West Midlands Resource Reuse Network (WMRRN)

We are pleased to announce the launch of the ‘West Midlands Resource Reuse Network’

Funded through the WMCA led West Midlands Innovation Programme, in partnership with Innovate UK, UK Research and Innovation, and the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology as part of their trailblazing £100m levelling up investment into the national innovation accelerator programme.

The West Midlands Resource Reuse Network (WMRRN) project aims to support businesses working in areas such as manufacturing and construction to adopt sustainable circular economy practices through the re-use of sand, wastewater and metals.

If you’re interested in finding out more get in touch with Jordan Gerrard via jordan.gerrard@wmca.org.uk.

The Challenge:

Businesses in the West Midlands, and across the UK, face numerous challenges, including the fall-out from Brexit, the COVID-19 pandemic, the rising cost of doing business, and supply chain disruptions caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and ongoing conflict. This has created a ‘perfect storm’ scenario for businesses which has resulted in: Staff shortages across a number of industries, particularly in specialised roles and industries; Rising energy costs putting further constraints on businesses that were already stretched by the pandemic; Supply chain disruptions and the reduced value of the pound on international markets leading to longer lead times and increased costs; Rising costs for waste disposal, including increasing rates of landfill tax and the need to transport waste further out of urban areas to ensure that it is safely disposed of.

Main Objectives:

1.Test a West Midlands approach to industrial symbiosis, focusing primarily on 3 material flows: sand, wastewater, and metals.

2.Position materials efficiency support within the current industrial decarbonisation business support landscape, which is focused mainly on supporting energy efficiency.

3.Make the case for further investment in materials efficiency programmes in the West Midlands and the UK.

Main Outcomes:

1.Increased resilience of participating businesses, through decreased exposure to geopolitical and macroeconomic shocks, by relying less on import of required materials.

2.Cost and carbon savings for businesses in the West Midlands on account of a reduction in raw and virgin materials use, also diverting waste from landfill.

3.Continued and further investment in materials efficiency business support through the demonstration of the viability and value of the project, and industrial symbiosis’s ability to support industrial decarbonisation and unlock and R&D.