Tuesday, 06 November 2018 15:15

Funding for companies aiming to reduce Scotland’s food waste

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Funding has been made available to help encourage Scottish businesses aiming to cut food waste.

Up to £1 million in support has been offered as part of a bid to cut waste in Scotland. Zero Waste Scotland called for expressions of interest from small and medium-sized businesses at the close of a circular economy hotspot event in Glasgow this week. The organisation is working to help the Scottish Government achieve its target of reducing food waste by 33% by 2025. The funding is supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Scottish Government. 

Cutting down on food waste isn’t just good for the planet, it’s good for business, too. Estimates suggest the amount of food which could have been eaten but instead is thrown away by food service outlets is equivalent to one in six meals. Grants of up to £1 million are available for projects that will drive forward innovative, transformational, cost-effective and collaborative approaches to keeping food-based products in high value use, or to reducing waste in the food supply chain.

Iain Gulland, Zero Waste Scotland chief executive, said: “Cutting down on food waste isn’t just good for the planet, it’s good for business, too. The Circular Economy Hotspot has showcased some of Scotland’s best circular economy businesses to a global audience and we know there is huge economic potential for businesses with ideas to reduce food waste. We hope that by highlighting this funding we will encourage more SMEs to come forward with innovative ideas to cut waste and create new business opportunities. When it comes to food waste, there is no trade-off between doing the right thing for the climate and doing the right thing for your business.”

Proposals will be accepted from:

  • Small and medium sized businesses with projects enabling transformational change in the food supply chain by implementing circular economy solutions and business models to reduce waste.
  • Funding may be awarded to projects led by small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and supported by Scotland's academic talent; or to SMEs alone or as a group to progress innovative projects themselves.
  • The funding is aimed at projects at Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 4, in other words, to take projects to commercialisation stage.

They are seeking projects which: 

  • Are innovative and transformational;
  • Are pilot examples, replicable across the industry;
  • Deliver on carbon reduction, job creation and leveraged investment.

To help illustrate the scope of projects sought some example scenarios include:

  • Software solutions designed to improve supply chain and reduce waste;
  • Innovative packaging which will extend product shelf life and reduce food and drink waste;
  • Collaborative production and supply chain models which address specific food waste issues;
  • Design of novel processes to extend shelf life and reduce waste;
  • Business innovation which creates value from by-product or what would have been waste product;
  • Equipment or machinery that will reduce food waste during; processing, production or transportation;
  • Development of packaging solutions which may be applicable to other sectors.

How to apply:

Please complete the expression of interest form which can be accessed here by the deadline of 31 January 2019. If successful you will be asked to complete an outline project proposal form and thereafter you may be invited to submit a full application.

Eligible organisations:

Should the project have the potential to assist in the creation of a circular economy or improve resource efficiency, it would be eligible for funding support via the £73m Resource Efficient Circular Economy Accelerator Programme, administered by Zero Waste Scotland.  Eligible organisations are small and medium enterprises according to the European Commission definition of fewer than 250 employees and with a turnover below € 50m (further information).

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