The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have launched its €650,000 funding opportunity for Irish enterprises to innovate, demonstrate and implement new circular economy approaches in their business models, moving away from the ‘Take Make Use Dispose’ economic model. Circular business models appeal to customers and consumers looking for sustainable options and contribute to a climate-neutral, resource-efficient economy. The EPA’s Green Enterprise: Innovation for a Circular Economy fund worth €650,000 is now open for applications.
Applications for project funding in the range of €50,000 to €100,000 are invited. This funding will support Irish businesses to develop circular solutions in product and service design, production and distribution, use of resources including raw materials, and in water, energy and waste reduction.
The fund is aimed at business-ready innovative projects targeting the areas of food, water and nutrients; packaging, textiles, plastics; construction and buildings; electronics and ICT; batteries and vehicles.
Speaking about the Green Enterprise: Innovation for a Circular Economy funding call, Laura Burke, Director General of the EPA said, “circular businesses reduce costs and environmental impact by reusing, repairing and recycling materials already in use. These approaches can advance the green transition, accelerate digital transformation and can deliver new jobs and skills as Ireland transitions to a more sustainable economy.”
“The EPA is inviting business and industry applicants from across Ireland’s economy with business-ready innovative projects targeting our priority areas of food, water and nutrients; packaging, textiles, plastics; construction and buildings; electronics and ICT; and batteries and vehicles”.
The EPA’s Green Enterprise: Innovation for a Circular Economy fund supports Irish enterprises to develop and demonstrate circular economy approaches, designing out waste and pollution and keeping products and materials in use for longer. The types of projects being targeted include:
- Use of eco-design to develop sustainable products.
- Innovation to reduce the use of raw materials in product manufacturing.
- Development and implementation of circular production processes (designing out waste, life cycle analysis).
- Recycling, reuse and repair activities in the business and industry sector.
- Circular services and business models (to transform consumption patterns, logistics and to foster reuse and repair).
Warren Phelan, Programme Manager, EPA said, “the Green Enterprise fund is an opportunity for Irish business to access finance in support of their innovative and circular business ideas. In the past the fund has supported business to pilot and test new enterprise activities creating new market opportunities and jobs as well as preventing wasted resources. We encourage businesses that are considering new circular activities to consider the support offered by the Green Enterprise fund”.
Some previously funded circular economy projects include:
- A project to reduce food waste by using surplus bakery bread as a secondary raw material in brewing beer.
- An innovative manufacturing process using recyclable, reinforced plastic for producing wind turbine blades.
- Evaluating the potential to recover and use the biomass generated in fruit and vegetable supply chains to produce new food fibre ingredients.
Further detail on these and other projects are available on the EPA website.
The deadline for submission of proposals for Green Enterprise funding is 19th July 2022. Further information is available on the EPA website.
Source: EPA Ireland