Overview

The aim of this competition is to support the development of proposals for demonstrator projects. Your project must showcase close-to-market solutions that go beyond the current state-of-the-art and deliver a more circular economy for plastic packaging.

Scope

Your project must deliver on the following SSPP Challenge objectives:

  1. Unlock a significant overall increase in research and innovation (R&I) spend (government and industry).
  2. Deliver R&I to support more sustainable plastic packaging in line with the UK Plastics Pact targets.
  3. Increase UK plastic packaging supply chain collaboration.

You must explain how you are innovating to contribute to the UK meeting one or more of the UK Plastics Pact targets:

  1. 100% of plastic packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable.
  2. 70% of plastic packaging recycled or composted.
  3. 30% average recycled content across all plastic packaging.
  4. Take actions to eliminate problematic or unnecessary single-use packaging items through redesign, innovation or alternative (reuse) delivery models.

Your proposal must take a systems perspective, use a lifecycle approach and consider the environment impacts.

The methodology and models applied to the project should be validated and endorsed by a national and/or international agency, such as the Environment Agency in the UK or the European Environment Agency in Europe.

Your proposal must focus on plastic packaging as the primary application but also include one or more of the following 4 innovation themes.

Materials innovation, for example:

  • new, recyclable polymer materials
  • biopolymers
  • improving ‘compatibilisation’ (making it easier to use more recycled content)
  • alternatives to plastics for packaging applications (such as mycelium materials to replace expanded polystyrene) where plastic is the only current option

Design innovation, for example:

  • design for recyclability
  • design for reuse
  • making food delivery and other delivery packaging more recyclable
  • marking and identification technologies to make sorting easier

Technology and process innovation, for example:

  • reuse processes such as cleaning
  • collection
  • sorting and separation
  • mechanical recycling
  • chemical recycling
  • anaerobic digestion (AD) or composting of compostable packaging

Business model innovation, for example:

  • reusable packaging systems such as refill
  • zero packaging business models and systems
  • consumer or business behavioural change

Eligibility

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

If an RTO is the lead it must collaborate with one other business of any size.

Academic institutions cannot lead.

To collaborate with the lead organisation your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business of any size, academic institution, charity or public sector organisation
  • carry out its project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from or in the UK
  • be invited to take part by the lead applicant
  • enter its costs in the Innovation Funding Service

Your project can include partners that do not receive any of this competition’s funding, for example non-UK businesses. Their costs will count towards the total eligible project costs.

Funding Costs

Innovate UK have allocated up to £700,000 to fund innovation projects in this competition.

Organisations that are primarily engaged in commercial or economic activity (known as selective advantage) as part of the project must ensure their request for funding does not exceed the limits defined below. This includes organisations that typically act non-economically but for the purpose of this project will be undertaking commercial or economic activity.

Projects in this competition will be feasibility studies.

You can 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

Your project’s total eligible costs must be between £25,000 and £50,000.

Projects must start by 1 June 2020 and end by 31 August 2020. They can last up to 3 months.

The research organisations in your consortium undertaking non-economic activities can share up to 30% of the total eligible project costs. If your consortium contains more than one research organisation undertaking non-economic activities, this maximum is shared between them.

Exclusions

Innovate UK are not funding projects which:

  • do not have plastic packaging as the primary focus
  • encourage or facilitate the export of plastic packaging while still classified as a waste
  • use or manufacture either a liquid fuel or a solid fuel, such as refuse-derived fuel or solid-recovered fuel, as the primary product

Interested in applying for this competition?