Driscoll’s Berries has collaborated with Think Beyond’s Innovation Center and other industry partners to launch the Ag Plastics Innovation Challenge to reimagine the future of ag plastics, inspired by a passion for innovation and a commitment to minimize the effect of plastics in berry production.
The Ag Plastics Innovation Challenge aims to identify commercially viable solutions in the field of agriculture plastics. Winners will have access to Think Beyond’s program at the Global Entrepreneurship Center to help them progress their inventions and show Driscoll’s and industry partners that they have the potential to be a viable alternative to current field plastics. Mentoring and assistance will be provided, as well as access to Driscoll’s and industry partners’ R&D, business, and marketing teams. Following completion, innovations will be evaluated on farms owned by Driscoll’s and industry partners, and may be licensed for use in Driscoll’s and industry partners’ commercial activities.
The challenge has four tracks
New Materials. a completely new material, a new formulation or variant of existing materials, or existing materials used in a new way;
New design. a design modification of films that ensures longevity or recyclability;
New or improved collection and / or recycling methodologies must have documented environmental, economic and performance value and benefits. Of special interest are recycling innovations for field plastics with soil contact (bed mulch, weed mat, and fumigation film) due to their tendency to retain soil and moisture after removal;
Waste-to-energy innovation. Only innovations with proven environmental benefit;
Three primary criteria will be used to evaluate the innovations:
Innovation level. Is the innovation unique, distinct and truly original?
Business viability. What is the market potential of the innovation? Is the idea commercially feasible? Can it scale-up?
Sustainability. What is the sustainability impact of the innovation? How is it measured? Can it be proven?
Advantages of the proposed material / approach / design
Ease of sourcing / accessing the material / feedstock and manufacturing the material
Data or estimates of the barrier properties and ruggedness in the anticipated use scenarios
Ease of collection, sorting and recycling / composting
Strength of partner eco-system
Experience of proposer and capacity to execute
WHAT TO EXPECT
There will be two stages to the review of the applications that have been submitted. The most promising ideas will be invited to fill out a longer application form with more information. The jury panel will go over the expanded applications and choose the top five finalists for the Innovation Challenge.
The following will be awarded to the finalists:
Tailored support: access to Think Beyond’s scale-up services in partnership with the Global Entrepreneurship Centre;
Pilot support: Access to Driscoll’s and industry partners R&D teams for onsite pilots;
Visibility: Promotion via multiple global communication channels;
Networking: An invitation to the annual Think Beyond Investor Forum and Innovation showcase.
The Ag Plastics Innovation Challenge is open for innovators and entrepreneurs as well as research institutes, start-ups, small-medium sized enterprises or comparable institutions.
We accept only one application per team.
HOW TO APPLY
Applicatio Deadline Date November 30 2021