Establish a Circular Food Economy Innovation Hub (iHub)
Powered by the iHub, Guelph-Wellington will become a rural-urban living lab where social innovators, researchers, industry, technology developers and the community converge to solve complex, challenging problems. As the innovation engine of Our Food Future, the iHub will drive the use of data and build the necessary technological capacity to support a sustainable regional food economy.
This will involve:
- Accelerating the development of these solutions by facilitating collaborations, offering mentoring and ideation support, and prototyping and piloting projects
- Helping bring solutions to market by connecting entrepreneurs to additional supports and collaborators within the innovation ecosystem, including the Harve$t Impact Fund
The iHub will engage the entire ecosystem via:
- Circular Economy Design labs to catalyze new purposeful businesses and collaborations that embrace people, planet and prosperity
- Direct outreach to the social/health sector that serves our most vulnerable populations
- Collaboration to develop social enterprises that employ disadvantaged populations
- Public idea generation, competitive challenges and awards that involve the broader community in developing inclusive, innovative solutions
What else is happening in Guelph-Wellington?
In 2019, the City of Guelph hosted an Innovation Challenge at Toronto’s Globe Capital Exchange, an event that brings together more than 150 investors, cleantech companies, solution providers, government representatives and corporate leaders from across North America.
We invited cleantech innovators to propose solutions to minimize food waste, use food waste as a resource, or minimize the overall footprint of the food system. The winner was FoodCycler. This start-up has created a countertop machine that transforms food waste into a nutrient-rich soil amendment that can be added directly to residential gardens.
As the winner of the Challenge Award, FoodCycler received $5,000 for further research and development, as well as access to the City’s internal experts and the possibility of launching a pilot program at the discretion of relevant departments involved.