We are inviting proposals for business-led collaborative research and development projects to recover products and/or materials at the end of their life to retain their value and keep them in productive use for longer. We wish to support projects led by a business that is in a position to change a supply chain and make it more circular.
We are particularly interested in maximising retained value at the end of a product's life before material enters a general waste stream where separation becomes more difficult. For this reason, energy from waste and low-value end uses such as aggregates are excluded. Included within the scope of this competition are investigation of novel design approaches and new business models.
Projects should describe how they will retain value and reduce losses to general waste streams. Value can be retained, for example by shifting to circular business models such as leasing (maintenance and reuse) and remanufacturing or through secondary uses of captured materials (recycling).
We are seeking high-impact projects and proposals should seek to cut general waste stream losses for a product type by at least half. It is expected projects will feature new collaborations creating new supply chains that enable greater value creation or cost savings.
Proposals should be for innovative, collaborative work, and will be assessed according to the normal criteria that may be found in the Guidance Notes for Applicants. Applicants should clearly describe where revenue generation and growth will 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.
Successful projects are likely to incorporate a significant design component, both to ensure environmental performance and to include design attributes such as desirability, usability and feasibility. To help applicants understand the potential contribution of design to their proposal, we are offering our Design Option with this competition.
What is the Design Option?
The Design Option offers applicants free access to design mentors before submitting an expression of interest. The role of the design mentors is to help applicants to embed a holistic approach to design into a project at the earliest stages and throughout. Design mentors will provide information to your consortium about design, and examples of how early use of design has benefitted other projects.
Applicants for the Design Option must be considering taking the lead in a consortium to apply for this competition. Only one request per organisation can be made for the Design Option.
Requests for the Design Option can be made from 19 September 2013. This is a limited offer that will be awarded on a ‘first-come first-served' basis up to a maximum of 25 awards. Requests will not be accepted after 25 October 2013 or after the maximum 25 awards are made, whichever comes sooner. All design mentoring work must be completed by 22 November 2013.