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Circular Economy Investment Fund Past Projects

Through our Circular Economy Investment Fund, we have approved a number of investments in exciting projects across small businesses in Scotland.

We are investing a total of £18 million as grant funding in small and medium sized businesses who are helping to create a more circular economy through our Circular Economy Investment Fund. For businesses, the circular economy offers exciting opportunities for competitive advantage and business growth. Circular approaches build business resilience thanks to products that can be re-used, repaired or recycled or by transforming waste into raw materials.  Businesses across Scotland are already profiting, with our help. Some are designing products that can be repaired and remanufactured, opening new revenue streams, whilst others are leasing or hiring their services to retain ownership of the valuable products and components. 

Project funding is available from £50,000 to £1 million and is open to all sectors of industry in Scotland. Our funding is already helping businesses across a range of industries as demonstrated by the scope of examples of projects listed below.  These projects put circular economy business models into practice by turning waste streams into raw materials, encouraging access to products rather than ownership via hiring and leasing and also re-using materials such as household items. 

We are actively encouraging more applications for the Circular Economy Investment Fund from all sectors in Scotland, please contact us for more information. 

Some examples of our investments to date: 

Angus 3D Solutions Ltd a leading prototype and 3D printing company is being funded £175,000 to support an additive manufacturing project for the development of metal printing in the local Scottish engineering community.

3F Bio, a biotechnology company specialising in sustainable protein, is being funded £318,360 to demonstrate at scale a new manufacturing technology to produce bulk high protein food, ethanol and animal feed using a zero waste fermentation process.

Blythswood Care is being funded £98,553 to deliver a new innovative circular economy ‘Bric-a-Brac Plus’ collection service for Scottish charity shops. This unique service will collect and re-use Scottish charity shops' unsold large and small Bric-a-Brac and other unsold items such as curtains, cushions, prams, pushchairs, wooden cots, furniture, duvets which are currently disposed. 

Circulogic a circular economy consultancy business is introducing a national golf club take back and refurbishment scheme, with an investment of £55,591. Read the case study.

Cirkel is being funded £15,000 to help develop a bed linen subscription service towards funding readiness by testing and analysis in a real-world context.

CRNS is being funded £99,509 for a consortium furniture re-use operation across Scotland. This is the first approach of its kind and will transform the sector’s ability to deliver local solutions with a national strategic approach. 

Deepdale Hire is being funded £12,500 for the final testing of a prototype barrier block, using recovered container glass, for sale into Orkney Islands Council.  

EGG Lighting and Tree Green EGG Lighting has developed a luminaire suitable for warehouse application that is modular in design.  This project investment of £24,457 is to fund a live trial in warehouse conditions prior to full commercialisation. 

Hamilton Waste is using £117,678 of circular economy investment in their mattress recovery operation involving the deconstruction and reprocessing of used mattresses in Edinburgh. The aim is to recover 2,000 tonnes of end of life mattresses with identified end markets for the constituent parts.  

Hydroklear  with an investment of £177,129 is now ready to bring to market a new innovative process that will recover copper from spent lees in whisky production, which will then be used to manufacture copper based chemicals.

Impact Laboratories in Grangemouth is developing an online portal and testing for the standardisation for polymer recycling in Scotland, as part of the Scottish Plastics Recycling Centre with an award of £107,796. 

Impact Recycling is implementing an innovative business model for equipment lease in waste polymer treatment in Grangemouth with an award of £97,800

Industrial Nature  the bio-based construction company has sectured an circular economy investment of £19,833 for the commercialisation of a hemp line construction block. 

Ingenza a world leading biotech business in Midlothian is being funded £191,393 to implement a highly innovative and carbon neutral approach to convert a gaseous waste stream (biobased substrates), into a useful chemical known as succinate. Succinate is a water-soluble, colourless crystal that is used in medicine, the manufacture of lacquers and perfume esters. It also has applications in foods as a sequestrant, buffer, and a neutralising agent.

Jaw Brew, a circular microbrewery in Glasgow has received a grant of £14,900 to take waste grains from brewing to make an energy rich food bar. The funding is for a project to test the market on this new product. 

Marine Biopolymers  an Ayrshire based business is producing nano cellulose from waste seaweed, a material used in industries as food and drink, textiles and pharmaceuticals with a circular economy investment of £156,710.

Mackies Transmissions  is being funded £58,426 for the development of bespoke solenoid controller for testing of remanufactured automatic transmissions.  

Move On is looking at post construction timber re-use and behaviour change in the construction sector with an investment of £146,450 in Edinburgh.  

Pennotec in Edinburgh is being funded £203,303 to commercialise chitin extraction from crustacean shell waste. Pennotec had successfully trialled the extraction of ‘chitin’ from crustacean shell waste and is now being funded to commercialise this business opportunity. Chitin is a sustainable natural resource that is under-used commercially but when stacked creates a strong composite material with bacteriostatic properties. Applications include cosmetics, surgical stitches and as a food thickening agent. With a thriving shellfish industry Scotland has a sustainable waste stream ready for harvesting.   

Pi Polymers in Perth and Kinross is being funded £574,750 to add significant value to large rigid post-consumer plastics in Scotland that are currently exported. The technology being funded will allow infrared optical sort of mixed rigid polymers. 

Recycling Technologies  in Perth and Kinross is being funded £1 million to develop Plaxx, a low sulphur HFO replacement from residual waste plast ic, which can be developed into a commercially viable hydrocarbon product used as a heavy fuel oil alternative or used to make virgin plastic. 

Revive Eco has received an investment of £234,358 for collection of used coffee grounds to recycle them to create high value bio-oils, which have a wide range of valuable applications including cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and food and drink. The business is built upon partnerships with large coffee chains and small independent coffee stores and garden centres.

Total Homes Cooperative has received an investment sum of £312,385 for a three-sector partnership delivering house clearances for Housing Associations in Glasgow, ensuring that household appliances, furniture and other goods are re-used.

Universal Resource Trading is delivering a project looking at the re-use of university R&D equipment across Scotland with an investment of £91,609

WEEE Solutions is being funded £133,786 for a project looking to  supply, at volume, a process of repair and re-use WEEE machinery into the market - to businesses, third sector organisations and councils.

Xanthella in Oban with a £581,507 investment is looking at algal production from whisky by-products.  This project will enable new industry in rural areas that simultaneously increases the strength of the rural circular economy by enabling better use of stranded timber and distillery co-products.  

The £18 million Circular Economy Investment Fund, administered by Zero Waste Scotland, offers investment for SMEs based in Scotland and supports work that will deliver circular economy growth. It is supported by the European Regional Development Fund through the £73million Resource Efficiency Circular Economy Accelerator Programme.

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