ADBA R&D Forum 6 Nov: roundup and next steps

Last week’s R&D Forum in Bristol saw representatives from the AD industry and academia come together to find out what research and development is happening across the country and industry.

The presentations from the event have now been made available to delegates - please check your email for access to these. For everyone else here is a round up of the talks and discussions.

Morning session: driving innovation

Nina Sweet AD Technical Specialist, WRAP, gave an update on the progress of the Driving Innovation in AD scheme (DIAD) and discussed the provisional timeline for DIAD II (this is now open for tender see our post on Wednesday for the release and links to further information).

AD has an active and diverse R&D community, what we need to do is harness this expertise to drive the industry forward.


Round I of DIAD produced some great projects but some areas were not addressed in the applications we received. This is why we are looking to run this again.

DIAD II is planning to cover four streams: scaling technology (both bigger and smaller), processing and enhancing digestate, heat use, and proof of market (to help capture projects that are not quite ready for feasibility). Advice and support in putting together a submission is available from the KTNs. Please drop me an email or give me a call +44 (0) 203 176 0503, if you would like to be put in touch with the relevant contact.

David Tozer and Teresa Hogsbjerg, project managers of the first two DIAD streams (optimisation of processing and product manufacture at all scales of AD, and reduction of costs and complexity of small scale AD) gave an overview of the eight successful projects being taken through from feasibility to development. Full details of the 19 projects taken through to feasibility are available here on with written feasibility reports coming soon.

Next Micah Levy, Director, Innovation Plus, discussed how business can make the most of R&D tax credits and raised that many businesses that do not generally consider themselves to be carrying out R&D could be eligible, and that many activities that are not consider as part of core R&D work, such as routine testing, could also be included in the R&D cost calculation. If you would like further details on how your business could benefit from this service please get in touch.

Finally before lunch Jane Turell, Prinicipal Consultant, WRc, gave an introduction to the EU Environmental Technology Verification pilot and scheme, which aims to provide independent verification of the claims made by technology companies as to the performance of their products. Providing an opportunity for smaller companies to get ahead of their larger more established competitors.

Afternoon session: formulating the strategy

In the afternoon delegates were arranged in groups led by experienced workshop facilitators to review the draft strategy put together by Dave Andrew for ADBA to help focus R&D investment and prioritise the industry’s R&D goals and objectives.

The workshop groups were asked to critique:

  1. the layout of the strategy and its clarity,
  2. the research topics included, their relevance and strategic importance in terms of removing industry barriers,
  3. the proposed process for delivery and keeping the strategy relevant going forward

It was generally agreed that putting together a strategy will be helpful to industry development and that the workshop exercise was useful. These groups provoked lively debate and raised many constructive observations. ADBA’s challenge is now to go away, review these comments and put together a plan for developing the strategy to the next stage.

If you would like to discuss any of the above in more detail, or if you are working on an interesting R&D project that ADBA could support please drop me and email or give me a call.

Many thanks to our event partners, WRAP, the Environmental Sustainability and Biosciences KTNs and Fera, our delegates, and everyone involved in putting together the first draft of the R&D Strategy for the AD industry for helping to deliver this event.

Posted in: ADBA News, Industry News, Members' press release, News for Members, Policy updates, R&D Updates

Tags: ADBA events, Biosciences KTN, DIAD, DIAD II, ES KTN, R&D, R&D forum, Wrap