Small Business Research Initiative launched in Derry

Agriculture Minister Michelle McIlveen.
 Photo: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Agriculture Minister Michelle McIlveen. Photo: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Environment Minister Michelle McIlveen has officially launched a new £350,000 Small Business Research Initiative (S.B.R.I.) competition to encourage and stimulate the development of innovative remediation technologies for the Mobuoy Road waste site in Derry and other illegal waste sites.

Funding for this S.B.R.I. competition has come from the Executive’s Pilot S.B.R.I. Challenge Fund which is jointly managed by the Department for the Economy (D.f.E.) and the Department of Finance.

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (D.A.E.R.A.) has allocated £350,000 to fund six projects in Phase One of this two phase competition. D.A.E.R.A. projects funded through this competition will inform, in part, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency’s (N.I.E.A.) remediation strategy for the Mobuoy Road illegal waste site in Co. Derry.

D.A.E.R.A. Minister Michelle McIlveen said: “The Mobuoy Road waste site presents a major environmental challenge which we need to address as a priority. The scale and complexity of the site will require an innovative approach.

“This research initiative competition provides an opportunity for companies to develop innovative environmental technologies and solutions and I look forward to learning of successes as the competition progresses.

“The development of innovative remediation treatments for Mobuoy and other illegal waste sites will contribute to finding a solution for reducing the negative environmental impact of such sites.”

Economy Minister Simon Hamilton said: “We recognise the importance of using the buying power of the public sector as a key driver of innovation within the economy. S.B.R.I. provides us with a proven method to achieve this. In particular, we have seen with the recent announcements on the joint D.A.E.R.A., D.f.E. poultry litter project how S.B.R.I. can act as a catalyst to help encourage innovative solutions to address difficult issues. I am sure this S.B.R.I. competition will also see new innovative solutions developed to support the Waste Management sector.”

Minister of Finance, Máirtín Ó Muilleoir said: “£1.1million has been set aside in the 2016/17 Budget for the establishment of a pilot S.B.R.I. Challenge Fund, which will help support local companies in their efforts to become more innovative. I welcome the proposals put forward under the Challenge Fund – this investment in new innovative ways of working will play an important part in assisting transformation and change in the public sector.”

Full details for making an application can be viewed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sbri-funding-competition-mobuoy-road-waste-remediation.