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Research partnership tackles industrial waste

INDUSTRIAL WASTE minimisation is the aim of a research partnership unveiled last month by trade and industry secretary Patricia Hewitt.

Chester-based technology firm C-Tech Innovation will lead the Mini-Waste Faraday Partnership with support from three UK universities. It has been given initial funding of £2.2m.

By fostering links between industry and academic departments, Mini-Waste aims to stimulate the research, development and implementation of technologies to reduce industrial waste.

Faraday Partnerships bring together UK researchers and manufacturers in a bid to make the most of developments in science and technology.

The Mini-Waste partnership was one of six announced by Hewitt, bringing the total established since 1998 to 24.

Mini-Waste is sponsored by the DTI, the EPSRC and the National Environmental Research Council.

Mini-Waste director Dr Andrew Rowley said: 'There has been a considerable effort to reduce waste from UK industry, and, through the introduction of environmental policies and good housekeeping measures, significant progress has been made.

'However, there is a limit to how much can be achieved in this way, and high quality strategic research is now required to produce the new technologies necessary to take waste minimisation to the next level.

'Mini-Waste will provide this strategic research, together with an implementation route for the technologies, and the skilled people required to deliver them.' Industrial support for MiniWaste has already been pledged by more than 40 companies including Skanska, International Power, Shell Global Solutions, AEA Technology, Tarmac, BASF and Shell.

Strategic support has also been promised from organisations such as the Institution of Civil Engineers, Ciria and the Environment Agency.

The partnership will use seminars, websites, newsletters, steering groups and individuals appointed as technology translators, to encourage participation, research, technology transfer and training.

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