Making business-led innovation decisions

On Tuesday this week, while many of you were at RWM, I attended a workshop for another NERC project in nutrient recovery from waste.

This time looking at how businesses make decisions when thinking about how to innovate and make the most of their waste. The researchers wanted to know what information businesses need and what other factors they consider when deciding whether to do something different with their waste resource to potentially achieve a ‘higher-value product’.

Cranfield University and Rothamsted Research are hoping to work together to build a free to use, interactive tool, to help businesses with waste streams assess the potential of the material they have, identify the options available and then incorporate economic, environmental and social factors to provide a succinct summary of the relative merits of the available options.

Any tool that supports businesses to make these kinds of decisions is a welcome addition to the UK’s innovation or ‘business support’ arsenal. However the challenge will be for the researchers to develop a tool that provides useful answers across a broad spectrum of waste streams to a wide range of companies, in terms of size, motivation and objectives. As one workshop attendee asked ‘what do you mean by waste?’ and just as importantly what is meant by higher-value?

ADBA will be kept up to date as the project progresses. The project proposal deadline is this November, with the results of the call scheduled to be announced in March 2014, therefore a likely start date for the project is Summer 2014. If you would like to be involved in the project’s development and provide case studies to build the tool, or would like more information give me a call (+44 (0) 203 176 5441 or send me an email.

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

Tags: Cranfield, innovation, NERC, R&D, rothamsted