18 November 2019

Your weekly digest of policy news, funding competitions, and calls for evidence.

What’s been in the news?

Wind turbine 



The EU’s circular economy action plan

The EU’s circular economy action plan from 2015 has paved the way for new policies and strategies to be implemented. A prioritised goal of this action plan has been to recycle at least 70% packaging by 2030, which includes 55% of plastics.

Presently, the European Commission is preparing a second circular economy action plan. One of the main objectives of this action plan is to reduce carbon emissions to net-zero by 2050.

Kęstutis Sadauskas, Director for circular economy and green growth at the Commission’s Environment Directorate, stated that ‘circularity can bridge half of the gap towards the 1.5°C target’ with heavy industries helping to cut millions of tonnes of CO₂.
Overall, Sadauskas feels the circular economy might be a disruptive transition, warning that companies may go out of business if they fail to transition quickly.


EIB’s new energy lending policy

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has unveiled a new energy lending policy which will put a stop to financing fossil fuel energy projects by the end of 2021.

This strategy will align their financial activities with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Werner Hoyer, President of EIB, states that ‘Climate is the top issue on the political agenda of our time (as) Scientists estimate that we are currently heading for 3-4°C of temperature increase by the end of the century. If that happens, large portions of our planet will become uninhabitable.’

In the context of urgently needed transition to a sustainable future, the new policy will allow banks to support projects for low or zero carbon technology and fund projects for energy storage and electric vehicle (EV) services, in support of meeting the EU’s share target of 32% renewables by 2030.


Energy efficient tyres

A new agreement has been reached between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on tyre labelling. The agreement seeks to improve and strengthen EU tyre labels so that European citizens can make environment- friendly decisions on tyre choice, reducing their fuel output.

Fuel efficient tyres can lessen their rolling resistance and thereby impact fuel consumption.

Calls for evidence

  • Plastic food and drink packaging inquiry

Deadline: Open

  • Commercial genomics inquiry

Deadline: Open

  • Electronic waste and the Circular Economy inquiry

Deadline: Open – accepting written submissions

  • Net zero government inquiry

Deadline: Open – accepting written submissions

  • Financing energy infrastructure inquiry

Deadline: Open - accepting written submissions

  • The new farming programme inquiry

Deadline: Open

For Parliamentary Calls for Evidence please see the Parliament Committee page.


Funding competitions

Deadline: 27 November 2019

Up to £30 million is available to build regional centres which will by industry and researchers to drive the development of power electronics, machines and drives technologies.

Deadline: 4 December 2019

Apply for a share of up to £2.5 million to develop innovative aerospace technologies

Deadline: 11 December 2019

UK organisations can apply for a share of up to £2 million for 5G collaborative R&D projects.

Deadline: 22 January 2020

Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund is funding an opportunity to apply for a share of up to £5.4 million. This involves taking part in the application of whole genome sequencing to analyse cancers.

Deadline: 8 January 2020

Apply for a share of up to £25 million to deliver commercially viable innovative idea that can will have a significantly large economic impact.

Deadline: 20 November 2019

Up to £3.5 million is available from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund to enable data in accountancy, insurance and law.

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