A4B Academic Expertise for Business

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A4B

Academic Expertise for Business






Appraisal Procedural Guidance






May 2009













2

CONTENTS





Introduction








Page 3



The A4B Programme and State Aid




Page 4



Confidential Information & Freedom of Information Act


Page
12



P
rocurement








Page

14



Cross Cutting Themes






Page 16



3

I
NTRODUCTION



A4B Overview



A4B is a six year programme of support funded by the Welsh Assembly
Government and European Structural Funds aimed at providing a simplified,
integrated package
of support for knowledge transfer from academia to
business. A4B brings together a suite of already successful programmes into
one, overarching programme, improving on previous capabilities.


The aim of the overall programme is to promote a high value
-
add
ed economy
and to maximise the economic impact of academia and business through
technology transfer and the creation of a stronger science, engineering and
technology base with clear commercial potential.


This will be achieved by the
adoption of new proce
sses, systems and services, or by improving
substantially those already produced or installed.


In turn, this will lead to the
creation of high value jobs and ultimately, a value
-
added economy.


Guidance Overview


The purpose of this document is to provid
e guidance to Academic Partners on
the criteria that projects must meet with to in order to comply with European
and Welsh Assembly Government
rules in relation to State A
id, the Freedom
of Information Act (2000),

Procurement and

Cross Cutting Themes
.


For

further guidance on Performance Indicators, Outputs and Results for each
of the programmes please refer to the A4B Procedural Guidance document
issued by the A4B Validation Team.




















4



THE A4B PROGRAMME AND STATE AID



All A4B funded activi
ty must comply with European Commission State Aid
rules.


The circumstances under which aid can be awarded for research and
development activity are set out in the Commission Framework for State aid
for Research and Development and Innovation. The Framewo
rk also clarifies
the rules in relation to the funding of research organisations to carry out
research and development activity, identifying what is deemed to be State aid.


Applicants are referred to and must comply with the rules contained in the
Framew
ork as set out in the Official Journal of the European Union 2006/C
323/0.


Please find below a
summary only

of the relevant rules contained in the
Framework. The summary is not a substitute for the Framework.



A research organisation is defined in the
Framework as an entity, such as a
university or research institute, irrespective of its legal status, whose primary
goal is to conduct research activities (fundamental, industrial or experimental
development) and to disseminate their results by way of teac
hing, publication
or technology transfer with all profits being reinvested in the conduct of
research activities, the dissemination of their results or teaching.


In order to qualify as a research organisation, there must be no preferential
access to the

research capacities of the organisation or to the research results
generated by it by shareholders or members who can exert an influence upon
the organisation.


Feasibility Study Projects


The Feasibility Studies programme is operated on a
no State aid

ba
sis as the
Framework clarifies that State funding of the following activities carried out by
research organisations
does not constitute State aid
:


(1) education for more and better skilled human resources;

(2) the conduct of independent research and devel
opment activities for more
knowledge and better understanding, including collaborative research and
development;

(3) the dissemination of research results; and

(4) technology transfer activities (licensing, spin
-
off creation or other forms of
management o
f knowledge created by research organisations) if these
activities are of an internal nature and all income from these activities is
reinvested in the activities of the research organisation referred to in (1), (2)
and (3) above.

5


By internal nature, the
Commission means a situation where the management
of the knowledge of the research organisation is conducted either by a
department or a subsidiary of the research organisation or jointly with other
research organisations. Contracting the provision of spec
ific services to third
parties by way of open tender does not jeopardise the internal nature of such
activities.


For the avoidance of doubt, the research organisation must ensure that it
undertakes the project in accordance with the rules set out in the
Framework.
The research organisation must have robust and transparent procedures and
policies in place to enable it to demonstrate compliance with the rules
contained in the Framework.


Collaborative Industrial Research Projects


The CIRP programme is ope
rated on a
no State aid

basis on the
understanding that funding is only provided for the costs incurred by the
research organisation with no indirect aid transferring to the industrial partner.
Paragraph 3.2.2. of the Framework sets out the conditions unde
r which the
CIRP programme must operate in order to prevent transfer of aid to the
industrial partner. In line with the Framework, and to ensure that no aid is
passed to the industrial partner, the research organisation should ensure that
one of the follow
ing conditions is met:


i.

The industrial partner bears the full cost of the project;

ii.

Results which do not give rise to Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)
are fully disseminated and any IPR which result from the research,
development and innovation linked t
o the activity of the research
organisation are fully allocated to it;

iii.

The research organisation receives compensation equivalent to the
market price for any of its IPR transferred to the industrial partner
(any contribution of the industrial partner to th
e costs of the
research organisation to be deducted).


In essence, provided that the industrial partner provides full consideration for
any IPR it receives in relation to the activity carried out by the research
organisation by paying for it, or only retai
ns ownership of IPR directly
generated from its own participation as part of the collaborative project, there
should be no indirect aid transferred to it and the project can proceed on a no
State aid basis.


For the avoidance of doubt, the research organis
ation must ensure that it
undertakes the project in accordance with the rules set out in the Framework.
The research organisation must have robust and transparent procedures and
policies in place to enable it to demonstrate compliance with the rules
contai
ned in the Framework.


The CIRP programme will not fund fundamental research but will support
industrial research and experimental development.

6



The Framework provides the following definitions:


'Fundamental Research' means experimental or theoretical w
ork undertaken
primarily to acquire new knowledge of the underlying foundations of
phenomena and observable facts without any direct practical application or
use in view;


'Industrial Research' means planned research or critical investigation aimed
at the

acquisition of new knowledge and skills for developing new products,
processes or services or for bringing about a significant improvement in
existing products, processes or services. It comprises the creation of
components of complex systems, which is ne
cessary for the industrial
research, notably for the generic technology validation, to the exclusion of
prototypes as covered by Experimental Development; and


'Experimental Development' means the acquiring, combining, shaping and
using of existing scient
ific, technological, business and other relevant
knowledge and skills for the purpose of producing plans and arrangements or
designs for new, altered or improved products, processes or services. These
may also include, for example, other activities aiming
at the conceptual
definition, planning and documentation of new products, processes and
services. The activities may comprise producing drafts, drawings, plans and
other documentation, provided they are not for commercial use.


The development of commercia
lly usable prototypes and pilot projects is
included where the prototype is necessarily the final commercial product and
where it is too expensive to produce it to be used only for demonstration and
validation purposes. In case of a subsequent commercial u
se of
demonstration or pilot projects, any revenue generated from such use must be
deducted from the eligible costs.


The experimental production and testing of products, processes and services
are also eligible, provided that these cannot be used or trans
formed to be
used in industrial applications or commercially.


Experimental Development does not include the routine or periodic changes
made to products, production lines, manufacturing processes, existing
services and other operations in progress, even i
f such changes may
represent improvements.


Knowledge Transfer Centre
s

(KTC)


The European Commission’s Framework for State Aid for Research &
Development & Innovation states that if a research organisation can prove
that the totality of the State funding

that it receives to provide certain services
has been passed to final recipients, i.e. SMEs and that there is no advantage
granted to the research organisation as intermediary, the research
organisation
may

not be a recipient of State aid.


7

The Funding Ag
reement between the Welsh Ministers and the Institution will
contain terms and conditions which seek to ensure that no State Aid is
granted to the research organisation.


Applicants are referred to and must comply with the rules contained in the
Framework

as set out in the Official Journal of the European Union 2006/C
323/0.


Please find below a
summary only

of the relevant rules contained in the
Framework. The summary is not a substitute for the Framework.



A research organisation is defined in the Fra
mework as an entity, such as a
university or research institute, irrespective of its legal status, whose primary
goal is to conduct research activities (fundamental, industrial or experimental
development) and to disseminate their results by way of teachin
g, publication
or technology transfer with all profits being reinvested in the conduct of
research activities, the dissemination of their results or teaching.



In order to qualify as a research organisation, there must be no preferential
access to the r
esearch capacities of the organisation or to the research results
generated by it by shareholders or members who can exert an influence upon
the organisation.


The research organisation will be required to provide clear evidence that the
facilities and ser
vices provided through the KTC are genuinely meeting a gap
in the market, that the risk of overlap with any commercial providers is
minimised and that the pricing of the product/service to SMEs does not
undercut any commercial providers.


The research orga
nisation will be required to maintain robust and transparent
accounting procedures and records showing that any revenue surplus
generated from the activities are recycled back to the non
-
commercial
activities of the KTC or the primary activities of the res
earch organisation
associated with it (i.e. teaching, independent research, dissemination of
results and technology transfer).


Normal State aid rules will apply to aid at the level of the SME. The potential
for aid at the level of the SME will depend on t
he nature of the support service
offered and the KTC will need to put in place the necessary systems to
assess, monitor, record and report any State aid awarded.


If the KTC charges SMEs full market price for the facilities and services
provided, as ben
chmarked against other providers (if possible) or by reference
to independent evaluation (if there are no other providers), there will be no
State aid to the SMEs.


However, if the KTC provides facilities and services to SMEs at below market
rates (or bel
ow cost plus reasonable margin) there will be State aid at the
level of the SMEs and the KTC will need to ensure that this aid is provided in
line with the relevant State aid cover.

8


KTCs will be required to put a system in place to ensure transparency ab
out
the full costs of the services provided, as well as the price paid by the SMEs,
so that aid to the SMEs is measurable and the difference between the price
being paid and a market or cost
-
plus price fits within the levels allowed under
the relevant Stat
e aid cover.


Knowledge Exchange Projects


Knowledge Exchange Projects can undertake Technology/Knowledge
Transfer, industrial research and/or experimental development or academic
network activities and are operated on a no State aid basis on the
understa
nding that the funding is used in the following way. .


1.

Where Knowledge Exchange Projects involve industrial research and/or
experimental development


Funding provided to research organisations through a Knowledge Exchange
Project is not considered State

aid as it is given to research organisations
carrying out non
-
economic activities. Therefore, the research organisations
are not considered to be undertakings for the purposes of the State aid rules.


If Knowledge Exchange Projects involve collaboration

with industry/business,
the projects are operated on a
no State aid

basis on the understanding that
funding is only provided for the costs incurred by the research organisations
with no indirect aid transferring to industry/business. Paragraph 3.2.2. of t
he
Framework sets out the conditions under which Knowledge Exchange
Projects must operate in order to prevent transfer of aid to industry/business.
In line with the Framework, and to ensure that no aid is passed to
industry/business, research organisations

should ensure that one of the
following conditions is met:


iv.

Industry/business bears the full cost of the project;

v.

Results which do not give rise to Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)
are fully disseminated and any IPR which results from the research,
de
velopment and innovation linked to the activity of the research
organisation are fully allocated to it;

vi.

The research organisation receives compensation equivalent to the
market price for any of its IPR transferred to industry/business (any
contribution of
industry/business to the costs of the research
organisation to be deducted).


In essence, provided that industry/business provide full consideration for any
IPR they receive in relation to the activity carried out by the research
organisation by paying for

it, or only retains ownership of IPR directly
generated from its own participation as part of the project, there should be no
indirect aid transferred to them and the project can proceed on a no State aid
basis.


9

For the avoidance of doubt, the research o
rganisation must ensure that it
undertakes the project in accordance with the rules set out in the Framework.
The research organisation must have robust and transparent procedures and
policies in place to enable it to demonstrate compliance with the rules
contained in the Framework.


The Knowledge Exchange Projects programme will not support fundamental
research but will support industrial research and experimental development.


For further information regarding

the definitions of ‘Fundamental
Research’,

Industrial Research


and

Experimental Research’ as detailed
within the
Framework
,

please refer to the CIRP guidance above.


2.

Where Knowledge Exchange Projects involve Knowledge/Technology
Transfer activities


The Framework states that if a research organis
ation can prove that the
totality of the State funding that it receives to provide certain services has
been passed to the final recipients and that there is no advantage granted to
the research organisation as intermediary, the intermediary research
organ
isation
may

not be a recipient of State aid.


The Funding Agreement between the Welsh Ministers and the Applicant will
contain terms and conditions which seek to ensure that no State aid is granted
to the research organisation.


Research organisations wil
l be required to provide clear evidence that the
facilities and services provided through the Knowledge Exchange Project are
genuinely meeting a gap in the market, that the risk of overlap with any
commercial providers is minimised and that the pricing of
the product/service
to final recipients does not undercut any commercial providers.


Research organisations will be required to maintain robust and transparent
accounting procedures and records showing that any revenue surplus
generated from the Knowledge
Exchange Projects is recycled back to the
primary activities of the research organisations (i.e. teaching, independent
research, dissemination of results and knowledge transfer).


Normal State aid rules will apply to aid at the level of the final recipient
s. The
potential for State aid at the level of the final recipients will depend on the
nature of the support service offered. Research organisations will need to put
in place the necessary systems to assess, monitor, record and report any
State aid awarded
.


If research organisations charge the final recipients the full market price for
the facilities and services provided, as benchmarked against other providers
(if possible) or by reference to independent evaluation (if there are no other
providers), th
ere will be no State aid to the final recipients.


10

However, if research organisations provide facilities and services to the final
recipients at below market rates (or below cost plus reasonable margin) there
will be State aid at the level of the final re
cipients. Research organisations will
need to ensure that this aid is provided in line with the State Aid rules.


Research organisations will be required to put systems in place to ensure
transparency about the full costs of the services provided, as well

as the price
paid by the final recipient, so that aid to the final recipients is measurable and
the difference between the price being paid and a market or cost
-
plus price
fits within the levels allowed under the State Aid rules.


3.

Where Knowledge Exchang
e Projects involve the creation of an academic
network


The Framework states that whether or not a research organisation is classed
as an undertaking for State aid purposes depends on whether or not the
activity it carries out is economic or not. Any publ
ic funding of economic
activities is classed as State aid under Article 87(1) of the EC Treaty
(assuming that the other conditions contained in Article 87(1) for the existence
of State aid are fulfilled).


Knowledge Exchange Projects which involve the crea
tion of academic
networks are currently operated on a no State aid basis on the understanding
that activities carried out by the networks are non
-
economic in nature and
limited to initial awareness
-
raising, without support for any direct commercial
activit
y undertaken.


Patent and Proof of Concept


The PPOC programme is operated on a
no State aid

basis as the Framework
clarifies that State funding of the following activities carried out by research
organisations
does not constitute State aid
:


(1) education

for more and better skilled human resources;

(2) the conduct of independent research and development activities for more
knowledge and better understanding, including collaborative research and
development;

(3) the dissemination of research results; and

(4) technology transfer activities (licensing, spin
-
off creation or other forms of
management of knowledge created by research organisations) if these
activities are of an internal nature and all income from these activities is
reinvested in the activities

of the research organisation referred to in (1), (2)
and (3) above.


By internal nature, the Commission means a situation where the management
of the knowledge of the research organisation is conducted either by a
department or a subsidiary of the resear
ch organisation or jointly with other
research organisations. Contracting the provision of specific services to third
parties by way of open tender does not jeopardise the internal nature of such
activities.

11


For the avoidance of doubt, the research organ
isation must ensure that it
undertakes the project in accordance with the rules set out in the Framework.
The research organisation must have robust and transparent procedures and
policies in place to enable it to demonstrate compliance with the rules
cont
ained in the Framework.


For further information regarding

the definitions of ‘Fundamental
Research’, ‘Industrial Research’ and ‘Experimental Research’ as detailed
within the Framework, please refer to the CIRP guidance above.


12

CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION A
ND THE FREEDOM OF
INFORMATION ACT 2000



The Welsh Assembly Government acknowledges t
hat you may, as part of
your A4B

application (the “Application”), be disclosing information that could
be deemed sensitive and/or confidential to your institution.


Whils
t the Welsh Assembly Government will take all reasonable steps to
protect any information designated by you as confidential which is disclosed
as part of an Application, it is important that you are aware of limitations
placed by the Freedom of Information

Act 2000 (the “Act”) on the Welsh
Assembly Government’s ability to comply with your expectations of
confidentiality. The Welsh Assembly Government can only preserve the
confidentiality of your information in accordance with its obligations under the
Act.



Under the Act, anybody may request information from a public authority with
functions in the United Kingdom. The Act confers two statutory rights on
applicants:


(a)

to be told whether or not the public authority hold that information;
and, if so,


(b)

to h
ave that information communicated to them.


The overriding presumption under the Act is that information held by a public
authority is disclosable unless one of the exemptions detailed in the Act
applies.


In order to assist us in determining whether t
hat information you consider to
be confidential is protected by any of the exemptions set out in the Act we
should be grateful if, when submitting an Application, you clearly identify the
information that you consider to be confidential (and mark such info
rmation as
confidential) and confirm in writing:


(a)

that you consider the information to be confidential and the reasons
for this;

(b)

if relevant, the period for which the information is likely to remain
confidential; and

(c)

the uses to which that information wil
l be put.


Please note that the marking of the entire application as “confidential” will not
be sufficient unless suitable reasons can be given as to why the entire
application is confidential. Please also note that the receipt of any information
marked

“confidential” or equivalent should not be taken to mean that the
Welsh Assembly Government accepts any duty of confidence by virtue of that.
Even where you indicate that the information is confidential, the Welsh
Assembly Government may still be require
d to disclose it under the Act if a
request is received.

13


Please note that in any event any obligations of confidentiality that the Welsh
Assembly Government accepts in relation to any Application will not last for a
period of more than one year from the

date the Welsh Assembly Government
notifies you of its decision concerning whether as a result of the Application it
will provide you with funding.


It is the Welsh Assembly Government’s current policy to consult with any party
whose information is the s
ubject of a request for information.


The Welsh Assembly Government will ensure that any information identified
by you as confidential in accordance with this section which is then passed on
to any third parties (for example for the purposes of evaluating
an
Application), will be done so under strict obligations of confidentiality.


The technical information disclosed within the Application will not be published
and does not constitute prior disclosure in patent terms (that is, it will not
affect your rig
hts to apply for a patent).





























14


PROCUREMENT



'Procurement Legislation' is defined in the offer letter as the Public Contracts
Regulations 2006 (SI 2006/5), the Utilities Contracts Regulations 2006 (SI
2006/6), the European Commiss
ion’s Interpretive Communication (2006/C
179/02), Directive 2004/18/EC of the European Parliament and Council of 31
March 2004 on the coordination of procedures for the award of public works
contracts, public supply contracts and public services contracts
and Directive
2004/17/EC of the European Parliament and Council of 31 March 2004
coordinating the procurement procedures of entities operating in the water,
energy, transport and postal services sectors (all as amended from time to
time).


'Community Pr
inciples' are defined in the offer letter as the principles, upon
which the Procurement Legislation is based, of transparency, non
-
discrimination, equality of treatment, proportionality, mutual recognition, free
movement of goods, the right of establishmen
t and the freedom to provide
services contained in the EC Treaty (as amended from time to time).


1

It is the Applicant’s responsibility to ensure that the Project complies
with the Structural Funds Regulations. The Applicant may also have to
comply
with the Procurement Legislation or the Community Principles
in respect of the Project. Please see below, under the heading
‘Procurement Legislation and Community Principles’ for further details.


2

The Applicant must obtain its own legal advice if i
t requires advice
regarding its duties and responsibilities under the Structural
Funds Regulations, the Procurement Legislation and the
Community Principles in respect of the Project.


Structural Funds Regulations


3

The terms and conditions of the Agreem
ent have been prepared so
that they reflect, so far as possible, the Applicant’s responsibilities
under the Structural Funds Regulations. Copies of the Structural Funds
Regulations can be obtained from WEFO’s website.


Procurement Legislation and Community

Principles


4

The Procurement Legislation applies to contracts for works, supplies,
services and utilities financed in whole or in part by the Structural
Funds, where applicants are contracting authorities (as defined in the
Procurement Legislation).


5

T
he Procurement Legislation requires contracts above certain
thresholds to be advertised in the Official Journal of the European
Communities. Bids for contracts must be assessed on an objective
15

basis and contract awards should be published in the Official
Journal of
the European Union.


6

If the Applicant is a contracting authority and the contract is below the
thresholds stipulated in the Procurement Legislation, the Applicant
must comply with the Community Principles.


7

If the Applicant is not a contr
acting authority, the Applicant must use
fair and open practices, including competitive tendering, when entering
into contracts of any kind for which it intends to claim funding from the
Structural Funds.


8

In addition to the requirements outlined in para
graphs 4, 5, 6 and 7
above, the Applicant must use the Welsh Assembly Government’s
buy4wales website (buy4wales.co.uk) in respect of the Project when
appropriate. The Applicant must refer to the guidance issued by WEFO
regarding the use of this website.


9

Further guidance regarding procurement is available on the following
websites:


www.ogc.gov.uk/Resource_Toolkit_procurement_resources.asp
; and


www.buy4wales.co.uk


16

CROSS CUTTING THEMES


Along with the European Community the
Welsh Assembly Government

has a
long
-
standing commitment towards equal opportunities, and equal treatment
between men and women, aiming to eliminate all forms of discri
mination. In
addition environmental sustainability underpins both the
Welsh Assembly
Government
’s and all of the Structural Funds Programmes, therefore, it is
expected that all projects will fully reflect this aspect when improving the
Welsh economy.


Th
e 2007
-
2013 Structural Funds Programmes have the potential to make a
real difference to all of the people and the environment in Wales by building
on the success of the 2000
-
2006 Programmes. Therefore, where appropriate
applicants will be required to buil
d in work packages, milestones to address
how the project will:

o

promote equal access for all to the education, training and employment
opportunities and Employment Programme regardless of gender,
disability, ethnic origin, religion or belief, age, sexual
orientation and
with regard to the bilingual nature of many of the communities within
the region, and

o

promote environmental sustainability and

o

fully integrate environmental sustainability into the project plan.


The integration of cross cutting themes w
ill be dealt with throughout the
application form and specific guidance will be provided at the appropriate
points as required.


In order to provide a consistent promotional message throughout the A4B
Programme, and not to over burden project teams, a Cros
s Cutting Theme
Project brochures will be supplied by the
Welsh Assembly Government

to all
Project Directors for distribution to all participants including partner and
recipient organisations, consultants and the project delivery team. The
brochure will e
xplain the benefits of integrating the various aspects of the
cross cutting themes into an organisations operation and alongside this
provide the opportunity for the project aims and objectives to also be
promoted.


Projects will need to record details of

the distribution of the brochure together
with who received it.


In addition the individual project team should receive induction training on the
cross cutting themes and on their obligations to promote these themes.
Applicants will need to make this an
activity of the project plan and the
completion of the activity should be recorded (a milestone).


Please note: the brochure

and training elements
identified above
are

currently
in the process of development. Further information will be available shortly.


Integration of Environmental Sustainability:

17

Where appropriate project teams should integrate cross cutting themes into
the operation of their projects. Any offer of funding will require that the project
meets with
these requirements.


Further Guidanc
e is given below on the areas relating to environmental
sustainability taken from the WEFO
Guidelines:


2.1.

Reducing emissions of greenhouse gases to help limit the extent of
climate change and help adapt to its effects




Develop and promote innovative

technologies and processes to
reduce the causes and effects of climate change:
Innovative solutions
to combat climate change could take the form of improved environmental
management systems (EMS)*, new technologies that could increase
energy conservation,

technologies that could reduce emissions, or
technologies that could provide new or improved sources of clean
renewable energy.




Develop and promote Environmental Management Systems (EMS):
The sponsor should pro
-
actively encourage organisations to ado
pt a
formal environmental management system (EMS)
-

ISO14001 or an
equivalent such as Green Dragon2 Level 5. In addition to the obvious
environmental benefits, the organisations would experience substantial
economic savings, as well as experiencing social
benefits (staff morale
can be raised through an improvement in the working environment). The
sponsor itself should adopt an EMS if it hasn’t already done so.




Develop and promote effective local supply chains:
Project sponsors
should seek to develop lo
cal supply chains. Utilising local suppliers and
labour would have a number of positive effects: the local economy is
boosted and carbon emissions from transporting goods and people are
reduced. In addition, suppliers should be selected according to their
environmental performance and the environmental quality of their goods
and services. Please follow the link below3 for further information on
creating a sustainable procurement* plan (including case studies


The following link provides further details and
a toolkit “the Procurement
Route Planner (PRP). This is
intended to help promote a structured, step
-
by
-
step approach and encourage a consistent, best practice approach to
Procurement. Within the various sections of the PRP you will find a
Procurement rou
te planning template, guidance regarding application of the
template and a suite of standard Procurement documentation.

www.buy4wales.co.uk/PRP/index.html?diablo.lang=eng





Maximise

the energy efficiency of any associated premises at the
initial design stage:
The
Welsh Assembly Government

has set a target
for all new buildings built from 2011 to be zero carbon rated. Therefore
steps must be taken now to reduce the carbon footprint of

Wales’
buildings. The first step in reducing an organisation’s contribution to
carbon emissions should always be to seek to reduce the amount of
18

energy used unnecessarily. If the project involves the construction or
refurbishment of any premises or resear
ch facilities, the initial designs
should consider the topological features of the site and any opportunities
to maximise wind protection and passive solar lighting/heating should be
acted upon. Greater energy efficiency can lead to significant
competitive
ness advantages and subsequent economic gains, as well as
reducing negative environmental impact.
WEFO requires BREEAM
‘Excellent’ environmental building standards certification (operated
by BRE) for all new builds. The

‘Excellent’ score must be verified
at
the Post
-
Construction Review stage and the BREEAM certificate
presented to WEFO for confirmation. WEFO will also expect BREEAM
‘Excellent’ standards for refurbishments and extensions wherever
possible.
These would ensure that high building standards and

subsequent long term economic savings are achieved through providing
comprehensive advice on effective design/construction (e.g. passive solar
design* and effective building insulation) and energy efficient lighting and
heating (e.g. installing Grade A hi
gh efficiency appliances including energy
efficient boilers with combined heat and power* units). An energy
efficiency premises plan should be followed, which would instruct all
unnecessary heating, lighting and unused appliances to be switched off.
This w
ould in itself provide significant economic savings. More detailed
design information can be found on the BRE website5 and through the
WAG sponsored Energy Saving Wales portal6. The Carbon Trust7 and
The Energy Saving Trust (EST) should be consulted at an
early stage to
provide cost
-
effective design advice. In addition there are now many BRE
-
accredited assessors and consultancies that could deliver advice. Getting
the right advice at an early stage from the appropriately skilled provider is
crucial and can
provide significant economic savings through preventing
unnecessary costs later in the project. Ultimately, projects should be
aiming to follow the ‘energy hierarchy’:


1. Use less energy;

2. Use energy efficiently;

3. Use renewable energy.




Integra
te renewable energy sources:
After the necessary energy
efficiency design and operational measures have been incorporated, it
may be possible to install facilities for the production of renewable energy
such as solar water heating*, photo
-
voltaic (PV)* sol
ar panels, biomass* or
wind turbines. However, it is crucial that expert advice is provided before
any renewable energy options are installed, as not all systems may be
suitable in each case. The installation of wind turbines in particular must
always be p
receded with an expert assessment of whether the building is
suitable for such an installation. The Energy Savings Trust and The
Carbon Trust would provide a gateway for such advice. They could also
advise on available grants aimed at increasing the uptak
e of renewable
energy that could provide additional co
-
financing towards the project. If the
installation of renewable energy facilities should prove impractical, it would
still be possible to switch to an electricity company that supplies energy
from 100%

renewable sources, such as Good Energy.

19


2.2. Promoting sustainable transport




Develop innovative technologies to promote sustainable transport:
Research into, and the application of, new technologies to promote more
environmentally sustainable trans
port (such as hydrogen fuel cells or
biogas/biodiesel systems), would provide environmental benefits as well
as potentially significant future economic benefits.




Research innovative ICT systems to reduce the need for travel:
Information Communications

Technology (ICT) has a crucial role in
eliminating the need to travel. Projects should therefore seek to research
innovative ICT systems to reduce travel need wherever possible.




Adopt a Travel Plan:
A Travel Plan should be adopted by the
organisation.

This plan would include such initiatives as car sharing
schemes, providing information on public transport options, providing
facilities for safe cycle parking and changing/shower facilities to encourage
cycling and walking.


2.3. Promoting the efficient

use of natural resources




Develop innovative technologies and processes to increase resource
efficiency:
Research into better technologies and management processes
to enable improved resource efficiency is crucial to Wales’ economic
future. It is also

crucial that these innovations are effectively transferred
from the research/education sector to the business sector.




Develop and promote innovative methods of increasing the use of
recyclates:
Developing and promoting innovative techniques to produc
e
materials and products derived from waste material. Such actions are
crucial if Wales is to benefit from the growing market for recyclates. The
Wales Environment Trust can provide more information on this action.




Undertake a Life Cycle analysis of t
he new product or process:
If a
new product or process is being developed, you should consider the
following in order to undertake a full ‘Life Cycle’ analysis: where will the
raw material come from, where will any waste from your product/process
go, the e
nergy and resource requirements, how the product or process
could be made as efficiently as possible.




Follow the waste hierarchy:
Projects should always aim to follow the
‘waste hierarchy’:


1. Reduce the amount of waste produced;

2. Reuse materials

and products wherever possible;

3. Recycle materials and products wherever possible;

4. Compost or recover energy from segregated residual renewable
materials.


20

If none of the above offers an appropriate solution then the waste must be
disposed of acco
rding to best environmental practice.




Design for ease of recycling:
Projects must ensure that consideration is
given to the logistics of the collection of segregated recyclable materials
within and from any research facilities or site developed, and t
hat
adequate space is designed in to ensure the provision of facilities for
recyclate collection. Waste disposal practices will have to improve as
demand increases from future legislation such as the WEEE (Waste
Electrical & Electronic Equipment) Directive
.




Maximise resource efficiency:
Projects should maximise resource
efficiency, which would bring significant economic savings. The adoption of
Environmental Management Systems (EMS) would have an important role
in meeting this objective. Methods to min
imise the unnecessary use of raw
materials should be developed and adopted.
All construction projects
should produce a site waste management plan. This will become a
statutory requirement during 2008 for construction projects over
£200,000 in value.




M
aximise use of reused and recycled materials:
The next step should
be to use secondary and recycled resources in construction or
refurbishment wherever possible. Their use impacts positively on the
environmental in two ways: they reduce waste to landfill;
and they reduce
the need to produce new materials thereby saving energy and natural
resources. If reused material can be salvaged from on
-
site, then travel
costs, energy and emissions would also be reduced. Any existing buildings
or infrastructure on
-
site
should be re
-
used if possible. Where reused
materials are not available, recycled material sources should be explored.
Targets for the percentage of secondary materials used in construction
should be adopted and monitored by the project sponsor.
WEFO now
r
equires a minimum standard for recycled content: at least 10% of
the total value of materials used should derive from recycled and
reused sources.
However, projects should aim to supply at least 25% of
aggregates used from secondary or recycled sources, in

order to
contribute towards the objective set by MTAN 1: Aggregates14 (to
increase the proportion of aggregates production in Wales from secondary
and recycled sources to at least 25% of total aggregates supply by 2009).
WRAP15 can provide further informa
tion and guidance.




Maximise use of local sustainable materials:
Where the use of reused
or recycled materials is not practical, the materials should be sourced as
locally and sustainably as possible. Sustainable resources can be
considered those that
are managed so as not to deplete the levels of
natural resources available, for example timber supplied by a woodland
that has achieved Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) accreditation.




Maximise level of water conservation:
Water conservation measures

such as efficient time
-
limited tap flows and water storage should be
installed. Water resources could also be conserved through water storage
21

and recycling schemes (which recycle ‘grey water’*). The grey water can
then be re
-
used for lavatories and irriga
tion.


2.4. Promoting biodiversity and the sustainable management of the land,
sea and inland waters


A high environmental standard in Wales creates opportunities for economic
and social gains. As well as being important for tourism, a high quality,
attr
active environment will play a key role in attracting and retaining people to
live and work in Wales.




No inappropriate development in protected areas:
Internationally and
nationally designated sites such as Natura 2000* (including SACs &
SPAs), SSSIs*
, RAMSAR*, NNR* & MNRs* have statutory protection. Any
project with the potential to damage an internationally important site (as
defined by the UK Habitat Regulations 199417) must undertake an
‘Appropriate Assessment’. Such an assessment must be separate
from
any EIA being undertaken.
Projects that are shown to damage an
internationally or nationally protected site will not be supported
. Any
proposed development under the project must be in line with the Local
Authorities’ Local Development Plan. Projects
with potential for damaging
any designated site (including National Parks, AONBs* and locally
important protected areas designated by local Wildlife Trusts) will be
subject to rigorous appraisal by WEFO and referral to the Countryside
Council for Wales (CC
W).




Develop brown field sites of low ecological value wherever possible:
If the project involves the creation of new research facilities or premises,
focus on the reclamation and rejuvenation of derelict and under
-
utilised
brown field sites of low eco
logical value or the reuse of existing buildings
rather than the development of green field land or brown field sites of
significant ecological value. A well designed brown field development is
more likely to be able to integrate with and complement the su
rrounding
area as well as being able to take advantage of existing community
services such as public transport. The site development location must be
in line with the Local Authorities’ Local Development Plan. WEFO would
require any project developing a gr
een field site (or a brown field site of
significant ecological value) to provide evidence that a suitable alternative
brown field site of low ecological value was not available.




Retain and promote on
-
site biodiversity as far as possible:
If any
propo
sed development site is likely to support valuable habitats or species
(e.g. those listed in UK Biodiversity Action Plan, The Wildlife and
Countryside Act or the UK Habitats Regulations 1994) a Phase I
biodiversity survey must be undertaken. More informati
on would be
available from the CCW and the Local Authorities’ ecology specialists.
Possible examples of actions to promote on
-
site biodiversity would include:
preserving any natural and wildlife characteristics of brown and green field
sites, such as exist
ing mature trees, hedgerows or ponds. Further
landscaping could utilise plant species that are native and characteristic to
22

the area. Opportunities for the creation of new wildlife habitats on
-
site
should be maximised, particularly for sensitive species th
at may have been
displaced as a result of the development.


2.5. Improving the quality of
the local built environment and
opportunities to access green space and biodiversity


Businesses and surrounding local communities can both benefit from a
developme
nt of high environmental quality. Staff morale and retention levels
are likely to be higher in premises of high environmental quality. The following
guidance only applies to those projects that involve new facilities construction
or refurbishment, perhaps
within a larger site development.



Plan for maximum integration of the development with the existing
surrounding community:
The design of the site should be based on a
robust appraisal of the area, allowing for maximum integration of the
development int
o the surrounding community. The site should provide
good aesthetic and physical links with surrounding areas.




Provide a pleasant public realm that compliments the community:
Green spaces utilising native species should be part of an overall aim to
pr
ovide a pleasant and safe public realm for the community. Priority should
be given for pedestrians and cyclists rather than car users. Public areas
and routes should be overlooked by active frontages. Appropriate lighting
should be provided to provide a sa
fe environment, while being designed to
minimise light pollution and unnecessary energy use.


2.6. Minimising the risk of pollution and other environmental hazards
thereby safeguarding the health of communities and the
environment





Develop innovative
technologies and processes to minimise the risk
of pollution and other environmental hazards:
These could include
innovative improved remediation techniques; innovative technologies to
reduce harmful emissions or pollution run
-
off.




Install pollution p
revention measures:
As well as decreasing flood risk,
Sustainable Drainage Systems (SUDS)* would minimise the threat of
pollution run
-
off from the site. WEFO supports the Environment Agencies’
primary SUDS objective to “establish SUDS as normal drainage pr
actice
where appropriate for all new developments”19. Therefore all projects that
have the potential for pollutive run
-
off will be referred to the Environment
Agency and would be expected to install SUDS where deemed appropriate
by the Agency.




Dispose

of residual waste as per environmental best practice:
Waste
that cannot be reused, recycled or energy recovered must be appropriately
disposed of in line with environmental best practice and legislation. All
relevant authorisations must be obtained from t
he appropriate authorities.
The Duty of Care must be followed.


23



Prepare and implement a Site Environmental Management Plan:
For
those projects involving premises construction, a Site Environmental
Management Plan should be prepared and implemented. The

Plan should
contain environmental management guidance on all procedures that
should be followed during site preparation, construction and operation. The
plan should include commitments made by the developer during the
planning process and involve full con
sultation with the local