Agricultural waste upcycling innovation wins Green Pursuit Competition

Posted: Nov 1, 2023

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Frost protection solution named runner-up in national sustainable innovation challenge

Guelph ON, 1 November 2023 – A Canadian start-up turning agricultural and food waste into compostable fibres has been named the winner of The Green Pursuit, a national sustainability and innovation challenge powered by Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) and Bioenterprise, Canada’s Food & Agri-Tech Engine.

The winner, Aruna Revolution of Nova Scotia, will receive the $45,000 grand prize for its unique approach to reducing some of Canada’s 35.5 million tonnes of food loss and waste. The company uses parts of plants that humans cannot digest to make 100% biodegradable, compostable, plastic-free menstrual pads.

The company’s proprietary “farm to fibre” process means a wide range of farm fibre by-products can be upcycled into sanitary pads, giving farmers new market opportunities for by-products that are often left on fields and women access to environmentally friendly, sustainable period products.

“We are very grateful for the opportunity to participate in The Green Pursuit. The feedback we received during the pitch practice helped us craft something that emphasized our work with the agriculture sector of Canada,” says Rashmi Prakash, co-founder of Aruna Revolution. “The thoughtful questions from the judges allowed us to reflect on how we can improve our work. The funding we are receiving from this prize will be critical in the growth of our company.”

Advanced AgriScience from British Columbia was the runner-up of the competition, receiving $5,000 for their solution to the challenge of frost damage in the sector, particularly fruit and vegetable production.

The company has developed the world’s first frost protection tool for plants made of naturally occurring micro-organisms and protective proteins. The dry powder is mixed with water and spray-applied to prevent frost formation on plants, resulting in an up to 95% cost savings per acre without emitting greenhouse gasses or using large quantities of water. Currently, farmers in the horticulture sector in particular use a variety of tools, like sprinklers, frost fans, helicopters, and wood fires, to minimize or prevent crop damage and loss due to frost.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to pitch and receive funding from Bioenterprise Canada and Dairy Farmers of Canada,” says Collin Juurakko, founder of Advanced AgriScience. “This funding will allow us to conduct vital research as we develop our novel frost protection technology to deliver cost-effective solutions for growers. We are excited and look forward to joining Canada’s Food & Agri-Tech Engine.”

Bioenterprise Canada and DFC partnered to host the $50,000 national business pitch competition for early-stage companies focused on sustainability in agriculture, food, and beverage production innovation. The competition was open to innovative Canadian for-profit businesses operating in the agri-tech or food-tech sectors who are addressing major sustainability challenges specifically in the categories of carbon footprint, regenerative agriculture, biodiversity, energy, and plastics.

“This competition has demonstrated the depth and breadth of agri-tech innovation in Canada, and Bioenterprise is proud of the truly national response we received from entrepreneurs from across the country,” says Bioenterprise CEO Dave Smardon. “We anticipate further growth and success for all the applicants and participants of The Green Pursuit, and we look forward to getting to know these entrepreneurs as they work towards commercializing their innovations.”

Following its May 17 launch, the competition attracted entries from all 10 Canadian provinces and one territory. Ten teams were selected to take part in a fully bilingual virtual pitch event in front of an audience of approximately 100 government and industry stakeholders on October 5.

In addition to Bioenterprise and DFC, the competition’s judging panel included representatives from Bioindustrial Innovation Canada, Zone Agtech, Fonds Ecofuel Fund, and Business Development Bank of Canada Climate Tech Fund.

About Bioenterprise Canada

Bioenterprise is Canada’s Food & Agri-Tech Engine, a national agri-technology focused commercialization accelerator. Bioenterprise uses its 20 years of industry experience and a global network of experts, mentors, funders, researchers, and industry partners to help small and medium-sized agri-food businesses connect, innovate, and grow. Learn more.


For more information, please contact:

Braden Kemp, Bioenterprise Canada

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