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Research and expertise for the circular economy

The Circular Economy (CE) Policy Research Center unites researchers from the KU Leuven, Ghent University, the University of Antwerp, and VITO. They will continue to build upon the research results from the previous SuMMa centre, which was active from 2012 to 2016. The CE Center is co-funded by The OVAM and the Department of Economy, Science and Innovation (EWI).

About us 

Closing summit CE Center

Closing summit CE Center

On 22 November, the CE Center holds its hybrid closing event in Leuven and online, together with ministers Hilde Crevits and Zuhal Demir. We present the results of 5 years of research and launch the online Circular Economy Monitor for Flanders.

Hans Bruyninckx, head of the European Environmental Agency gives us the European perspective.

In the afternoon we offer academic breakout sessions to explore our themes in depth.

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What do we do?

The Circular Economy Policy Research Centre investigates three important policy questions:

  • How can we measure the progress towards a circular economy?
  • What are the economic effects of a circular economy, and how can policy have an effect on these?
  • How could other major societal trends or transitions influence the pathway towards a circular economy?

The policy research centre has been organised as a cluster of research projects in order to answer these questions. Each of the projects has a particular perspective to better understand and shape circular economy as a system. Besides our work on theory and on finding ways to answer these general questions, we will also conduct tangible case studies.

The researchers explain

The impact of the circular economy on employment

How can we measure where we are in the transition?


Employment and actor analysis

Which changes might we expect in the labour market?


Learning effects

Learning by doing in the circular economy, how can we map that?

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Modelling systems

How can we clarify the environmental impacts of activities in the circular economy?

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Market acceptance

How can businesses cope with the uncertainties of a transition?

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Financing and revenue models

How can we help consumers and businesses make the shift towards a circular economy?

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Indicators for circularity

How can we compare the extent to which products fit in a circular economy?