The Technology Strategy Board is to invest up to £5m in collaborative research and development that aims to preserve the value of products and/or materials at end-of-life and keeps them in productive use for longer. They are seeking proposals that make supply chains more circular, which reduce both dependence on materials with a supply risk and the environmental impact of material lifecycles. Proposals should aim to cut general waste stream losses in half – or more.

A major strategy for achieving more effective use of resources is to move towards a circular economy in which materials are used many times and where the quality and economic value of those materials are maintained at a high level. This transition would benefit companies with, for example, substantial opportunities for cost reduction and mitigation of supply risks.

The economic analysis undertaken by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in partnership with McKinsey & Company demonstrated that the value of this opportunity exceeds USD $680bn a year at EU level for the medium complex goods sector alone.

A major challenge facing manufacturers in moving towards a circular economy is getting materials back. This competition targets improving the recovery of valuable materials in supply chains to reduce the global impact of material leakage and lower dependence on virgin raw materials. 

Competition guidelines:
Proposals must be collaborative and led by a business in a position to make a supply chain more circular. Applicants are encouraged to consider potential contributions from the design sector in their proposals.

For detailed guidelines please visit the competition website.