Earthware and SAIT awarded $40K for food industry innovation project
The Calgary organizations are developing technology to reduce single-use containers.
Calgary-based Earthware Reusables is receiving funding from the Canadian Food Innovation Network (CFIN) for its innovative approach to reducing single-use containers in the food industry. Earthware has been awarded $41,075 as part of CFIN’s Food Innovation Challenge and Innovation Booster Programs.
Earthware has partnered with the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology to design, develop and implement a durable and UV-resistant food takeout container that can be used as part of Earthware’s return-for-reuse takeout container program, which reduces single-use containers (SUCs) in the local food industry.
Why it matters: This first-of-its-kind program in Alberta facilitates the collection of the SUCs after the food has been packaged and consumed. Implementing circular systems like this is vital in tackling the national waste and pollution crisis Canada is facing.
What they’re saying: “Earthware is proud to partner with SAIT to find the right design and composition for reusable containers,” said John MacInnes, founder of Earthware. “Earthware's return-for-reuse container service is uniquely positioned to help businesses navigate the single-use takeout container bans happening all around the world. We will make a sustainable difference in the reduction of waste for generations to come.”
Prairies' innovation: The other Prairies-based funding recipient is Winnipeg’s Theory Mesh, which is receiving just over $1.2 million. It’s working on an initiative called “Creating A More Sustainable Beef and Dairy Supply Chain Through Controlled Environment Agriculture and Digitization.” TheoryMesh is partnering with B.C.’s CubicFarm Systems Corp. and EcoDairy to create a traceable and transparent supply chain for beef and dairy.
Details: In total, CFIN is investing more than $2.5 million into eight projects valued at over $5 million through the organization’s Food Innovation Challenge and Innovation Booster Programs. The remaining awardees include Vivid Machines (Ontario), Saltwinds Coffee Company (New Brunswick), Smallfood Inc (Nova Scotia), Rapid Aid Corporation (Ontario), Liven Proteins (Ontario), and BioShur (Quebec).
"These eight projects demonstrate the wide-ranging and impactful innovation that’s happening across the country,” said CFIN CEO Joseph Lake. “Innovative Canadian companies are leveraging frontier technologies like blockchain, artificial intelligence, and IoT to transform our food industry and sustainably change the way food is produced, transported, and consumed.”
The Food Innovation Challenge provides funding for food industry collaborators that want to spearhead improvements that will propel the food sector forward and generate significant economic impact. The Innovation Booster provides support to Small or Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to address food innovation challenges or technical hurdles that have created barriers to achieving their commercialization goals.
Both programs are administered by CFIN, which is funded by the Government of Canada’s Strategic Innovation Fund.
Ensuring Canadian agri-food innovators have access to technology is crucial for Canada to remain a global leader in the industry, according to François-Philippe Champagne, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “Today’s funding highlights exciting innovative projects across that show Canada has what it takes to build a stronger and more sustainable food ecosystem,” he said in a statement.
Over the last year, CFIN has approved $6.9 million of funding for 27 projects.