An initiative to boost the extraction of valuable metals and minerals from domestic and commercial waste streams in the UK has been launched by Defra.
An Innovation Challenge has been given a fund of £200,000 for feasibility studies to evaluate novel technical methods and processes likely to deliver high-value opportunities.
Defra says it is particularly interested in the recovery of materials identified by the EU as critical raw materials and recognises that the extraction of other materials alongside may be necessary.
Up to five studies will assess the commercial feasibility of new approaches for local businesses to extract metals and minerals from waste.
This is likely to involve partnerships between businesses, local authorities and communities.
Approaches will involve a combination of: building new partnerships/supply chains, developing and applying new techniques and applying new business models to a particular sector/waste resource.
The scheme is being coordinated by the Technology Strategy Board through the Small Business Research Initiative.