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Innovate UK launches circular economy fund

An £800,000 fund to help companies find ways of reusing or remanufacturing goods has been launched by the Government’s business innovation.

Innovate UK, formerly known as the Technology Strategy Board, said it wanted to see commercial models developed to stimulate a circular economy where “resources are kept in productive use for longer”.

It said research had estimated that establishing circular business models worldwide could save as much as $520-630bn (£330-400bn) a year.

It added: “We are seeking projects that explore commercial models for a circular economy of goods in which resources are kept in productive use for longer following primary production – ideally at the same value/use. Projects will be expected to design a pilot to demonstrate how the model could become part of normal business.

“Feasibility studies, mainly pre-industrial research projects, must be collaborative and business-led. Projects are open to companies of any size. Consortia should include a business that has a relationship with the final customer and can enable the return of products.”

Projects should last around six months and cost between £25,000 and £50,000.

This competition opens for applicants on 2 March 2015. The deadline for registration is at noon on 8 April 2015.

In October Innovate UK launched a £4.5m fund to back research and development projects aimed at increasing the value of materials from waste streams.

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