Solegear Bioplastics, a company focused on developing plant-based plastics for food and beverage packaging as well as other applications, has landed $1.6m in funding from Canada’s Western Innovation Initiative (WINN). The program is designed to encourage small- to medium-size businesses to commercialize their products, services, and processes.
Toby Reid, founder and CEO of Solegear Bioplastics, told FoodProductionDaily the federal development funds will provide a big push for bioplastic packaging growth.
“If you look at how critical innovation is to a thriving economy, programs such as WINN are vital for innovative businesses, like Solegear, who are in the process of scaling up,” he said. “We look forward to deploying these funds and continuing our growth toward becoming a leading global supplier of next generation, bio-based plastics."
The recently launched WINN program distributed approximately $21m to 27 businesses across Western Canada. The organization plans to distribute a total of $100m to promising businesses in the region over the course of the next five years.
Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, said WINN provides forward-thinking businesses like Solegear the momentum they need to promote themselves, and fuel the local economy.
“Through WINN, we are filling a funding gap identified by Canadian business, and re-affirming our government’s commitment to providing opportunities for jobs and growth,” he said.
The award is not the first recognition Solegear has landed this summer. In June, its home city of Vancouver, BC saluted the company in its inaugural Awards of Excellence program. The company won recognition in the “Green: 25 employees and Under” category; it also was given the Best Emerging Technology Award by the Globe Foundation earlier this year.