• Status: Closed

  • Key features: Investment of up to £800k in feasibility studies into the business case for retaining value in durable goods through reuse, remanufacture or leasing/maintenance.

  • Programme: Feasibility studies

  • Award: Up to £800k

  • Opens: 02 Mar 2015, 00:00

  • Registration closes: 08 Apr 2015, 12:00

  • Closes: 15 Apr 2015, 12:00

  • Support phone number: 0300 321 4357

Circular economy: business models

Competition results

See here for the competition results

SUMMARY

Innovate UK is to invest up to £800k in feasibility studies into the business case for retaining value in durable goods through reuse, remanufacture or leasing/maintenance. 

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. 

The amount of funding you can receive varies according to the type of organisation and type of research being undertaken. Funding levels for feasibility study research will change for competitions opening from 1 January 2015. For further information please refer to http://interact.innovateuk.org/funding-rules 

We expect projects to last 6 months and to range in size from total costs of £25k to £50k. 

This competition opens on 2 March 2015. The deadline for registration is at noon on 8 April 2015, and the deadline for applications is at noon on 15 April 2015. A briefing day for potential applicants will be held at the Resource Event in London on 3 March 2015. A webinar detailing the competition scope and application process will be broadcast on 9 March 2015

BACKGROUND

Many businesses are responding to rising raw material costs, increasing volatility in raw material availability and the environmental impact of raw material acquisition and product disposal by exploring the circular economy. A circular economy is one in which resources are kept in productive use longer following primary production – ideally at the same value/use. 

A strong case has been made for a more circular use of resources by business. McKinsey calculates substantial adoption of circular business models could lead to a saving of as much as $520-630bn a year in raw material. A build-up of ‘circular' supply chains that increase the rate of recycling, reuse and remanufacture could generate more than $1tr a year for the global economy by 2025 (McKinsey/Ellen MacArthur report). Powerful examples exist, not least in Japan where the reuse and recycling economy was worth £163bn in 2007 (7.6% of GDP) and employed 650,000 people. 

Moving from a linear business model to a circular one requires changing multiple business models to enable the loop of products and components. This implies the development of (new) value networks – a network of businesses or other enterprises that generate economic value through dynamic exchange of resources or services. The most successful circular approaches come from a network in which the business models are aligned. These networks are often disruptive to existing supply chains and deliver new benefits or propositions to the final customer. 

 

SCOPE

We are seeking feasibility studies into the business case for retaining value in durable goods through reuse, remanufacture or leasing/maintenance. Projects should explore the right business model that maximises retained value for the products and that ensures profitability of products and services can be maintained through the re-use of resources. We expect projects will be made up of new collaborations that could establish a value network based on the principles of a circular economy, and that feasibility studies will explore how the business models for each part of the network will operate successfully. Projects should plan a pilot project to test this and demonstrate how it can become part of normal business. 

Consortia should include a business that has the relationship with the final customer and can enable return of products. For this reason, general routes to recycling material components are out of scope. 

Studies within our Great Recovery project (www.greatrecovery.org.uk) have shown the value of bringing design expertise into circular economy projects. Incorporation of design elements into projects is encouraged. 

The output from projects should be a business case for the proposed model and a project plan for a pilot of the new value network. Depending on the outcome of these feasibility studies, we intend to follow this competition with support for a small number of pilot projects. 

Applicants should clearly describe where revenue generation and growth could occur in the UK as a result of the innovation and its exploitation. The benefits of the new approach should be quantified as far as possible, and any assumptions regarding market size and environmental impacts described and justified. 

 

FUNDING ALLOCATION AND PROJECT DETAILS

We have allocated up to £800k to fund feasibility studies (or pre-industrial research) in this competition. 

Successful applicants can attract grant funding towards their eligible project costs. The percentage of costs that we pay varies, depending on the type of research being carried out and the type of organisation involved. 

Projects must be business-led and collaborative. Consortia should include a business that has a relationship with the final customer. The amount of funding you can receive varies according to the type of organisation and type of research being undertaken. Funding levels for feasibility study research will change for competitions opening from 1 January 2015. 

For further information please refer to https://interact.innovateuk.org/-/funding-rules 

 Projects should last 6 months. We are primarily seeking to fund pre-industrial research. We expect projects to range in size from £25k to £50k total project costs. These will be initial studies followed by a second competition for collaborative R&D funding for a small number of pilot projects. 

Universities and research organisations, including research and technology organisations and Catapults, and social enterprises are eligible as partners but their portion of the total project costs will be capped at 30%. 

To find out whether your business fits the EU definition of an SME, see: 

http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/policies/sme/facts-figures-analysis/sme-definition/index_en.htm 

APPLICATION PROCESS

This competition will open on 2 March 2015. 

All applicants must first register via our website. The deadline for registration is at noon on 8 April 2015, and the deadline for applications is at noon on 15 April 2015

A briefing will be held at the Resource Event, ExCel, London, on 3 March 2015 to highlight the main features of the competition and explain the application process. Innovate UK and Knowledge Transfer Network staff will advise on applications and help potential participants to network with others. 

Applicants are strongly recommended to attend this event

A webinar to explain the scope of the competition and application process will be held on 9 March 2015. 

Note: all deadlines are at noon. 

For more information about these events and about networking and partnering opportunities visit https://connect.innovateuk.org/web/collaborationscircular-economy 

 

Key dates

  • Competition opens: 2 March 2015
  • Briefing: 3 March 2015
  • Registration deadline: 8 April 2015 noon
  • Deadline for applications: 15 April 2015 noon
     

MORE INFORMATION

To apply you must first register with us through the competition page on the website. Registration opens when the competition opens and closes a week before the deadline for applications. 

PUBLICITY

As part of the application process all applicants are asked to submit a public description of the project. This should adequately describe the project but not disclose any information that may impact on intellectual property, is confidential or commercially sensitive.

The titles of successful projects, names of organisations, amounts awarded and the public description will be published once the decision to offer an award has been communicated to applicants by email.

Information about unsuccessful project applications will remain confidential and will not be made public. E-mail pressoffice@innovateuk.gov.uk with any queries.