CALL FOR PROPOSALS – Circular Economy

Extending the useful life of products, enabling multiple product lifecycles

The Circular Economy is central to Scotland’s Industrial future, it is widely accepted that the linear nature of product development “take, make, use, dispose” is unsustainable, both economically and environmentally due to the finite nature of essential resources.  There is growing national and international recognition that the circular economy model, where products are reused, repaired, reconditioned and remanufactured rather than disposed of is the only way in which the growing demand for products can be met and as such, the opportunities for industry and academia involvement are significant.

Remanufacturing is at the forefront of resource efficiency in Scotland as the move towards a Circular Economy gathers pace.  It is estimated that the current size of the European remanufacturing industry is just under €30bn and forecasts based on market studies predict that the industry could grow to €90bn by 2030.

The Scottish Institute for Remanufacture (SIR) enables and supports innovation and collaboration between industry and Scotland’s academic researchers.  To date SIR have awarded project funding in excess of £250,000, combining specialist knowledge with advanced research techniques and machinery to drive innovation and process improvements across a broad range of topics including:

  • Cleaning techniques
  • Precision measurement
  • Non-destructive validation and testing of components
  • Business models
  • Business tools
  • Product design and re-design for re-use
  • Material assessment
  • Predicting the remaining life of components

The projects have connected industry partners in sectors such as automotive, marine, aerospace, energy and ICT with academic partners from:

  • Heriot Watt Business School and Physics Department
  • University of Strathclyde Chemistry, Electronic & Electrical Engineering and Naval Architecture, Ocean and Marine Engineering Departments
  • Robert Gordon University Engineering Department
  • University West of Scotland Engineering and Computing Department

Projects that are currently being investigated require expertise in enzymes, material repair, composite materials and additive manufacturing.

SIR invites applications for the support of collaborative projects between an industry partner and an academic partner, in all areas of remanufacture.  A successful project must consist of an academic partner working on a project defined by the industry partner. Applications for an award can be submitted by either the company or the academic.


SIR funding of £5,000 to £50,000 per project is available. This is a Matched Funding program:

  • SIR will pay for the cost of a researcher’s time on the project
  • companies will match the SIR contribution through staff time, equipment or equivalent
  • the partner university will contribute the indirect and estates costs (FTE costs) for the researchers on the project
  • alternative funding can be investigated for projects with partners outside of Scotland
  • funding does not cover the creation of standards.

Application Process

Where necessary, this is a two-stage process.  The first stage (Expression of Interest) enables project ideas to be developed from a very early stage either by industrialists or academics – there does not need to be an industry-academic pairing at this point and the SIR team will help to broker relationships where appropriate/required.  During Stage two (completion of the SIR Proposal Form) a proposal will be developed and be submitted to the SIR Board and the SIR team will provide support/advice during this stage of the process.  A full proposal may also be submitted by an industry – academic pairing at the outset.

Stage 1 – Complete the Expression of Interest form

Companies can provide problems, barriers or challenges that require a solution and we will work with them to identify an academic partner that can address their issue and work on a project proposal with them.

Academics – We will also accept proposals from an academic who believes their solution could benefit a remanufacturer and we look at potential industry matches for the proposal.

Contact and request an Expression of Interest form.

Stage 2 – Complete the Call for Proposals form

This must be completed by both the industry partner and the academic partner. It may be submitted by either.

Contact and request a Call for Proposals form.

For further information please contact:

SIR Enquiries


Deadline for Expressions of Interest:

3rd June 2016

Deadline for Project Proposals:

24th June 2016

Funding will be approved by early August 2016  You will be contacted by 22nd July if we are unable to match you with an academic/industry partner.