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€3 million Contribution Agreement signed on implementing collaborative project ideas on circularity in defence

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The European Defence Agency (EDA) and the European Commission’s DG Environment have signed a EUR 3-million Contribution Agreement to implement work on the circular economy in defence. The EDA’s “Incubation Forum for Circular Economy in European Defence” enters its project implementation phase (“IF CEED 2”). The EDA has managed the Incubation Forum for Circular Economy in European Defence (IF CEED) over the last 2 years, which has successfully  aimed at implementing circularity principles of the EU Green Deal to contribute to the operational efficiency of the armed forces.

Project ideas were built within 9 transnational incubation groups (“Project Circles”) by 300 experts from 28 Ministries of Defence in Europe, other national or international public bodies, as well as defence-related industry, research-and-technology organisations and universities.

Project Ideas

  • Mining critical raw materials (CRM) from end-of-life military devices;
  • Sustainable replacement of hard chrome/chromates solutions with CRM free coatings;
  • Circularity of titanium via Additive Manufacturing (AM);
  • Energy-efficient polymer AM; Circular deployable AM;
  • Military (smart) Textile waste recycling and valorisation;
  • Recycling / re-use / recovery of high value fibres from soldier personal protective equipment;
  • Development of smart modular protective clothing systems for military applications using safe-and-sustainable by design principles;
  • Guidelines for Environmental evaluation in defence applications;
  • EMAS Certification uptake at experimental test ranges;
  • EMAS training course and monitoring;
  • Green Procurement Training for Defence;
  • Defence Green Procurement Knowledge Platform;
  • Digital Product Passport for armour components;
  • Circular management of spare parts from decommissioned assets.

Since 1 October 2023, the DG Environment of the European Commission delegates EDA with the management of the “IF CEED 2” programme, to assist and ignite the concrete implementation of the aforesaid 15 collaborative projects ideas. This initiative receives a contribution of EUR 1.8 million from the EU LIFE Programme over a period of 4 years, to be supplemented by the Agency’s own resources and possible additional revenues, for an initial minimum budget of EUR 3 million.

EDA’s work on green defence

Moreover, IF CEED 2 will remain the key European forum to develop new project ideas on circular economy in Defence, thereby enhancing the contribution of the Agency to a sustainable and resilient defence sector, as already developed under e.g. the EDA’s Capability Technology Group Energy and Environment (CapTech E&E), the Environment Social Governance Network (ESG-N), the Consultation Forum for Sustainable Energy in the Defence and Security Sector (CF SEDSS), the REACH Network,  the courses on energy management in defence (DEMC) and the project Offshore Renewable Energy For Defence (Symbiosis).

EDA’s wider role 

EDA supports all EU Member States in improving their defence capabilities through European cooperation. Acting as an enabler and facilitator for Ministries of Defence willing to engage in collaborative capability projects, the Agency has become the hub for European defence cooperation with expertise and networks spanning the whole spectrum of defence capabilities. 

Member States use EDA as an intergovernmental expert platform where their collaborative projects are supported, facilitated, and implemented. For more details, please see here. 

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