With its special expertise in classical engineering, robotics, materials technology, the entire breadth of natural sciences or even in questions of sustainability assessment and business model development, TUM can support industry on its way to the circular economy.

The TUM Mission Network Circular Economy (CirculaTUM) uses trans- and interdisciplinary approaches to proactively tackle sustainability challenges. The research projects of our members range from fundamental concepts of the Circular Economy to key technologies and implementation in sustainable business and social transformation.

Thematically, CirculaTUM concentrates on the three key topics of industrial value creation, the built environment and natural cycles.

Below you will find a list of current research projects.

Industrial Value Creation

In the context of industrial value creation, product development and design are the top priority, as these determine the further life cycle to a considerable extent. The development and implementation of holistically recyclable production and logistics systems, including solutions and technologies for use, recycling and closing the loop and possible business models, is another key field of action.

Built Environment

The circular economy offers solutions for using materials made from non-renewable raw materials and other resources such as water, soil and energy as effectively as possible and avoiding waste and the release of pollutants into the environment. The aim of research in the field of the built environment is therefore to develop strategies, methods and technologies that enable an end-to-end circular economy in the construction industry. The central question is how the change in the construction industry towards resource efficiency can be implemented with high architectural and architectural-cultural qualities that are safe to use.

Natural Cycles

Natural cycles serve as a model for the development of a circular bioeconomy.

However, a biological transformation depends on the availability of the corresponding raw materials, regionally, nationally and internationally, and whether possible competing uses, particularly in the food, animal feed and energy sectors, can be resolved. In addition, appropriate resilient infrastructures for harvesting, transporting and processing them must be established. Bioeconomic solutions offer the opportunity to develop new and innovative functionalities and therefore possible applications that go beyond the familiar.

Cross-Sectional Fields

Projects of CirculaTUM Members