Innovation Exchange challenge: Sustainable materials in modular outdoor structures

Supporting the UK arm of a major blue-chip international organisation to identify sustainable materials and manufacturers for outdoor exposure structures.

Opportunity Details


Registration Opens


Registration Closes



An exclusive opportunity to become a vital part of the supply chain for the UK division of a prestigious global blue-chip company. Successful solution providers will be rewarded with a feasibility and pilot programme. Lower TRL longer-term solutions may be selected for collaborative development.

Share this opportunity

Find out more and apply

Our challenge holder is a UK based global PLC with a portfolio of outdoor product lines with clear strategic sustainability and circular economy targets.

Within one product line they currently use a combination of modular structural elements (uprights/gantries/cross beams/frames) and panels with different finishes to realise a visually attractive sustainable structure with an area of around 15 sqr.m.  The product is being redeveloped to meet their corporate sustainability goals, requiring the adoption of more sustainable structural materials with efficient processing, cost and scalability for mass production.

This challenge will require solution providers to demonstrate how their alternative materials can be utilised within the product line whilst providing insight into how their material will align with circular economic values. The challenge holder expects a clear strategy delineating the material’s lifecycle management over its 60-year tenure, minimizing ecological footprints and maximizing environmental stewardship.

The challenge seeks both sustainable material suppliers and processors that could realise ramped up manufacturing within 6-9 months, as well as less well-developed technologies that offer significant sustainability impacts to help the challenge holder meet its stretch sustainability targets.

The ambition is for highly sustainable solutions that offer a significant improvement in whole life cost and sustainability over a 60 year period with minor and easy refit, and maximise circularity at the end of the product life-cycle.

The challenge holder primarily seeks partnerships of material suppliers, designers and processors, offering appropriate sustainable materials and the expertise to process and design them.

For full requirements (technical, functional, scope, operating conditions and cost), visit the Innovation Exchange site at the link below.

Sustainable solutions could be based upon:

  • Biogenic materials and composites
  • Natural fibres
  • Biopolymers
  • Recovered fibres
  • Recycled polymers
  • Repurposed (2nd life) composites
  • Novel cellulose forms
  • Repurposed materials
  • Sustainable reinforced concrete
  • Orphan stone
  • Glulam and LVL (timber)
  • Aluminium
  • Steel

This is not an exhaustive list.

Who can apply?

Entrants to this competition must be established businesses, academic institutions, start-ups, SMEs, or individual entrepreneurs, who are UK based or have the intention to set up a UK base.


Connect with Innovate UK Business Connect

Join Innovate UK Business Connect's mailing list to receive updates on funding opportunities, events and to access Innovate UK Business Connect's deep expertise. Please check your email to confirm your subscription and select your area(s) of interest.