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Going for growth in remanufacture

The remanufacturing sector presents a fantastic economic opportunity for Scotland, and Zero Waste Scotland is focused on getting the right infrastructure and supply of products and materials in place for Scotland to reap the rewards. 

Remanufacturing in Scotland has the potential to grow rapidly from its current value of £1.1 billion. By 2020 it could grow by a further £620 million, and create up to 5,700 new jobs. The industry already employs some 17,000 people across the country.

Enabling the return of high-value, priority products and materials, like electronics and machinery, back into remanufacture is the key to developing a thriving, profitable remanufacture and re-use economy in Scotland and is the focus of the latest initiative from Zero Waste Scotland to boost these sectors.

We are looking for innovative solutions to the challenges of capturing the high-value products currently gathering dust or otherwise falling through the cracks in homes as well as commercial and industrial premises that could be feeding a remanufacturing boom.

To crack the problem of how we can capture more items such as small electronics, commercial and industrial machinery equipment (such as automotive parts, medical equipment or even railway rolling stock), furniture, or packaging - from where they fall outwith the system and channel these effectively into remanufacturing and re-use, we’re opening a competitive fund offering awards of up to £100,000 over two years to trial or replicate innovative solutions within Scotland for the first time.

As Scotland’s resource efficiency experts, Zero Waste Scotland is committed to the development of a more circular economy – where materials are kept in productive use as long as possible, we are keen to use the expertise and contacts of business to help solve the issues that will help these sectors reach their potential.

We’re looking to hear from bidders by the 18th of September this year, with a commercially sustainable, robust business plan, that potentially plugs into existing networks and could create jobs and training opportunities.

Applications are welcome from large organisations, start-ups or consortia, in the private or third sectors – the ability to collaborate effectively will be the key.   Bidders should also hold Revolve accreditation, or equivalent, for private sectors.

If you think your business could bring the creative thinking and sector know-how we’re looking for, apply via our website.

Helping to set the stage for the growth of remanufacturing, earlier this year we also became a founding supporter (together with the Scottish Funding Council) of the Scottish Institute for Remanufacturing.  Hosted by the University of Strathclyde and based in Glasgow, it’s one of only four of its kind in the world.  The Institute has just launched its first programme to co-fund collaborative projects between universities and businesses to increase or improve remanufacturing being undertaken. Between £5,000 and £50,000 is available to oil the wheels for project, and I’d encourage those who meet the criteria to contact the Institute directly – drop them a line at sir-enquiries@strath.ac.uk

We have a wealth of high value materials in Scotland which if utilised correctly could help to boost our economy, and I hope to see organisations across the country taking advantage of these two exciting opportunities to help accelerate the growth of a robust re-use and remanufacturing sector.

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