VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA—(July 25, 2014) Solegear Bioplastics, a leading developer of high-performance plant-based plastics, was selected to receive $1.6 million in funding from the Western Innovation (WINN) Initiative.
WINN is a program offered by Western Economic Diversification Canada, a federal department. Designed to spur innovation and economic development, WINN helps small- and medium-sized technology businesses commercialize their products, services, and processes.
“This is a big deal for us. It’s an honour to be recognized as an innovator by the Government of Canada, and the funding is going to help us accelerate our commercialization,” said Toby Reid, Founder and CEO of Solegear. “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. We look forward to deploying these funds and continuing our growth toward becoming a leading global supplier of next generation, bio-based plastics.”
In this first round of WINN funding, $21 million was allocated to 27 businesses across British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. Over the next five years, a total of $100 million will be distributed to Western Canadian enterprises.
“I am proud to support programs such as the Western Innovation Initiative. 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,” said the Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification.
Last month, Solegear was also recognized by the City of Vancouver in its inaugural Awards of Excellence. The company won the award of excellence for Business Innovation in the “Green – 25 employees and Under” category.
For a full list of the projects awarded under the first WINN round, visit the Western Economic Diversification website.
About Solegear Bioplastics Inc.
Solegear, based in Vancouver, BC, engineers, produces and distributes high-performance bioplastics made from annually renewable bio-based sources. Founded in 2006, Solegear has developed proprietary bioplastic formulations using Green Chemistry expertise. Working with its commercialization partners, Solegear is deploying packaging and durable product solutions to some of the world’s leading brands. Solegear has been recognized with several awards for its innovative chemical engineering and progressive business model, including the Best Emerging Technology Award from the Globe Foundation earlier in 2014.