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How can data management improve the circularity of defence capabilities?

Under the EDA-managed Incubation Forum for Circular Economy in European Defence (IF CEED), more than 30 experts from 13 countries across Europe met on 26 April 2022 to prioritise the way forward on the role of data for circular economy in European Defence.

Experts from EDA’s participating Member States, defence-related industry and Research-and-Technology Organisations (RTOs) gathered in two sessions of IF CEED working groups (so-called ‘Project Circles’). The core of the discussion covered how to improve circularity by information sharing across the defence-related value chain, while protecting classified or business-sensitive data.

The Project Circle ‘WFD’ discussed the implementation of the article 9(1)(i) of the Waste Framework Directive regarding the reporting of substances of very high concern. It focused on the associated ‘SCIP’ (Substances of Concern In Product) database, its use within the defence supply chain, the implementation of the Directive’s provisions across Member States and issues related to compliance with defence-specific requirements, such as rules on export of military systems.

Then, the Project Circle ‘Circular Data’ started its work on the broader use of data as an enabler for circularity in Defence. Presentations explored the potential uses of data and the concept of ‘Digital Product Passport’, by building on recent initiatives in civilian applications able to cross-fertilise and transfer innovative technologies to the defence sector. Participants shared experiences and views on the needs, benefits and barriers of the implementation of a data-sharing scheme in the military context. They discussed topics such as higher standards of data protection needed for classified information and the relevant scope of data to be shared across supply chains.

Both Project Circles established first priorities, aiming at making the most of data management to develop circularity principles in the defence sector.

The Incubation Forum for Circular Economy in European Defence (IF CEED) is co-funded by the European Union (under the LIFE programme) and the Luxembourg’s Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs - Directorate of Defence.

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