Innovative Applications for the Repurpose and Modification of Multicomponent Rigid PPE Polymer Products

There is a significant volumes of eye protection (goggles) and rigid face protection (visors) PPE which is taking up expensive storage space in sites across the UK. This challenge is to support the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) in finding innovators that can reprocess, re-use or modify large quantities of surplus goggles or visors into new products that have further application or use. Innovators should have capacity to be able to handle significant volumes of products.


Challenge opens


Challenge closes



Products will be provided to selected winners of this competition by DHSC on a cost neutral basis to the applicant. The surplus will have an inherent value for the winning companies as a feedstock/product lines/resource. Companies will benefit from materials gained from re-use, repurposing or modification of the stock into new products. DHSC may want to explore potential share gain agreements if innovators identify a solution which will generate significant income.


At the beginning of the pandemic the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) worked to ensure there was a sufficient stock of PPE for the COVID-19 pandemic. DHSC set up an additional supply chain to procure, manage and distribute life-saving PPE for free to frontline staff and patients to protect themselves against COVID-19. Between 25 February 2020 and 30 June 2022, DHSC distributed 21.5 billion items of PPE, predominantly for use by health and social care services in England.

In practice, demand has turned out to be lower than forecast. This was difficult to predict at the beginning of the pandemic and therefore DHSC planned to a Reasonable Worst-Case Scenario.  

In order to reduce the cost to the taxpayer of storing surplus stock, DHSC has employed a range of measures to reduce it including selling, re-using and donating (UK and internationally), recycling, using energy from waste processes to dispose of stock, and by pursuing return or recovery of costs through the original supplier.  DHSC has followed the Government's Waste Hierarchy and is committed to a zero landfill and zero incineration without energy recovery target for all PPE stock.

DHSC are looking at further and more innovative ways to accelerate the reduction of stock levels which cannot be sold, donated or easily recycled. 

This approach aims to:

  • reduce the costs to the taxpayer in storing excess stock
  • reduce expired excess stock through the waste management hierarchy
  • generate further value, including social value, for the economy,
  • find alternative products and processes that can work to reuse as much of the material as possible (including associated packaging of PPE stock).

DHSC with support from Innovate UK KTN-IX are looking for innovative solutions to achieve these aims by delivering three challenges around excess or expiring stock. This challenge is concerned with the repurposing, modification or upcycling of goggles and visors. 

Join the Innovation Exchange launch webinar on September 21st to find out more. Register here

You must be logged in to see the full information