Applications open for the Circular Economy Innovation Grant Scheme 2024

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications, with responsibility for the Circular Economy and Communications, Ossian Smyth today announced the call for applications for the 2024 funding round of the Circular Economy Innovation Grant Scheme (CEIGS).

This grant scheme aims to support innovation and circular economy projects by social enterprises, voluntary and community organisations and businesses with fewer than 50 employees.

The CEIGS was established by Minister Smyth in April 2021, and since that first call CEIGS funding of almost €1.14 million has been awarded to 23 projects covering a wide range of circular economy themes including food waste, plastics, single-use plastics, packaging, construction, textiles and general waste. This year the scheme will be administered in partnership with Community Foundation Ireland. The Community Foundation Ireland is a philanthropic hub that brings together donors, grantees and communities who share a vision of positive social change. The organisation has demonstrated considerable success in disbursing grants to diverse groups and organisations under various thematic pillars.

In response to the growing success of the scheme, Community Foundation Ireland will be providing a dedicated team that will collaborate with DECC to manage the application, evaluation and administrative processes of the scheme as well as providing a package of support to all grant applicants.

Total CEIGS funding of €650,000 is being made available under the 2024 call. The maximum funding available for any individual project under this year’s funding round will be €100,000. Only proposals which can demonstrate exceptional impact will be considered for this maximum level of funding. Typical funding for CEIGS projects under the 2024 call is anticipated to be in the range of €10,000 to €50,000.

Applications for funding could focus on the thematic areas which relate to priorities for the circular economy in Ireland: plastics, construction and demolition waste, food waste and resources and raw materials (electrical and electronic equipment, textiles, furniture). Some examples (for illustration purposes) of the type of proposals for funding that could be considered are:

  • Redesign of products or packaging to replace non-recyclable plastic with recyclable plastic or replace virgin plastic with recyclable plastic
  • Redesign of products for ease of recycling at end-of-life
  • Circular construction products (products that can be reused or with increased lifespan)
  • Selective/Green demolition to enable removal of hazardous materials and facilitate reuse and recycling
  • Promoting innovative waste prevention solutions across the food production and food processing sectors
  • Implementing technical and behavioural interventions to reduce food waste in commercial settings
  • Reducing the content of hazardous substances in materials and products
  • Extending product’s lifespan through re-use or repair
  • Increasing recovery of listed critical raw materials

In launching the 2024 Circular Economy Innovation Grant Scheme, Minister Smyth acknowledged the important role played by the CEIGS stating:

“The scale of the challenge to become circular requires change at every level of our society. I am delighted to be able announce the third call for the CEIGS. The CEIGS 2024 will serve to continue to support communities to transition to a more sustainable future, with a focus on reducing and eliminating waste and keeping resources in use for as long as possible.”

Denise Charlton, Chief Executive of Community Foundation Ireland added:

“Community Foundation Ireland is committed to sustainable futures as part of its mission of equality for all in thriving communities. It is important that those striving to end our throw-away society and replace it with one of repair and recover are given support. We look forward to working with Minister Smyth and grantees to achieve that goal. As a philanthropic hub which has raised more than €130 million in grants for communities since 2000, we are proud that this new partnership with government is a first under the National Policy on Philanthropy.”

Circular Economy Innovation Grant Scheme (CEIGS)

Full details on the application process for the CEIGS are available on the Community Foundation Ireland website and applications are open until 19 July 2024.

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