Via patch.com If you have an idea for a business that focuses on waste diversion and ways to improve ways to use waste as a raw material for energy, there is a new opportunity that you should know about. Phoenix is teaming up with Arizona State University to launch a new business incubator program to encourage the development of what’s called a circular economy. The program will provide resources and support for companies “that contribute to the regional development of a vibrant circular economy.” (Subscribe to local news alerts on Patch). The city says the program is important for its future. “Fostering public-private partnerships, as well as embracing new and innovative ideas, is integral in achieving Phoenix’s 40 percent waste diversion goal by 2020,” said Ginger Spencer, Phoenix Public Works director. “An incubator, where great minds can get together to grow ideas and find unique solutions, is going to be a critical piece in developing a robust circular economy in our city.” The program – officially known as the Resource Innovation and Solutions Network Incubator – is accepting applicants who are in the early stages of development. Selected ventures will receive training and services including dedicated venture mentors who will guide their advancement and facilitate access to technical experts, business plan development and investor network management training, access to feedstock from Phoenix’s waste transfer station and a process for continuous evaluation and pre-qualification for funding opportunities. The priority waste feedstocks that the successful ventures will have access to include plastics, batteries, carpeting and carpet foam, broken furniture, mattresses, textiles, food waste, compost and plastic film. Innovators may also respond to an open call for other materials or items in the waste stream. “ASU identifies innovation and the support of new ventures as essential to the development of a strong economy at local, regional and global scales,” said Ji Mi Choi, associate vice president of ASU’s Knowledge Enterprise Development, leading Entrepreneurship + Innovation which includes the new RISN Incubator. “Between the expertise at ASU and the material and practice resources at the city of Phoenix, we are excited to work with the ventures that will be creating exciting new solutions to our waste and energy challenges.” For more information including the application, visit RISNincubator.asu.edu.