Overview

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £7 million from the Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging Programme in innovation projects.

These projects must have the potential to significantly impact the 2025 UK Plastics Pact targets in the long term, and address widely known problems related to plastic packaging for consumer products.

Your proposal must:

  • improve the sustainability of the plastic packaging supply chain
  • make a significant contribution towards delivering the targets of the UK Plastics Pact
  • utilise at-scale innovation in design, technology, processes, business models, supply chains or data for plastic packaging
  • embed a whole systems approach to plastic packaging sustainability, considering environmental, economic, and social factors

Scope

This competition will fund ambitious R&D projects with the potential to significantly impact the 2025 UK Plastic Pact targets and address widely known problems related to plastic packaging for consumer products.

Your project must primarily address one or more of the UK Plastics Pact targets.

The benefits of your new approach must be quantified in terms of the Pact targets and by comparison to the current system or dominant solutions.

Any environmental impacts must be described and justified.

Innovate UK want to fund a portfolio of projects, addressing the four UK Plastics Pact targets, across a variety of technologies and markets.

This competition is funded by the ISCF Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging Fund (SSPP), the Challenge Director reserves the right to make the final decision on whether a project will receive funding.

Specific Themes

Your project can focus on one or more of the following:

  • the minimising or reduction of plastic packaging
  • packaging suitable for reuse, refill and online delivery
  • sustainable solutions for film and flexibles
  • food grade recycled polypropylene and polyethylene
  • behaviour change leading to less packaging waste or higher recycling rates
  • solutions which address the UK Plastics Pact target for problematic or unnecessary single use plastic packaging items

This list is not intended to be exhaustive; we are particularly interested in ambitious projects.

Eligibility

Your project must:

  • claim a grant between £200,000 and £4 million
  • start in early 2022
  • end by 31 March 2025
  • last between 12 and 36 months

To lead a project or work alone your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business of any size
  • carry out its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business, academic institution, charity, not-for-profit, public sector organisation, research organisation, or research and technology organisation (RTO)
  • carry out its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK

Subcontractors are allowed in this competition.

You can use a previously submitted application to apply for this competition.

Innovate UK will not award you funding if you have:

  • failed to exploit a previously funded project
  • an overdue independent accountant’s report
  • failed to comply with grant terms and conditions

Exclusions

Innovate UK are not funding projects which:

  • are detrimental to the environment compared with existing solutions
  • encourage or facilitate the export of plastic packaging whilst still classified as waste
  • are primarily concerned with the production of any kind of fuel or direct energy generation from plastic waste
  • develop materials or packaging which will not have commercially available and viable UK recycling (or appropriate organic waste treatment) infrastructure in place by 2025
  • relate to the recycling of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or polystyrene, including expanded polystyrene (EPS) and high impact polystyrene (HIPS)
  • do not focus on packaging for consumer products
  • are dependent on export performance – for example giving a subsidy to a baker on the condition that they export a certain quantity of bread to another country
  • are dependent on domestic inputs usage – for example if we insisted that a baker use 50% UK flour in their product

Funding Costs

Innovate UK have allocated up to £7 million to fund innovation projects in this competition. The competition will award grants from £200,000 to £4 million per project.

If your organisation’s work on the project is mostly commercial or economic, your funding request must not exceed the limits below. These limits apply even if your organisation normally acts non-economically.

This competition awards funding up to the grant limit.

To ensure the granted limit is not exceeded by your application, you may need to reduce the amount you request to below the usual limits.

For industrial research projects, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 70% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • up to 60% if you are a medium-sized organisation
  • up to 50% if you are a large organisation

For experimental development projects which are nearer to market, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 45% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • up to 35% if you are a medium-sized organisation
  • up to 25% if you are a large organisation

Interested in applying for this competition?

Book a 30-minute consultation

Our team are available to discuss your innovative business, your project ideas and how we can help you to write a successful application for this Grant Funding opportunity.

Use the calendar to select and book a consultation with one of our experts, at a time that’s convenient for you.


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