Energy from Waste prize fund launched for university students

Written by: Editorial staff | Published:

A new £2,500 prize fund aimed at attracting new talent into the anaerobic digestion (AD) and Energy from Waste (EfW) industries has been launched at RWM.

The Energy from Waste Innovation Fund, awarded by Privilege Finance, is open to undergraduate and postgraduate university students in the UK completing a dissertation related to EfW or renewable energy technology and engineering.

The winner will receive £1,000, with two runners up each receiving £750 upon completion of their research, plus 12 months of mentoring from Privilege Finance.

It has been developed to bring students with a flair for innovation to the waste sector, following concerns from Privilege commercial director Chris Winward that talent is not being attracted and retained within the sector.

Speaking to RWW, he said: “Great ideas need encouragement, and a lot of younger talent is leading towards solar and wind rather than the renewables and EfW sector. But there’s so much opportunity here to make a lot of difference.

“With a growing focus on developing the UK’s circular economy, new and existing technologies that use waste materials to generate a sustainable source of energy, will become ever more important.”

Winward also stressed Brexit as cause for a loss of talent in the industry.

He added: “With lots of things winding down, such as the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), a lot of people are uncertain about their futures. They have grown this great industry but now they are asking what happens next.

“We will have lots of people leaving the UK if we are not careful, so we are making sure we do not lose good talented people.”

The three finalists will also be offered access to Privilege’s business contacts and network.

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