Independent judging panel represents some of the most experienced experts from across industry.
The second round of the Ecosurety Exploration Fund launched on 8 June with a call for projects that can reduce the environmental impact of packaging, batteries or e-waste through innovation or research.
Projects can apply for up to £150,000 and it is open to private companies, not-for-profits, charities, academic organisations and the public sector.
An independent judging panel of ten experts will select the winning projects to fund, judging each project against the entry criteria using their varied individual experience and expertise to debate each shortlisted project, before collectively agreeing on the final selection.
We are pleased to announce the first five judges today, that includes:
Paula Chin, Sustainable Materials Specialist at World Wildlife Fund UK
At the World Wildlife Fund UK Paula provides internal and external technical expertise on materials issues including plastics, with her policy and advocacy work focusing more broadly on resources and waste. She is the current chair of the Wildlife and Countryside Link’s Resources and Waste Working Group and sits on several advisory groups including UKRI’s Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging Advisory Group.
Her background is in packaging and product development, working at several touchpoints of the packaging supply chain and within FMCG and retail for over 20 years at businesses including Procter & Gamble, Sainsbury’s, Marks & Spencer and Pret.
Paula commented "Our planet’s resources are far too precious to toss away carelessly, we need to think more creatively and challenge ourselves to be bold if we’re going to make the necessary shifts to a world without waste."
"Turning waste from one sector into a valuable resource for the same or another sector will be key to keeping resources in circulation for longer."
"I’m hugely grateful and excited to be on the judging panel for Ecosurety’s Exploration Fund. It presents a fantastic opportunity to bring to life some of the innovation out there and I look forward to seeing all the entries!”
Paul Field, Quality Assurance Manager at Toolstation
Following a career in Quality Assurance within Aerospace Engineering, Paul has worked within retail quality assurance and compliance for over 20 years.
Today, Paul heads up the Quality Assurance Team at Toolstation, who have around 500 stores. Toolstation being one of the fastest growing retailers, his role covers quality assurance, legal compliance, ethical sourcing and environment with environmental, social, and corporate governance and sustainability being the central to his role. Toolstation is part of Travis Perkins PLC the UK's largest builders merchant and Paul is part of the Responsible Sourcing team.
Paul commented "Having worked in an industry that is at the cutting edge of innovation and evolution, we can never stand still and must get the job done. In my world of compliance, all "claims" must have supporting evidence and robust substantiation, but too often great ideas don't consider implementation and ultimately fail."
"As a judge of the fund this year, I hope to see a whole range of well researched innovations submitted that have strong foundation, from web-based solutions through to real-world practical ideas that make a social difference for the greater good."
Margaret Bates, Executive Director of ORPL
Margaret is Executive Director of OPRL and also a visiting professor of Sustainable Wastes Management at the University of Northampton. She has a PhD in landfill microbiology having worked in wastes and resource management for over 30 years. She is also a fellow of the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) and the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3), an International Wastes Manager and a Chartered Environmentalist.
Margaret commented "I am absolutely delighted to be part of the judging panel for the Ecosurety Exploration Fund. The Fund is an amazing opportunity for people to get support for the research and innovation that we so vitally need to help us solve some of our big environmental problems."
"Whether it be EEE, packaging or batteries with their diversity of issues we can be certain that research and innovation are where the solutions will be found."
"I am genuinely excited to see what ideas are out there as based on previous entries, I know there is going to be a high standard.”
Mark Miodownik, Professor of Materials and Society at UCL
For more than twenty years Mark has championed materials science research that links to the arts and humanities, medicine, and society. This culminated in the establishment of the UCL Institute of Making, where he is a director and runs the research programme. Mark also recently set up the Plastic Waste Innovation Hub to carry out research into solving the environmental catastrophe of plastic waste.
Mark is the multi-award winning author of New York Times bestselling book Stuff Matters and he regularly presents BBC TV and radio programmes on materials science and engineering including the Dare to repair series on BBC Radio 4. In 2014 he was elected a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and in 2018 he was awarded an MBE for services to materials science, engineering and broadcasting.
Stuart Lendrum, Head of Packaging, Quality and Food Safety at Iceland
Stuart is a recognised expert, leader and innovator across sustainability, packaging and global food supply chains with in-depth knowledge and experience in sustainable sourcing and packaging strategies across the retail and manufacturing sectors. He currently heads up packaging, quality and food safety at Iceland.
He is also a Non-Executive director at OPRL, having been involved at director level since its inception in 2009 while he was Head of Packaging at Sainsbury’s.
How to submit an application to the fund
The remaining five judges will be announced soon. The closing date to enter the Ecosurety Exploration Fund is 4pm GMT on 24 August 2021 and successful projects will be publicly announced in December.
Find out more here about how to enter, including information about the four projects previously funded through the first round.
Marketing projects specialist
Ben joined the team at the beginning of 2015 and helps drive marketing communications and projects for Ecosurety, including project managing the launch of the Ecosurety Exploration Fund and website content development.