Centre of Applied Research Technology

Circular Design & Business

Designing products circularly, with the highest possible quality, and reusing discarded products and materials is the focus of the research group Circular Design and Business at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS). The research group is investigating which new ways of designing and producing products, and doing business best fit this purpose.

The Dutch economy must be circular by 2050. To achieve this, we need to design products in a circular way and use them for longer. We must also reuse and recycle products and materials that would otherwise be thrown away. There are many opportunities, but they all require circular design strategies and business models, and a different way of working together. For instance, how do you design products to be easily repaired or refurbished? How do you set up local systems for high-quality reuse? How do you create a market for reused materials? As a producer, how do you deal with the variation in availability, quality and quantity of residual flows? And how do you get citizens and consumers to buy-in to a circular view of materials and consumer goods?

Circular transition

The researchers in Circular Design and Business investigate how to make products and packaging as circular as possible. They also examine what is involved in giving existing waste streams a second life (repurpose). And they look at how to close local loops, and which forms of cooperation are effective here. The study provides insights and concrete tools for companies, municipalities and waste processors to take immediate steps to make their products, services and business processes circular. “We are creating a solid knowledge base for both future and existing professionals, enabling them to make a substantial contribution to the circular transition”, according to professor Inge Oskam.

The professor

Inge Oskam has been a professor at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences since 2007. She studied Industrial Design at TU Delft and obtained her PhD at the Free University Amsterdam. In addition to her professorial role, Oskam is programme director of Circollab, a member of the focus group of the Knowledge and Innovation Agenda Circular Economy (KIA-CE) and leader of the circular economy theme within the AUAS's Energy & Sustainability Dialogue Table.


The Circular Design and Business research group contributes cutting-edge practice and knowledge to help shape the Bachelor of Engineering and the Master of Urban Technology. Students can also contact the research group for graduation internships and final assignments. The research group has developed a Repurposing Teaching Package for secondary schools.


The Circular Design and Business research group works together with companies in the manufacturing and creative industries, waste processors, municipalities, social organisations and other knowledge institutions. They also work with other research groups within the AUAS, including Psychology for a Sustainable City.

Published by  Centre for Applied Research Technology 23 November 2023

  dr. ir. I.F. Oskam (Inge)

Professor Circular Design & Business

Tel: 0620616089
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