KTN Innovation Exchange challenge - technologies to improve waste management practices

KTN is working with the Department for International Trade and Indian authorities who are looking for solutions that move from reliance on open waste dumps to waste management systems that retain resources within the economy.

Opportunity Details


Registration Opens


Registration Closes



Commercial opportunity



Share this opportunity

KTN is supporting the DIT in India via its Innovation Exchange platform to identify innovative solutions to significant and immediate challenges in managing waste and better utilisation of the city’s resources to create low carbon, circular economy urban ecosystems.

As India continues to grow, the urban population is projected to reach 814 million (50%) by 2050 (Teri, urban Resilience). As the population grows so does the volume of waste produced in the country. Waste is a growing problem for India, according to the World Bank, India accounts for 13% of the global waste generated every year.

Well-planned cities with well designed physical and social infrastructure can create the right conditions for growth by maximising the benefits of urbanisation and minimising the costs to both present and future generations. At present, cities like New Delhi and Mumbai are under enormous pressure to solve their growing waste problem. This presents an opportunity for UK R&D centres, dynamic innovative SMEs and larger industrial solutions custodians to bring their circular economy ideas forward for a direct introduction to these Indian city challenge markets.

Currently, the urban infrastructure found in cities in India are finding it difficult to cope with the volumes of waste generated by increasing urban populations and this is causing a detrimental impact on the environment and public health. The challenges and barriers are significant, but so are the opportunities.

The challenge owner is looking for solutions that move from reliance on open waste dumps that are an environmental and public health hazard, to waste management systems that retain resources within the economy and at their highest value – a circular economy.

The aim is to achieve a waste management system that segregates waste at source, makes use of specialised waste processing facilities to separate valuable resources and materials for reuse and recycling, convert any remaining residual waste into energy and eliminate the use and need of open waste dumps.

This presents an exciting opportunity for UK innovators to test and pilot their solutions with two of the fastest growing urban economies in the world.

Rewards and benefits

Successful applicants will be invited into a closed online process (not too dissimilar to a hackathon environment) to refine their application/solutions with direct KTN support and guidance alongside datasets and support material provided by the city challenge owners.  KTN will also be able to strengthen solutions with additional collaborator introductions and wider sector intelligence input should the solution lead deem it necessary.

The strongest solutions following this process will then be drawn forward to present to the challenge owners and contracting authorities.

Those businesses and university programmes which are selected by the challenge owner as offering the most promising solutions will be given a commercial opportunity to deliver their solution and receive support from KTN and the wider DIT network. The Indian challenge owners are keen to evolve collaborative partnerships with UK industrialists and academics, fostering new and innovative approaches to managing waste and better utilisation of the city’s resources to create low carbon, circular economy urban ecosystems.


The deadline for applying is 12 February.  To find out more and submit an application, visit the Innovation Exchange site here.

Related programme

Innovation Exchange

Innovation Exchange

Innovate UK Innovation Exchange is a cross-sector programme supporting innovation transfer by matching industry challenges to innovative companies from other sectors. It does this by putting large businesses with technical needs in contact with companies who have the right innovative solutions, for faster development of novel solutions.


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.