New report identifies innovation opportunities from UK`s industrial waste

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Auf der Bauschuttdeponie (Foto: Kroll / Recyclingportal.eu)

London, UK — 74 per cent of the UK’s waste is generated by business activity, with the largest fraction by weight generated by the construction sector. By far the most effective way to save costs and reduce environmental impact is to eliminate the production of waste. Where this is not possible, there are opportunities to convert waste into a feedstock for other industries (industrial symbiosis) via recycling, reprocessing or re-use. Over the course of a one-year investigation, Knowledge Transfer Network Limited have looked into these opportunities. The response from industry stakeholders to this investigation clearly indicated economic potential for the valorisation of industrial waste into high value chemicals, materials and products.

The new ‘Innovation Opportunities from Industrial Waste’ report identifies a long list of innovation opportunities that have the potential to be exploited by UK companies. It seeks to stimulate innovation in the waste sector by highlighting future technology trends and opportunities for growth through the development of new processes, technologies and services. Innovation is required to address the challenges involved in economically recovering valuable materials from waste as well as to keep up with the changing composition of waste.

Centred on a workshop involving 80 stakeholders across the waste supply chain, Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) has investigated context, barriers to innovation and innovation opportunities related to the valorisation of industrial waste. These topics are discussed against four sector groups:

  • Infrastructure systems: transport, energy, urban living and the built environment
  • Manufacturing, reprocessing and materials
  • Emerging and enabling technologies: digital, satellite applications, design and creative economy, emerging technologies and industries, robotics and autonomous systems, electronics, sensors, photonics
  • Health, agri-food and life sciences

The response from industry stakeholders to this investigation clearly indicated economic potential for the valorisation of industrial waste into high value chemicals, materials and products. This report identifies a long list of innovation opportunities that have the potential to be exploited by UK companies. KTN hopes that the content in this report will help companies to identify opportunities for innovation and to stimulate ideas for technology development. KTN will continue to work with UK companies to exploit these opportunities, accelerating the UK’s transition to a resource-efficient and resilient economy.

The full report can be downloaded under connect.innovateuk.org.

Source: Knowledge Transfer Network Limited