Circular Value Chain Design at Novo Nordisk

Project Details


The aim of this PhD-project is to design a configuration system to aid when establishing a take-back program for single use medical devices, with specific focus on injection devices, in different countries. This will require identifying variables that influence the design of a take-back programme. Broadly, the research will be organised to investigate five main areas:

i. Mapping the baseline: How does the current ecosystem for used single use medical devices look? What are the key variables that characterise take back systems?

ii. Legislative requirements: What are the legislative and EPR/Product Stewardship requirements and trends influencing the design of take-back models? How are used single use medical devices seen vis-à-vis. hazardous/ bio-medical wastes from legislation point of view?

iii. Patients’ behaviour: How does patients’ behaviour influence take-back programmes? Do incentives or other factors motivate or drive behaviour change towards participation in take-back programmes?

iv. Designing collection systems: What models of used single use medical devices are effective from volume and cost perspective for the take-back programme(s)?

v. Recycling opportunities: What recycling technologies and infrastructure can be considered for closing the loop? What are the financial/ technological/ infrastructure considerations to explore for replicating take back programmes in other geographies?

It is expected that the interplay of the variables will help define a model value chain/ configurator for developing take-back programmes.

The project is being carried out in collaboration with the Manufacturing Academy of Denmark (MADE).
Effective start/end date01/01/202131/12/2023

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production


  • Circular Economy (CE)
  • Design for Sustainability
  • take-back


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