Whilst it is clear that small businesses benefit from one-to-one support to improve resource efficiency, there is obvious potential to improve resource efficiency on a collective basis.

Working with businesses that are connected in some way – e.g. co-located on business or industrial parks, or from similar sectors – can offer economies of scale in terms resource efficiency. Examples could include joint procurement of materials, bulking of waste prior to disposal and such like. Clearly, projects working with collaborative groups also offer great potential to increase wider business awareness of the benefits of resource efficiency.

Resource Efficiency East is delighted to announce that it's Business Clusters Project is now inviting project proposals from across the region from organisations seeking funding to investigate such collaborative approaches. The initiative aims to support projects where a 'one-to-many' approach can be tested to explore its potential impacts, with up to £40,000 available to fund project revenue costs. It is anticipated that a total of four contracts will be awarded across the East of England.

Successful projects will need to support a minimum of 25 businesses as well as achieving agreed metric outputs, and will be supported for a period of twelve months from 1st January 2010 – 31st December 2010.

The deadline for receipt of applications is no later than 4pm on 11th December 2009. Successful applicants will be notified by no later than 18th December 2009.

Full details about the application process and assessment criteria can be found here.