1 September 2004

Defra opens second round of 30m new technologies fund

Defra opened the second and final round of its 30 million New Technologies Demonstrator Programme today.

Seeking to demonstrate the commercial viability of new forms of treatment for biodegradable municipal solid waste, the Demonstrator Programme will see ten pilot plants set up over the next two years.

A statement from Defra explained: “The programme is intended to help overcome the perceived risks of implementing new technologies in England and to provide accurate and impartial technical, environmental and economic data.”

The first round of funding was open to bidding in March this year, and should support five projects that will be operational by the end of 2005. A Defra spokeswoman told letsrecycle.com that an announcement concerning which five demonstrator projects are to be given preferred bidder status in the first tranche of the fund will be made later this month.

Today's second round of funding will be open for applications until the end of November 2004. The government is aiming to promote at least four new waste treatment technologies through its Demonstrator Programme. These could include advanced types of thermal treatment such as gasification and pyrolysis as well as forms of mechanical biological treatment and anaerobic digestion.

Technologies that are proven commercially – such as energy-from-waste incineration – do not qualify for the scheme. Under European Union State Aid rules, funding cannot go to projects unless they are currently non-commercial and non-competitive.

Viability
Applications will be assessed by Defra's New Technologies Advisory Committee, chaired by Barclays head of environmental services Peter Calliafas, before recommendations are made to ministers.

Successful applications for the fund will need to address issues including value for money, commercial viability, waste tonnages diverted from landfill.

Part of Defra's Waste Implementation Programme, the New Technologies Programme is also working on a Data Centre, which will bring together current research on new and emerging waste technologies. The Programme has also provided 2 million for new research and development projects in this area.


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