SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT is investing in the UK’s renewable chemical industry with a new contract to fund the research and development programme of North East technology company, Solvert Ltd.
As part of the investment, Solvert has agreed a collaborative research and development project with SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT and SITA UK to convert organic waste into feedstock for use in industrial fermentation processes to produce renewable chemicals. The investment will focus on optimising the pretreatment of the waste and maximising value creation from it.
Solvert’s technology takes the organic fraction of household and commercial waste (food, paper, garden waste etc) and through a series of physical and biological transformations converts it into valuable and sustainable renewable chemicals, which are in significant demand in the UK manufacturing sector.
Kris Wadrop, Solvert’s Founder and CEO, said: “Securing finance for the business has been incredibly tough in the current economic climate, however, with this investment from SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT I am delighted that the team’s hard work is now paying dividends. The value of the investment from SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT is more than financial. SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT is committing resources from its resource and development centre in Paris and its subsidiary, SITA UK, which is one of the UK’s leading recycling and resource management companies, who will provide technical support and also help with commercialisation work.”
Stuart Hayward-Higham, Technical Development Director at SITA UK, said: “We are pleased to have helped facilitate this investment and to be part of the team that will work on the technical research and development and the wider potential commercialisation of the research and development outputs. This project is one of a number where we are investing our skills and resources into making better use of waste.”
Paul Joel Derian, Senior VP of Research, Innovation & Performance at SUEZ ENVIRONNMENT said: “Our role is to help our respective business units to develop their business today and for the future. Being able to support this important research with significant funding, technical specialists from our research and development centre in Paris and close collaboration with the technical and commercial resources of SITA UK demonstrates our commitment to recovering value from organic waste and sustainable development.”
Kris Wadrop concluded: “Our initial business vision, to build manufacturing facilities in the UK, remains the same, however our understanding of the markets, both feedstock and financial, have meant those plans have had to be revised to suit the current UK regulatory and economic climate. Government support is growing in the field of resource efficiency and the circular economy however our technology proposition is as much about crossing supply chain boundaries as it is developing new novel technologies and doesn’t yet appear to qualify for many of the government funded schemes. This is why corporate support from SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT and SITA UK is incredibly valuable as it clearly demonstrates the value of our technology and relevance of our commercial focus to industry.”