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InnovateUK supports British companies paving the way for environmental change & a circular economy.

By January 28, 2020 No Comments

Last week, world leaders attended the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting & tempers ran high with conflicting messages from certain countries seeming to counteract the serious connotations of the environmental crisis planet Earth is facing.

On the other side of the world, the Australian bush fires sadly continued to burn; with billions of animals having already perished & the catastrophic disaster having already decimated hundreds of thousands of acres of habitats. With predictions that it will take a decade for the eco-balance to be returned to Australia & for their biodiversity to return; the outlook is bleak.

Planet Earth continues to suffer through anthropogenic climate change & with continued denials from certain quarters causing confusion & creating a rise in what is now commonly known as ‘climate deniers’; we have to consider in amongst all of the seeming carnage & despair we see displayed through our media, is there anything good happening? Is there a movement for change?

Well, of course there is.

Across the globe, innovators, engineers, scientists & entrepreneurs are striving to create a better world, with astounding innovations just waiting to be adopted & adapted into global platforms.

With this in mind, Dolphin N2 are going to spend the next couple of weeks looking into the innovations for a better future being spearheaded by British companies. With Government funding from InnovateUK, many British start up’s are being enabled to see their innovations become a viable & real commodity in an increasingly crowded market.

InnovateUK: “We drive productivity and economic growth by supporting businesses to develop and realise the potential of new ideas, including those from the UK’s world-class research base.

Since 2007, we have invested around £2.5 billion to help businesses across the country to innovate, with match funding from industry taking the total value of projects above £4.3 billion.

We have helped 8,500 organisations create around 70,000 jobs and added an estimated £18 billion of value to the UK economy.” (1)

Based on the InnovateUK downloadable spreadsheet ‘Innovate UK Funded Projects V2’ (2), we have chosen to concentrate this week on British packaging companies, innovators in helping to curtail the between 8-12 million tonnes of plastics per annum which end up choking our seas & suffocating our biodiversity.

Choose Packaging (CHOOSE Water Limited)

Edinburgh based company CHOOSE are striving to minimise plastic pollution, with their innovative, plastic free, fully biodegradable bottle made entirely from naturally occurring, sustainable & non-toxic materials.

“We created our bottle to minimise plastic pollution and begin the journey towards zero impact living. The products we offer utilise our patented paper bottle technology – a paper casing lined with a plant-based waterproof PET free liner. All the materials used to make our bottles are 100% natural, sustainable and vegan-friendly which will take less than a year, instead of a few centuries to degrade.” (3)

CHOOSE Water Limited have benefitted from a funding grant from InnovateUK, with the focus being on the development & scale up of the product under the Collaborative & R&D InnovateUK category.


Oceanium founded in 2018 is based in Oban, Scotland with an office in London. Oceanium  is developing ‘marine-safe, home compostable bio-packaging materials & food & nutrition products from sustainably-farmed seaweed. (4)

Utilizing an innovative green chemistry, Oceanium will produce a home compostable, marine-safe bio-packaging material to replace current food packaging which has no end of life solutions. Oceanware* will be 100% natural and its end of life solution is to to be disposed of with food waste which will then be composted for soil health or for anaerobic digestion for energy.  (5)

With the Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging (SSPP) challenge having been rolled out by UK Research & Innovation, the national funding agency investing in science & research in the UK; companies like CHOOSE & Oceanium are being enabled to scale up & get their products to market.

With global governments seeking to ban single use plastics & the EU having agreed to ban all single use plastics in member states by 2021; the next decade will be, as Antonio Guterres – Un Secretary General has been quoted as saying:

“With only 10 years to go, much work remains to deliver on our promise of the Global Goals (6)  That’s why we are making the 2020s a “Decade of Action” – to generate a fair globalization through ambition, innovation and solutions for everyone, everywhere” Antonio Guterres – UN Secretary General, World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, Davos 2020 (7)

With funding & support from InnovateUK & UK Research & Innovation, the possibilities are endless & gives essential for supporting British innovators to be part of a growing movement towards a sustainable circular economy.

Written by Katy-Jane Mason for & on behalf of Dolphin N2.