Funding opportunities for resource efficiency and the circular economy

moneyThere are a number of funding opportunities currently available in the UK and EU for resource efficiency and the circular economy. In addition to the usual Horizon2020 calls, there are also a number of more industry focused calls as well, including:

1.The Green Alley Award

The Green Alley Award is a start-up competition focused on the green economy, dealing specifically with the challenges of the throwaway society, the scarcity of resources and the recovery of raw materials. It is targeted at ‘green’ entrepreneurs from across Europe with business ideas for the circular economy and new ways of improving the waste and recycling industries.

The theme of the Awards is about connecting green ideas across Europe. Green Alley is looking for ideas, new services, products and technologies that can turn waste into a resource. In return it offers strategic support, networking opportunities and financing to boost business across Europe.

All competition finalists will be invited to Berlin later in the year to participate in a one-day event with networking and learning opportunities. In individual workshops the start-ups will learn how to start, finance and boost a green business. All finalists are expected to pitch their business idea to an expert jury who will then select the winner of the Green Alley Award 2016.

The winner receives a cash prize of €7,000 and a package of additional benefits, including rent-free space in a co-working environment in Berlin for six months, coupled with the opportunity to pitch for an investment or crowdfunding.

The deadline for receipt of applications is 27 July 2016.

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2. RBS Innovation Gateway – grants for testing resource efficiency innovations

The Innovation Gateway challenge aims to help businesses get their products tested and into a wider market, quickly and successfully. RBS is looking to identify innovative ideas and ‘garage-tested’ green solutions that could also encourage resource efficiency.

RBS, alongside Sainsbury’s, Carillion and BaxterStorey, will provide support to SMEs, entrepreneurs and inventors with pioneering ideas that could potentially address an infrastructure challenge they are facing across their property estates. Businesses, innovators and inventors will have the opportunity to test their ideas for enhancing engagement and cutting consumption of energy, water and waste on these properties.

Successful innovators will get the chance to trial their products with one or more of the Gateway partners. The provider will ask conceptual and garage tested applicants what would be important to take their business forward on the application form. This could be funding, introductions to new corporate customers, access to advice and expertise, etc.

Market-ready innovators that proceed to trial with a Gateway Partner will receive full payment for all equipment, units, survey work etc.

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3.The Carbon Trust’s £7 million Energy Saving Green Business Fund

The new £7 million funding programme, launched by energy consultants at the Carbon Trust, will support 1000 to 2000 SMEs across the UK in several key business areas such as energy saving training, cost saving assessments and capital investment for the installation of energy efficiency equipment.

Eligible companies will have an opportunity to purchase a range of equipment to improve their heating, ventilation systems, lighting and air conditioning systems.

For more information click here

4. Zero Waste Scotland funding


The programme will deliver a step change in the scale, range and depth of existing resource efficiency work across all business and social economy sectors in Scotland. It will deliver its ambitions through four areas of activity:

  • Increasing the scale and provision of services to SMEs in Scotland to become more efficient in their use of resources
  • Stimulating new business activity to identify, develop and bring to market new circular economy products and services
  • Supporting collaboration between businesses and academia to catalyse and demonstrate next generation products and services within the circular economy
  • Helping community and third sector organisations to develop local approaches to tackling resource efficiency and to engage in the development of a more local circular economies.

Between 2016 and 2018, Zero Waste Scotland is making funding and support available through structured grant calls and procurements. These will focus on priority commercial and industrial sectors which are:

  • the bio economy (food and drink)
  • built environment (construction and demolition)
  • energy infrastructure (oil and gas decommissioning, renewables, transmission)

There will also be funding available for key activities such as reuse, remanufacturing, repair and reprocessing.

For more information click here

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