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30 January, 2017 - 11:50 By Kate Sweeney

Cambridge academics advise defence chiefs on ‘circular economy’

Dr Khaled Soufani, Cambridge Judge Business School

Defence industry chiefs have turned to Cambridge brains to analyse the potential benefits to the sector of a circular economy strategy.

A circular economy is designed to keep resources in use for as long as possible, extract the maximum value from them whilst in use, then recover and regenerate products and materials at the end of each service life.

The Circular Economy Research Initiative at Cambridge Judge Business School has been chosen by the European Defence Agency to study the prospective opportunities and challenges. The initiative is led by Dr Khaled Soufani, senior faculty in management practice and academic director of the Executive MBA programme at Cambridge Judge. 

The research initiative looks at ways to reuse and recycle resources in order to boost efficiency and save costs, compared to more linear models of production and delivery.

The new study, launched at EDA offices in Brussels earlier this month, is due to be finalised by the end of October. The study follows a policy document launched by the European Commission in late 2015 that looks to the circular economy to “boost competitiveness, create jobs and generate sustainable growth.”

In particular, the Commission believes that introducing circular economy concepts at the research & development stage of defence projects could produce both structural and systematic benefits. Many companies working in the defence sector are SMEs.

The EDA is an intergovernmental agency of the European Council, the body comprised of EU member states.

The project team of the Circular Economy Research Initiative at Cambridge Judge conisists of Dr Soufani along with Dr Mark Esposito and Dr Terence Tse, both visiting Fellows at the School who have worked with Dr Soufani on several circular economy studies and articles.

Dr Soufani said: “We are delighted about the opportunity the Circular Economy Research Initiative 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, Cambridge Judge Business School

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