Privilege Finance, part of the Prestige Funds group has put £2,500 towards academic research into the anaerobic digestion and energy from waste industries, particularly as they relate to the UK food agricultural sectors.
The Energy from Waste Innovation Prize is open to undergraduate and postgraduate university students in the UK completing a dissertation around the topics of energy from waste, or renewable energy technology and engineering. First prize is worth £1,000, with two runners-up receiving £750 on completion of the research as well as 12 months of mentoring from Privilege Finance.
Chris Winward, commercial director at Privilege, said: "We're keen to support new talent in the renewables and EfW sectors. With a growing focus on developing the UK's circular economy, new and existing technologies that use waste materials to generate a sustainable source of energy will become ever more important. To make sure the UK is at the forefront of this technology, we need to encourage, attract and retain fresh talent."
Craig Reeves, founder of Prestige Funds, added: "Investment in clean energy and in the technical talent we need to deliver innovation in this sector is going to be critical if the UK and other countries are to meet their targets under the Paris Climate Change Agreement. We and our clients are continuing to develop vital renewable energy generating capacity in the UK, both on farm and off farm, helping in the critical battle against climate change and global warming. Given that Privilege is based in Cambridge we have a wealth of world leading potential talent on our doorstep."
Data from Prestige suggests that the UK imports some 50% of its food, and that it wastes more food than any other country in Europe. It cites Bloomberg figures suggesting food staple prices have doubled since 2000. While UN figures estimate global food demand will increase by 59%-98% by 2050. Together, these data suggest there will be significant changes to agricultural markets ongoing.
Further information on the Prize can be found here: https://www.privilege.finance/privilege-innovation-fund/