Scottish EDGE launches Circular Economy EDGE Award

From left - Fergus Moore (Revive Eco), Evelyn McDonald (Scottish EDGE), Jill Farrell (ZWS), Scott Kennedy (Revive Eco)
From left - Fergus Moore (Revive Eco), Evelyn McDonald (Scottish EDGE), Jill Farrell (ZWS), Scott Kennedy (Revive Eco)

Businesses with innovative circular economy business ideas could be in the running for up to £100k support from Scottish EDGE thanks to a new funding award supported by Zero Waste Scotland.

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Circular Economy EDGE is a special award category introduced with Zero Waste Scotland funding to encourage and back entrepreneurs who are exploring more circular ways of doing business.

A circular economy is one that’s sustainable, and as much as possible eliminates waste. In a circular economy everything has value and nothing is wasted. Circular ways of doing business include new business models offering ‘products as a service’, products designed with their whole life cycle in mind, remanufacturing and reprocessing to create new products from old, and re-using and repairing – all to keep products and materials in the economy for as long as possible.

The new award will be a prize of up to £100,000 for the top circular economy business idea in Round 14 of the Scottish EDGE competition. As with all main category awards and special awards, it will comprise of 40% grant and 60% loan.

The introduction of the Circular Economy EDGE Award aims to emulate the successes of Scottish EDGE’s Tech, Creative and Social Enterprise focused special awards, all of which have resulted in their respective sectors generating a significant increase in representation at the application and finalist stages, round on round.

To date, Scottish EDGE has made 350+ awards, totaling over £13 million while helping to create over 1600 jobs and boosting turnover of awardee companies by £131.29 million. 

For Zero Waste Scotland, the partnership provides an opportunity to encourage and support more circular ways of doing business which can result in resource efficiencies, improved profitability, higher quality products, increased customer base and alternative supply chains for businesses.

Previous Scottish EDGE circular economy success stories include: Revive Eco, a company that transforms coffee ground waste into fertilisers and biomass pellets that can be used as a low carbon heating source; MiAlgae, a startup that aims to revolutionise the animal and fish feed industries with microalgae made from the co-products of whisky; CuanTec, a blue biotech company taking food waste, extracting chitin and creating antimicrobial compostable food packaging that makes food last longer; and Aurora Sustainability, a circular economy and sustainability consultancy firm based in Forres.

Scottish EDGE launched its latest round, Round 14, on Monday 28th January with applications being accepted via scottishedge.com until 4th March. The live, two-day pitching final is planned for 28th and 30th May, and prizes, ranging from £10k to £150k, will be awarded to some of Scotland’s most innovative startup businesses at the 13th June Awards Ceremony. Scottish EDGE itself is supported by the Royal Bank of Scotland, The Hunter Foundation and the Scottish Government.

Evelyn McDonald, CEO of Scottish EDGE said:

“The introduction of Circular Economy EDGE is a significant step in the progression of our competition. Demand for this award has been known to us for some time, which I think reflects the increased urgency with which consumers and regulators are demanding solutions to environmental problems associated with a wasteful culture.

“The generous support of Zero Waste Scotland will allow Scottish EDGE, through the Circular Economy EDGE Award, to raise the profile of the innovative businesses working to promote a shift in our relationship with the products we use, from one of convenience to one of longevity.” 

Jill Farrell, Chief Operating Officer, Zero Waste Scotland:

“We’re delighted to see that the circular economy is being recognised as a successful way of doing business. For entrepreneurs, this alternative approach to our throwaway culture creates new opportunities for exciting new products and services. We encourage all Scottish businesses with innovative ideas for keeping products and materials in the economy to apply for funding.”

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