Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced a £70m programme aimed at helping small and medium businesses adopt the circular economy concept. Known as the Circular Economy Investment Fund and Service, the funding is part of a larger package of measures aimed at developing the manufacturing industry in Scotland.
In July 2015 Zero Waste Scotland already announced that £100,000 would be available to remanufacturing innovators. The funding is hoping to inspire research and development in circular economy services and to act as a catalyst in the development of remanufacturing business models.
The Circular Economy Investment Fund and Service, to be delivered by Zero Waste Scotland and Scottish Enterprise, will help small to medium-sized businesses develop innovative technologies, business models and infrastructure – from proof of concept stage through to implementation.
The programme will benefit from more than £70 million of investment – including £30 million from the European Regional Development Fund – which will enable companies to capture new opportunities presented by a move to a more circular economy across a range of sectors, including remanufacturing.
Iain Gulland, Chief Executive, Zero Waste Scotland, said: “This is a welcome announcement from the Scottish Government and great news for Scotland. We’re delighted that we’ll be using our expertise to deliver such a ground-breaking programme. This new funding and support package will push boundaries in business innovation to develop circular models that will keep products in use for longer and ultimately save precious raw materials and resources."
The new manufacturing strategy for Scotland, A Manufacturing Future for Scotland, outlines how government will work with industry and with higher and further education institutions to stimulate innovation, improve productivity and increase investment in Scottish manufacturing in order that it can better compete globally.
Commenting on the announcement, Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “The Scottish Government will shortly publish our circular economy strategy – Making Things Last – which will set out in more detail our priorities for delivering the economic, environmental and social benefits of a more circular economy.”
For more information and to register interest in applying for funding or support through the new circular economy programme, where remanufacturing is a priority sector, please visit www.zerowastescotland.org.uk/circular-economy.