Welcome to PLATE (Product Lifetimes and the Environment), the 3rd international conference to address product lifetimes in the context of sustainability. The conference will be held September 18-20, 2019 in Berlin, Germany, organised by Fraunhofer IZM in cooperation with Technische Universität Berlin.


PLATE aims to address the tremendous impacts of product lifetimes on the environment. The biannual conference brings together academics, industry, civil society and policy makers working in the field of sustainability and focusing on a variety of products like electronics, textiles, furniture and vehicles.

While discussions on product lifetimes have been going on for a number of years, the topic has come to the forefront of current political, scientific & societal debates due to its interconnectedness with a number of prominent movements of the last years like Circular Economy, collaborative consumption, DIY and maker communities as well as ecodesign. The 2019 PLATE conference encompasses these topics and will embrace a multi-disciplinary perspective including design, geography, technology, business, anthropology, economics, marketing, psychology, law and public policy. Specifically, we welcome submissions of abstracts for paper or poster presentations on the following or related topics (skip to structured list of topics):

  1. Product lifetimes and product design
  2. Circular Economy and circularity in business
  3. Sustainable production and consumption
  4. Sharing economy and collaborative consumption
  5. Repair, DIY and maker communities
  6. Policy, regulation and legislation for product longevity
  7. Premature obsolescence and product lifetime optimisation
  8. Obsolescence 4.0 – Digitalisation and product lifetimes

PLATE 2019 will offer a great variety of high-quality presentations, interesting keynotes, exciting workshops and side-events, a PhD-workshop and many opportunities for transdisciplinary exchange and networking.

printable conference information (1MB/PDF)

Conference schedule

  • Wednesday, September 18, 2019, Starting 12.30 – Day 1 – Opening keynotes, sessions and reception (a PhD-workshop will be scheduled in the morning)
  • Thursday, September 19, 2019 – Day 2 – Oral and poster sessions, keynotes, workshops, pop-up repair exhibition and workshop, science slam, conference dinner
  • Friday, September 20, 2019 – Day 3 – Sessions, closing keynote, farewell drinks


  • Register for participation online from May 2019
  • The reduced early bird fee will be 580 € (PhD-Students 450 €), incl. all lunches, daytime refreshments and evening events

Keep in touch

  • Sign in for the conference newsletter at the bottom of the page to receive interim conference information (until the formal registration opens May 2019).

We encourage scholars and practitioners, at every level from graduate student to seasoned scholar, to submit your contribution to PLATE 2019. Please feel free to inform and invite other people who might be interested to submit an abstract. We also welcome workshop proposals. A call for these will be announced early 2019; in the meanwhile, we welcome queries and informal expressions of interest at plate2019@izm.fraunhofer.de.

We look forward to seeing you in Berlin in 2019!

Dr. Nils F. Nissen, Fraunhofer IZM, Conference Chair
Prof. Melanie Jaeger-Erben, TU Berlin, Conference Chair
Prof. Kirsi Niinimäki, Aalto University, Programme Chair
Prof. Tim Cooper, Nottingham Trent University, Conference Series Chair

Sign up for plate updates