SBRI: smart waste tracking data collection, storage and reporting services

Key Features

Organisations can apply for a share of up to £400,000. Up to £80,000 is available per organisation to develop a new digital solution to help track waste from source through treatment to end destination.

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Share of up to £400,000

Opens: 11th Jun 2018

Closes: 25th Jul 2018

! This scheme is now closed


This is phase 1 of a 2-phase competition.

Defra’s challenge is to use digital technology to record and track individual movements of waste through the economy. The aim is to know more about the types and amounts of waste generated, what is done to it, and where it ends up. An innovative solution could help maximise the value extracted from their resources and boost innovation and productivity whilst minimising damage to the environment. This includes tackling waste crime, which has estimated costs to England of £604 million in 2015.


Defra’s challenge is to use innovative technology to record and track individual movements of waste through the economy. This is from the point of generation or collection, through multiple intermediate treatment, including bulking and sorting, through to its final destination, such as disposal to landfill, incineration or recycling, or export for treatment.

For each type of waste, they want to know:

  • the point of generation or collection
  • who is handling the waste
  • how and where it is treated
  • the outputs from these processes and where these end up

Challenges and requirements:

  • there are an estimated 23 million waste transactions in the UK, over 100,000 regulated sites and over 100,000 waste carriers
  • increasingly complex waste treatment processes, where waste from different sources may be combined at intermediate treatment and even change through treatment
  • your solution needs to extract data directly from any existing systems where used but could also provide this functionality for businesses that do not have their own system
  • possibility of real-time information
  • robust and comprehensive data analytics capable of storing and collating a large number of individual data records into meaningful, relevant and flexible reporting functionality that meets regulatory obligations, intelligence led investigations, business intelligence and other ad-hoc data analyses

The solution you propose must:

  • be scalable
  • be secure
  • be flexible
  • be resilient
  • be sustainable from a technology perspective
  • avoid additional reporting burdens on industry, so solutions need to be compatible and synchronous with existing systems used by industry and government or they can offer new opportunities to replace existing systems entirely
  • align with core data standards in use by other data platforms being developed by Defra or the Environment Agency (details can be provided)
  • be cost effective to develop, maintain and develop, with a business model that does not need ongoing or never-ending government investment
  • consider scope for real-time data recording
  • have scope for in-built data validation to improve data accuracy
  • present re-use opportunities


To lead a project, you must:

  • be an organisation, of any size
  • work alone or with others (businesses, research base or third sector)

Solutions must be compatible and align with data standards being developed and used by other data storage platforms developed by Defra or the Environment Agency. They should also align to the Government Digital Service standards.


The first phase involves research and development contracts being awarded to demonstrate technical feasibility of the proposed solution. A total of up to £400,000, including VAT, is allocated to phase 1 of the competition.

It is anticipated that the feasibility study research and development (R&D) contracts will be in the region of up to £80,000, including VAT, per contract. This is for each project for up to 3 months. They expect to fund up to 5 projects. The assessors will consider fair value in making their evaluation.

Projects are expected to start by 31 October 2018.

During phase 2, additional funding may be released of up to £1 million to continue development and test a prototype.

For more information, click here.