Invest Northern Ireland’s first resource matching workshop for this year took off from City of Derry Airport last month.

Thirty businesses, eager to collaborate, identified 128 resource matches which have the potential to generate £10.2 million in cost savings and divert 97,100 tonnes of waste from landfill.

The workshop formed part of Invest NI’s Industrial Symbiosis (IS) service which offers businesses free advice and support from experienced resource managers. Introductions to other companies are facilitated with the aim of matching waste from one company with material requirements for another.

The workshop identified solutions for reusing resources like laboratory equipment, rigid plastics, glycerol, nutrient rich waste water, office space and expertise in renewable energy. Such matches for reusing one company’s waste as a solution to another company’s needs can provide real cost savings for both parties. The Industrial Symbiosis team will work with the businesses to ensure the 128 opportunities identified can provide the best impact for all concerned.

Olive Hill, Invest NI’s Director of Innovation and Technical Solutions, said: “The workshops offer businesses the opportunity to find long term solutions for resources that are currently being wasted but which could generate much needed cost savings through reuse or recycling. The next workshop will be in Enniskillen on 25 June and I would encourage more people to attend and explore how this service could realise savings and increase sales in their business.”

Commenting on the workshop Lyle Andrew from Lisburn-based Whitemountain Quarries said: “This was my first time at one of these events. It generated some very useful ideas”.

The Industrial Symbiosis service is funded by Invest NI and part financed by the European Regional Development Fund under the European Sustainable Competitiveness programme for Northern Ireland.

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