Resource efficiency: New designs for a circular economy - competition announced

The Technology Strategy Board (TSB) is to invest up to £1.25m in feasibility studies into the re-design of products, components and systems to retain material within the economy over several cycles of use – ‘closing the loop’. The new designs should lead to products with a lower environmental impact and/or that are less dependent on the use of strategic materials.

The TSB has identified ‘closing the loop’ and the move towards the ‘circular economy’ as a significant opportunity for UK business to contribute towards a resource efficient and low-carbon economy, to reduce their costs and supply risks, and to generate value.

Criteria for entrants to the competition for funding are as follows:

  • Projects must be business-led and may be collaborative or led by a single company.
  • All must involve a distinctive design contribution.
  • In a collaborative project, new design expertise should be brought in by one or more partners.
  • A project led by a single business should contract in relevant specialist expertise, for example from a university or design services provider.
  • The cumulative value of sub-contracts within the project should not exceed 75% of the total project costs.
  • The main deliverable of each feasibility project will be a report summarising the approach, quantifying the benefits of the new design and outlining the next steps.

More info
This competition is open to all UK companies and has two rounds. The first round opens on 29 October 2012. The deadline for registration is noon 05 December 2012 and the deadline for applications is noon 12 December 2012.

The second opens on 11 February 2013. The deadline for registration is noon 20 March 2013 and the deadline for applications is noon 27 March 2013.

Grants will not exceed £25k and, for large enterprises, will be no more than 65% of their project costs, and, for small and medium-sized enterprises, no more than 75% of their project costs.

Download the brief.

A series of supporting events is being planned with RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) under ‘The Great Recovery’ programme - see for further details.

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