In 2017, the Circular Economy Centre undertook the seminal project on circularity in defence in collaboration with the European Defence Agency.

The project was completed in November 2017 identifying a number of areas that are potential opportunities for applications of circular economy in defence in the near future. 

Circular and defence.

We are delighted about the opportunity the Circular Economy Centre has to work with the EDA to explore ways this important concept can apply to the defence sector. We look forward to seeing how circular economy principles can make a real impact in this area.

Dr Khaled Soufani, Director of the Circular Economy Centre

Aims and objectives

Applications of circular economy methods in defence in the near future include:

  • Additive manufacturing
  • REACH 
  • Uniforms and personal items 
  • Energy and environment 
  • Smart materials 
  • Smart procurement 

The suggested roadmap is designed for a sector that can aim to keep products, materials, components and equipment at their highest use for as long as possible and extract as much value as possible in manufacturing, material reuse (when possible), technology, procurement, energy and the environment. Further impact of the project will be captured as it is disseminated across Ministries of Defence of the EU member states. 


Soufani, K., Tse, T., Esposito, M., Dimitriou, G. and Kikiras, P. (2018) “A roadmap to circular economy in EU defence inspired by the case of the Dutch Ministry of Defence.” The European Financial Review, 10 February 2018

Soufani, K., Tse, T., Esposito, M., Dimitriou, G. and Kikiras, P. (2018) “Bridging the circular economy and social enterprise: the Dutch Ministry of Defence and Biga Groep.” European Business Review, 18 March 2018

Project leader

Khaled Soufani

Management Practice Professor of Financial Economics & Policy

PhD (University of Nottingham)


Kariappa Bheemaiah

Former Fellow

Terence Tse

Former Fellow

Further resources

Circular defence

The Circular Economy Research Initiative at Cambridge Judge Business School has been chosen by the European Defence Agency for study on circular economy issues in the defence sector.

EDA project to push Circular Economy in Defence

A new EDA project aimed at setting a roadmap for future activities designed to transpose the ‘circular economy’ concept into the defence sector has been launched this Friday 13 January [2017]. 

Boot repair on a military base

Boot Repair on a Military Base provides a great example on the close link between Circular Economy and Frugal Innovation. How do we prolong the life of military boots and reduce the need to buy new footwear for troops and reduce the need to buy new footwear for troops, in order to save both money and resources? A shoe repair shop on a Dutch military base is a good example of the circular economy and frugal innovation, which will be explored at the InnoFrugal UK conference at Cambridge Judge on 27 March 2018.

Circular and frugal

Video thoughts of participants of the inaugural edition of InnoFrugal UK, the UK’s first conference dedicated to the subject of frugal innovation and the circular economy.


EDA logo.