Canadian bioplastics maker Solegear Bioplastics Inc. has won $1.6 million in funding from the government-sponsored Western Innovation Initiative (WINN).
The initiative is part of the Western Economic Diversification Canada federal program. WINN is designed to spur innovation and economic development at medium-sized technology businesses.
The funding “is a big deal” for Vancouver, B.C.-based Solegear, founder and CEO Toby Reid said in a July 25 news release.
“It's an honor to be recognized as an innovator by the government of Canada,” he said. “The funding is going to help us accelerate our commercialization.”
Western Economic Diversification state minister Michelle Rempel added in the release that, through WINN, the Canadian government “is filling a funding gap identified by Canadian business.”
Solegear is in the process of ramping up production of its Polysole-brand bioplastic, which officials said is 100 percent bio-based, non-toxic and compostable. The material can be based on corn or other plants. Solegear also produces Traverse-brand biocomposites, which can be made by mixing conventional plastic with natural fibers.
In 2012, Solegear received additional funding from Vancouver-based investment firm Yaletown Venture Partners and several angel investors.