According to the European Defence Agency (EDA), experts from 10 European countries congregated in Gijón, Spain, on 22-23 March 2023 for two meetings organized under the EDA’s “Incubation Forum for Circular Economy in European Defence” (IF CEED) to discuss how to improve additive manufacturing and spare parts management in defense applications and build collaborative actions in these areas.
Within IF CEED, incubation groups, called project circles, aimed at addressing both technological and organizational aspects in nine areas. Two of these areas – Circular Additive Manufacturing and Spare Parts Management – convened in two sessions, hosted on the premises of Fundación IDONIAL, in Gijón, to exchange views on the scope of future projects contributing to the objectives of a circular economy.
Participants from Ministries of Defence, industry, research-and-technology organizations, and academia exchanged ideas on design optimization, recycling and use of secondary materials, decentralized manufacturing, qualification protocols, and the common pooling of spare parts.
In-person discussions allowed concrete progress in the refinement of project proposals incubated in IF CEED – combining technological and organizational aspects to contribute to improving the Armed Forces’ environmental impact and operational efficiency.
The project ideas targeted a more efficient use of resources by promoting the effective reuse of spare parts, repair, use of recycled materials, and optimized manufacturing, while ensuring that military requirements are fulfilled. Presentations were given on supply chain aspects – from logistics systems to security of information and standardization.
The experts also discussed how IF CEED projects could integrate and improve methodologies and tools for environmental evaluation. In the near future, the content of the project ideas will be detailed in view of their follow-up implementation.