ARLI Website Banner with Recycling Icons in background - University of Birmingham - ARLI Alternative Raw Materials with Low Impact - European Union ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) logo

 The exciting ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) project ARLI (Alternative Raw Materials with Low Impact) offers eligible businesses a unique opportunity to improve their competitiveness.

About ARLI

ARLI brings together a team of academics and engineers to work collaboratively with businesses in developing cost-effective products, packaging and processes, which provide efficiency gains in the use of raw and waste materials. The project aims to identify waste streams or alternative innovative materials that could be transformed into higher value goods for a wide range of construction and manufacturing applications, contributing to the circular economy and ‘net zero’. 

ARLI - Statistics banner - 135 Projects Delivered, 95 Collaboration research projects, 31 start-ups created, 22 new to firm products, 19 new to market products, 13 new jobs created.

ARLI list - Sustainability in the supply chain, design for disassembly, design for remanufacture, reuse of waste streams, waste reduction, reducing raw material use, material substitution.

What are the benefits?

ARLI provides businesses with high quality research from an award-winning institute, specifically around your goal that could provide you with a sustainable edge on your competitors.  Research is funded – so there is no cost to you or your business.  

The ARLI team work with SMEs to:

  • Reduce raw material use and improve resource efficiency;
  • Promote the benefits of the Circular Economy and Net Zero;
  • Reuse waste streams by developing innovative new materials and products;
  • Substitute harmful or non-biodegradable materials with natural, eco-friendly materials;
  • Enhance sustainability within the supply chain;
  • Explore innovative low carbon engineering solutions including infrastructure;
  • Develop alternative materials for use in building systems, construction and off-site manufacturing;
  • Understand Life Cycle and Whole Life Costing and provide Carbon analysis of materials and processes;
  • Unlock new opportunities and create jobs.

ARLI scientist working on computer

ARLI Scientist checking measurements on a test tube

ARLI Stats - 90% of businesses said ARLI had a positive impact on their company. Over 1/2 of businesses have developed new commercial products. 60% of businesses substituted raw materials for more sustainable materials and reduced waste. 55% of businesses forecast an increase in turnover in the next 2 years

Picture of a man giving a tour to another man in an ARLI lab

Picture of a man giving a tour to another man in an ARLI labPicture of a man holding raw materials inside an ARLI lab

Am I eligible for support?Local enterprise partnership (LEP) Areas Map

If you are an SME in one of the following LEP areas: Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP; Black Country LEP or Coventry & Warwickshire LEP with fewer than 250 employees and a turnover of less than 50 million euros then you could be eligible for support.

ARLI Case Studies

Where is the programme available?

To eligible SMEs in Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP, Black Country LEP, Coventry & Warwickshire LEP areas.

Support in the Marches - CREST


University of Birmingham’s ARLI and ATETA projects are bringing their expertise to team up with The Centre for Research into Environmental Science and Technology (CREST) (also known as the Environmental Science Business Research Centre). This is a partnership between the University of Chester and Reaseheath College.

CREST at University Centre Shrewsbury (a campus of the University of Chester) has secured a second round of ERDF funding until March 2023. The partnership funding will focus on innovation, and Research and Development support for environmental science-based SMEs in Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin, with the aim of addressing the area’s productivity challenges, and, bringing products and services to market.

CREST offers support to SMEs who want to reduce their environmental impact, or develop new products or services. The multi-disciplinary team of experts works closely with SMEs to design, develop and bring new products and services to market; develop processes to save time and/or money; understand markets (e.g. market research, introduction to buyers and suppliers, exploring new markets) and develop successful business models.

Contact Us

 To contact the Business Engagement team for the ARLI project, please complete the following form:

  • Name

 Alternatively, please email: