Zero Waste Scotland (ZWS) has launched an £18m fund to help small and medium-sized enterprises explore and pioneer ways to develop a circular economy (CE).
The Circular Economy Investment Fund is part of a wider £70m programme, supported through European regional development funds, to improve business productivity and create a CE in Scotland, announced in February.
The fund will support new technologies and infrastructure which could include sharing, leasing or takeback models, encouraging repair or new recycling ideas.
ZWS will work with Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise to help promote the funding, which will be spread over three years and are focused on key sectors such as the bio-economy, the built environment and energy infrastructure.
There will also be funding available for activities such as reuse, remanufacturing, repair and reprocessing.
Deputy first minister John Swinney said a shift towards a CE in Europe could generate £1.4trillion of annual benefits by 2030.
”It presents significant opportunities for Scotland, and that’s why the Scottish Government is showing ambition and commitment in putting support behind the development of CE businesses and ideas, and also setting a strategy to drive change,” he said.
Iain Gulland, chief executive of ZWS, said: “We’re genuinely excited to be launching this fund to help businesses and organisations in Scotland seize the opportunities that the CE presents. Now is the time to turn big ideas into action. Developing a CE places significant emphasis on innovation and new thinking to find high-value uses for materials, drive new technologies and develop infrastructure.”
More information is available at the ZWS website: www.zerowastescotland.org.uk/circular-economy. The fund will be open for applications from 1 April.