News story

Smart tracking of waste across the UK: apply for funding

Organisations can apply for a share of up to £400,000 to develop new digital solutions for tracking waste from its source to its treatment or destination.

Recycling container at a recyling centre in England via Imran's Photography at Shutterstock
Up to £400,000 is available to organisations for tracking the movement of waste.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is to invest up to £400,000 in projects that use digital technology to record and track the movement of waste through the economy.

The investment is part of the government’s GovTech Catalyst, which aims to encourage businesses to come up with smart solutions to public sector challenges.

Better management of data and processes

In the last report on total waste generation, the UK was estimated to have generated more than 200 million tonnes in a year.

Processes for disposing of this waste are sometimes fragmented and often duplicated. Defra wants to know more about the waste being generated, how it is handled and disposed. This will maximise value from resources, improve UK productivity and minimise damage to the environment.

Funding for the competition is under SBRI (the Small Business Research Initiative), which aims to bring together government and businesses to find innovative solutions to public sector challenges.

Solutions should track movements of waste

Projects should develop ideas for tracking individual movements of waste through the economy including:

  • the point of generation or collection
  • who is handling the waste
  • how and where it is treated
  • the outputs from these processes and where these end up

Applications should be able to deal with the challenge of an estimated 23 million waste transactions across more than 100,000 regulated sites and 100,000 waste carriers.

This competition is in 2 phases. Phase 1 is for contracts of up to £80,000 to examine the feasibility of ideas. The best ideas could win a share of up to £1 million to develop and field test a prototype in a second phase.

Competition information

  • the competition opens on 11 June 2018, and the deadline for registration is at midday on 18 July 2018
  • it is open to any organisation that can demonstrate a route to market for its idea
  • we expect phase 1 contracts to be worth up to £80,000 and to last up to 3 months
  • successful projects will attract 100% funded development contracts
  • a briefing event will be held on 29 June 2018
Published 6 June 2018