SMART Circle

In September 2017 the AD Centre was awarded the SMART Circle collaborative industrial research project. The Welsh Government SMART Expertise programme awarded the group just under £1 million of European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) funding to deliver a broad range of collaborative industrial research activity over a three year timeframe. The project is match funded to the same value by a consortium of 8 industrial collaborators.

The consortium will work together to explore how innovative bioprocesses can be used to improve the overall efficiency of a range of industrial operations. Technical activities are divided into the following Work Packages:

Work Package 2 - Utilisation of Waste Industrial Gases

  • Demonstration of a biological process to convert waste gases including carbon dioxide into a useful fuel.

Work Package 3 - Advanced Process Design and Monitoring

  • Development of novel monitoring technologies for industrial biotechnological process that enable improved process management decisions to be made.

Work Package 4 - Recovery of High Value Molecules

  • Recovery of unused or high value molecules including nutrients from low value materials such as sewage sludge, commercial and industrial wastes

Work Package 5 - Environmental and Economic Assessment

  • Environmental and economic assessments of the technologies considered in WP2-4

 The ultimate aim is to develop more efficient bio-technology systems that could provide viable solutions to help businesses become more resource efficient.

Expansion of the Project (August 2021 - October 2022)

In July 2021 the Consortium was awarded a further 533 k of funding to expand project activities and maintain activity until the end of October 2022. Three additional industrial partners and an additional academic partner was added to the project. The scope of works was expanded to include:

WP2 - Operation of a demonstration biomethanation plant, assessment of heat recovery opportunities, and impact of fuel switching on industrial processes.

WP3 - Opportunities for the co-processing of multiple feedstocks in industrial biological waste treatment plants.

WP4 - Demonstration of nutrient recovery strategies, development of new materials for CO2 recovery, and evaluation of opportunities to recover carbon and nutrients from residential and mixed use developments.

WP5 - Evaluation of the techno-economic feasibility of the above concepts.


Our Collaborators and match funding providers for Phase 1 of the project include the following organisations:




GP Biotec






Additional partners contributing to the Expansion of the project between August 2021 and October 2022 are:




Celsa Group

Hacer Developments

BioExtractions Wales


Funding for the Project has been provided by:




European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as administered by the Wales European Funding Office (WEFO) and the Welsh Government SMART Expertise programme