“Innovation” Required To Address Waste Sector Challenges

wasteA new Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) report 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, KTN says.

The response from industry stakeholders to this investigation indicated economic potential for the valorisation of industrial waste into high value chemicals, materials and products.

Over the course of a one-year investigation and involving 80 stakeholders across the waste supply chain, KTN 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 indicated economic potential for the valorisation of industrial waste into high value chemicals, materials and products.

The report identifies innovation opportunities that have the potential to be exploited by UK companies as well as the barriers to innovation.

Some of these include developing technologies today for reprocessing and remanufacturing the waste streams of tomorrow (eg, composites, fuel cells, bioplastics and magnetic materials); new materials information databases detailing the properties of recycled materials; and embedded sensor technologies to facilitate the identification, tracking and sorting of materials and products.

It’s hoped this will help companies identify opportunities for innovation and to stimulate ideas for technology development.

KTN says it will continue to work with UK companies to exploit these opportunities, accelerating the UK’s transition to a resource-efficient and resilient economy.

For the full report CLICK HERE

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