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Cutting industrial waste in India: apply for innovation funding

Business and researchers can apply for a share of £8 million to work with Indian partners on solutions to waste and pollution.

A truck loaded with industrial waste in Kanpur, India

Innovate UK, the Biotechnology and Biological Research Council (BBSRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) have up to £8 million to invest in joint UK-India projects that reduce industrial waste and pollution in India.

The investment is part of the Newton Fund, which uses science and innovation to promote economic development and social welfare of official development assistance (ODA) partner countries. The competition is funded in India by the Government of India’s Department of Biotechnology (DBT).

Projects can target 5 key areas

Projects must use biotechnology to aim to reduce waste and pollution and improve the recovery of value from waste in 5 areas:

  • leather, tanning and/or textiles
  • municipal solid waste
  • paper and pulp
  • sewage
  • sugar cane

Projects must aim to increase economic development and have a positive social or environmental effect on wider Indian society.

India has experienced rapid industrialisation

India has experienced strong growth in recent decades leading to large-scale industrialisation and areas of dense population.

It produces 13% of the world’s leather, has 51 million people employed directly and 68 million employed indirectly in the textile industry. It is also the world’s second largest producer of sugar cane, and has a rapidly growing pulp and paper industry.

Cities need new solutions to reduce landfill and the incineration of waste. Only around 30% of the country’s sewage is treated, and the existing centralised sewage systems have failed to achieve the country’s required discharge standards.

Competition information

  • the competition is open, and the deadline for applications is at midday on 18 October 2017
  • projects must involve at least one UK business, one UK higher education or research council institute, and one Indian academic institution or research organisation
  • a UK-based business or research organisation can lead the project
  • we expect total grants for the UK element of projects to range up to £2 million and to last between 30 months and 3 years
  • businesses can attract up to 70% of their total project costs
  • a briefing event will be held in York on 12 July 2017
Published 20 June 2017
Last updated 21 June 2017 + show all updates
  1. Corrected application deadline.

  2. First published.