. The fund’s decision to support Madaster is a further validation of Utrecht’s ambitions—and quite rightly so!’

Van den Berg: ‘We set up the Green, Healthy, Smart Fund together with the EBU, particularly for this type of innovative projects that truly contribute to a circular economy in this region. Thanks to a future-proof design and the implementation and reuse of high-grade materials, we can continue to anticipate on regional population growth and intensive use of space. I am proud that an organisation such as Madaster, winner of the European start-up award “Tech for Social Impact”, is located in Utrecht and is making a circular product with global potential.’

The Green, Healthy, Smart Fund is one of the investment funds of the Economic Board Utrecht.