An innovative new technology to make bioplastics and other sustainable plant-based materials and a method to industrialise photosynthesis to expand the world’s food supply were the winning ideas at the Open Innovation (OI) Forum’s annual Food, Drink and FMCG pitching competition.
The competition took place online for the first time on 24 November, with a record 23 entrepreneurs from around the world pitching in two categories to an audience of influential decision makers from major companies across the food, drink and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector.
New for this year was the Sustainable Packaging Challenge, followed by the more varied Innovation Needs category, which focused on important priorities as identified by OI Forum members.
The shift to a virtual event meant there were innovations in the format as well, as the Forum organised ‘speed dates’ between pitchers and Forum members, as well as a follow-up session the next day where invited pitchers participated in ‘hackathons’ with Forum members to plot out routes to scale and leverage their solutions.
‘The engagement with leading players in the value chain is exactly what we need at this stage in our development,’ enthused a founder of a packaging start-up who participated.
Members of the audience were also impressed by the pitches. ‘The selected start-ups were of high quality and we will follow-up with some of them directly,’ said the group head of sustainability of an ingredients company.
Sustainable Packaging Challenge
The technology can be used with post-consumer wastes obtained directly from stores, offering a better option than bioplastics that rely on expensive food-grade inputs.
Cambond now want to work with partners to develop a circular bio-economy and drive the ‘upcycling’ of low- and no value waste into valuable bioplastic logistics products. Use of wastes within the logistics system would have a beneficial effect of producing cheaper logistics supplies, reducing the carbon footprint of supply chains and turning post-consumer plastic wastes into part of the solution for climate change.