A circular economy, in which the lifetime of products is extended and the environmental impact generated during the production and disposal is reduced, requires cross-sector cooperation and the sharing of information and knowledge among the different actors of the value chain. Today, several IT tools already exist to share information and knowledge on how to repair products, of which the best known example is probably the Ifixit.com website. At the same time several initiatives from nonprofit organizations, such as the repair cafés, as well as from original equipment manufacturers and European policy makers already exist that support the sharing of repair information and knowledge. Nonetheless, the number of products that are repaired today is still limited in consequence of the rapid and continuous increase in complexity of products and the limited availability and/or access to the required information and knowledge to extend the lifetime of these products.
Therefore, there is a strong and increasing need for innovative tools to help original equipment manufacturing, reuse, repair, remanufacturing and recycling companies and organizations to access and share relevant information and knowledge. For this reason, the Life Cycle Engineering (LCE) research group of the KU Leuven has, among others, been working on the development of computer vision techniques to identify discarded products, on databases to store product information, on algorithms to scrawl and update these databases, and on methods to offer decision support to the different actors of the value chain.
With the ambition to expand these research activit... For more information see https://icts.kuleuven.be/apps/jobsite/vacatures/54256686