This month, we turn our Startup Profile to the issue of food waste. Clarity Mapengo is the co-founder of FruityXFusion – developing an innovative alternative to single-use plastics, using rejected fruits. In the following Q&A she shares her experience developing FruityXFusion and her thoughts on building more resilient food ecoystems.
Q: What problem or challenge is FruityXFusion working to solve?
South Africans use between 30 to 50 kg of plastic per person per year. Most plastic waste is single-use and usually ends up in marine ecosystems (entangling and threatening aquatic life forms). Single-use plastics take years to breakdown and even when they do, it is generally into smaller pieces of plastic. On the other hand, 44% of produced fruit and vegetables are lost to landfills, where they result in the production of greenhouse gases that further pollutes the environment. The perishable nature of fruits and vegetables makes it a more mammoth challenge for producers and retailers. Over the years, innovative technologies have been developed to curb the losses; however, the food wastage is still significant.
Q: How are you innovating to solve that challenge?
Our ideology involves designing biodegradable packaging material/utensils made with commercially rejected fruits such as deformed, discoloured, overripe, mechanically damaged fruits. Most of these rejected fruits would otherwise eventually end up in landfills. This alternative environmentally-friendly solution will reduce the utilisation of single-use plastic and size of greenhouse gas-producing landfills. Since this solution is based on abundant raw materials of reduced or zero commercial value, their production and pricing will be comparable to single-use plastic.
Q: How did the idea and insight for FruityXFusion emerge?
As curious scientists, we are always researching the trends around biosciences. In 2018, my co-founder Humbulani Emmanuel Nekhudzhiga and I realised that the quantity of fresh produce disposed of as waste by the local market was too significant to disregard. Most of the products were deemed overripe and commercially unacceptable to consumers. In that very same year, the World Wide Fund for Nature released statistics on the usage of single-use plastics and its impact on the environment – primarily aquatic life. Upon gathering more information about the food waste problem in South Africa, we came across an overwhelming statistic, i.e. 10 million tonnes of food go to waste annually of which 70% is fruits, vegetables and cereals and about 90% of the waste is disposed of as landfills.
While there are technologies upstream (refrigeration, drying, modified atmosphere packaging) to reduce annual fresh produce losses, we realised that actions should also be implemented downstream to reduce food waste accumulation. FruityXFusion became a feasible idea to curb the bizarre statistics (in food waste, global warming and marine life). In 2020 we managed to have a viable prototype and proof of concept.
What are the biggest opportunities for collaborative innovation that you see in the food waste space?
Several key stakeholders in the industrial ecosystem could partner and foster a more practical approach in boosting the circular economy while curbing the challenges of food waste from various points across the supply chain. We believe that if the entire industry collaborates, impactful change is imminent. By entire the industry, we mean the full cycle – from the farmers/producers, companies supplying farming resources, retailers, food product manufacturers, research institutes, start-ups and consumers.
Q: How can we foster collaboration across sectors and across borders to grow innovation around food waste and creating more circular economies across food ecosystems?
Research institutes and start-ups play a huge role in such collaborations. Research institutes can play a decisive role in linking or bridging the gap between educational institutes and the industry. We are all parts of the same wheel seeking to promote sustainable and effective production processes. Within organisations in the food industry space, there is a need to refine the intrapreneurship environment to inspire and allow young minds to bring their ideas to light without feeling exploited. Science and technology are too complex to tackle food waste’s challenges from one angle without possibly neglecting/creating a problem in another space. Therefore collaboration across borders & sectors can assist in curbing the possible challenges from different directions. Governments, industries and research institutes need to make funds available for start-ups because effective entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship is the fastest way to foster innovation around food waste and create more circular economies across food ecosystems
Q: Are there any specific areas where you are interested in exploring collaboration with FruityXFusion?
Apart from already working with the University of Pretoria, we are looking into collaborating with our local farmers’ cooperatives and fruit & vegetable markets. This will help us effectively collect our raw materials and help local farmers get a small revenue from their ‘losses’ as they sell to us this commercially rejected fresh produce before it hits the landfills. We intend to initially reach out to all restaurants at our local the university to foster a partnership and pilot our product before launching it city and nationwide. Eventually, we hope to infiltrate global markets through franchising with some big names in the foodservice sector worldwide.
Q: Could you share a brief overview of your research background? You’ve also been participating in the InnoFood research project – could you briefly share more about your work and research there?
My research background is in starch modification and structure-functional property of food biopolymers. My work is centred on manipulating the structure of food biopolymers using green chemistry to promote micro-and nanostructural changes that will ultimately enhance the nutritional properties of starch and starch-containing food products. Currently I am working on the InnoFood project at the University of Pretoria , where I am working on developing low glycemic index (GI) flours from indigenous African crops (lower glycemic index foods are slower to digest and therefore leave one feeling full for longer). These flours will then be used to manufacture different food products such as instant porridges etc. There is so much potential in African crops, and we are trying to tap into that potential and develop products that can alleviate malnutrition. In a world rampaged by diet-related non-communicable diseases such as type 2 diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease, low glycemic index foods could really positively impact health and well-being.
Q:How can we strengthen the links between research/academia and entrepreneurship/business in accelerating innovation around food ecosystems in Africa and internationally? How can we strengthen collaborative innovation across different sectors and geographies?
I think platforms, projects and programs like InnoFood and UNLEASH (a global platform for SDG Innovation – focusing on bringing together young people across the globe to collaborate on SDG solutions and part of the HelloScience Ecosystem) are already showing us the way by bringing diverse people from around the world to work together for a common cause. We need more of such projects and programs. We are obviously in different development stages and technological ‘savviness’, therefore if we establish projects that bring people from different settings to work together, our problems are half solved. Funding is another crucial part in strengthening the links, as it is difficult to make headway in anything if one has limited resources. Bi and multi-lateral aid can be helpful to strengthen innovation across different geographies.
What are the biggest insights you’ve gained from your work and research around food and food waste?
Everything is interconnected and innovation is vital in tackling challenges around food insecurity and food waste. The inception of FruityXFusion concept made us food scientists tackle food waste and marine life too and that’s just a fraction of how technology and innovation have no bounds.
What would you like to see achieved in building more resilient, sustainable food ecosystems by 2030?
I would like to see young food science innovators being financially supported because I believe they hold the keys for effective transformation. The gaps between various sectors, especially research and the industry must be bridged, yielding a rich, effective and diversified market. I would be elated if by 2030, the global food systems’ key barriers such as fresh produce waste, low productivity, and food insecurity have been tackled. Ultimately we must be a part of a world and communities where improved sustainable food production technologies, food waste management, and business skills are coercive pillars effectively anchoring food ecosystems.
We are developing the world first automated bio-upcycler (IntelliDigest) to process all ‘inedible food waste’ to 3-D printed biodegradable product…
Next Big Wave: The Future of Sustainability
An SDG Pioneer recognized by the UN Global Compact and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, Claus Stig Pedersen has led Novozymes Global Sustainability activities for the past decade. He has been central to integrating sustainability into its corporate purpose and strategy and its core business and innovation pipeline, as well as developing the strategic and governance framework that helps Novozymes align and communicate its core business in line with the SDGs.
His own sustainability journey began backpacking and surfing through South East Asia as a student, where many of the beaches he visited were impacted by trash. From environmental activist to a business activist, today at Novozymes his goal is simple: to drive better business for a better world with biology.
Still an avid surfer, we caught up with Claus on the edge of the west coast of Denmark, where days of icy winter storms are often mixed with shorter periods of calm and sunshine. This was the perfect environment to get his perspectives on the next big waves on the sustainability horizon.
It’s the end of the world as we know it (and I feel fine)
For decades, the sustainability agenda has largely been driven by environmental considerations and challenges, often for business as either as a risk to be managed, or as something to be documented and demonstrate positive, but largely incremental, improvements. That type of approach has served its purpose and served us well, but it’s also largely served its time. Sustainability has mainstreamed into value and supply chains; moved from risk to opportunity; is discussed in financial, societal and governance terms, and is receiving increased attention from consumers, governments and investors.
And businesses are responding in ever growing numbers, reflecting its changed role in society. Looking at the adoption of the Paris Climate Agreement, the implementation of the SDGs and responses to COVID-19, it’s also clear that the era of Corporate Social Responsibility is over.
Welcome to a new paradigm – the Socially Responsible Corporate. From the core of a business, driving profits and revenues, companies will be credited and rewarded for making positive social and environmental impacts, based on strategy and on business models that deliver solutions to the world.
All this makes the current “State of Sustainability” an exciting place to be and it’s something that both inspires and energizes me, especially as we can build on strong foundations. That’s also why I have always been an advocate for integrating sustainability into all elements of a business, including strategy and investments in innovation, so that we can understand and incorporate the changing world around us. It’s also why Novozymes has used the SDG parameters for new product development, created internal boards and committees to drive decision-making and, of course, supported the development of initiatives like HelloScience.
If everybody looked the same (we’d get tired of looking at each other)
For leading companies like Novozymes, it’s fantastic to be able to experience how much a positive a contribution gender, diversity and inclusion can make to an organization, especially when it comes to sustainability and innovation.
I’m fortunate to work with a team of experts and, as important as their technical competences are, they represent a whole range of ages, life experiences, nationalities, languages and cultures and we have a strong gender balance as well. This combination brings an amazing range of ideas and perspectives to what we do, and perhaps most importantly keeps us anchored in real-world realities and encourages us to think differently.
If there is one thing that the team members have in common, it’s the value that they place on demonstrating kindness and respect for each other, building relevant boundaries and understanding together. I see a similar approach reflected in the HelloScience community and especially where new ideas are celebrated and championed, regardless of where they have come from. These might be intangible values, but they have a massive positive impact on creating an impactful collaboration.
It’s OK (to not be OK)
The global sustainability community has grown from a physical ecosystem where almost everyone knew everyone personally to also incorporate a digital network – very much like HelloScience.
With Covid-19 and the restrictions this has placed on our ability to interact with each other in real life, a “digital default” has helped many of us stay in contact. But it’s also reinforced the need for us to recognize the way we look at what could be termed Social Sustainability, a nexus of well-being that considers mental, physical and emotional health aspects. This will evolve further and businesses like Novozymes are already developing their own approaches to these issues.
Having this foundation to work from, which also builds confidence and comfort within a community –especially one that is seeking to pushing new ideas forward to make real and radical change through creativity – has some additional upsides.
The single largest sustainability challenge – and opportunity – we face is how to create a carbon neutral world by 2050 in line with Paris Agreement objectives, which require innovation, action and the courage to succeed. So, the more we create a caring, positive and holistic environment to work, collaborate and innovate in, the more we give everyone the confidence and comfort to experiment, learn from both failures and successes, and help us reach that goal.
The kids are alright
I am very conscious of my responsibility to help empower the next generation of leaders and I thrive on the energy that engaging with students brings, as part of my Professorship at Aalborg University, in Denmark. I think it’s important to harness, nurture and support that enthusiasm and curiosity, and especially to encourage different ways of thinking. It’s far too simplistic to call this a “Millennial Mindset”:
Within my own team, I have noticed I often learn the most from the newest and youngest team members, and that some of the freshest, most creative and inspiring ideas come from the oldest ones.
How to best describe this dynamic? Well, I like to think that we work for a cause and not just a company. It’s a great mantra to have and its one that I’m fully committed to as we build next-gen Sustainability together.
Its times like these
With COVID-19 vaccines rolling out, the US re-engaging on climate change, and the world’s largest investors driving focus on sustainability, 2021 is off to a cautiously optimistic start.
As the world works to “build back better”, we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to spot the next sustainability waves that will shape society, innovation, the environment and the economy.
This isn’t a given, and it requires collaboration and commitment, but I’m more excited than ever by the possibilities in front of us.
Because the world needs business to be sustainable, and that means opportunities for business. For Novozymes, that means better business with biology.
And whilst we work hard to make this happen, let’s enjoy the ride.
Zahid Torres-Rahman Co-Founder and CEO,Business Fights Poverty Business Fights Poverty has taken an active lead in promoting radical collaborative innovation…
Horizons of Sustainability
How can we build sustainable futures across the Arctic region?
The Arctic Opportunity Explorers program – a collaboration between Sustainia and HelloScience – provided a platform for students from across 11 different countries to form teams and develop innovative ideas to solve SDG-focused challenges. Throughout the program – which ran from September 2020 to January 2021 – teams collaborated together on the HelloScience platform, as they shaped their innovative ideas and received valuable insights from mentors.
We check in with Kelly Lynch – Partner Manager at Sustainia, and project leader of Arctic Opportunity Explorers – to learn more about the key experiences, insights and opportunities that emerged from the program.
Q: How is the Arctic Opportunity Explorers (AOE) working to catalyze collaborative approaches to entrepreneurship?
A: Here at Sustainia, we are committed to facilitating the move from inspiration to action when it
comes to tackling sustainability and climate change-related challenges. We see the Arctic
Opportunity Explorers as a natural extension of this initiative, and we hope that the program
will allow us to achieve this goal by serving as a tool through which we can empower young people to
become changemakers in the Arctic.
Students are at the center of the program, and we believe it is important to recognize their
potential as it relates to entrepreneurship – especially given their unique combination of skill, innovative
thinking, and drive to meet the biggest and most complex challenges we are faced with today.
The Arctic Opportunity Explorers program is facilitating student collaboration around
sustainable entrepreneurship and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by providing them
with a platform on which to showcase their innovative ideas, as well as by providing them with
the groundwork, connections, techniques, and frameworks by which they may be able to
achieve true social impact.
We strive to tackle Mental Health in the state of Greenland. In order to approach this situation, we have proposed…
Q: AOE brought together students from across 11 different countries to focus on innovating around regional challenges in the Arctic. What key insights have you gained through the program – specifically in terms of how we might continue to foster local-global collaborations around the SDGs?
A: Producing innovative solutions around the SDGs that are localized and contextually-relevant is fundamental to what we are trying to achieve with the Arctic Opportunity Explorers program. We want to build and support pathways for innovation and entrepreneurship that have the potential to address global challenges, like climate change (SDG 13), while simultaneously ensuring that local concerns and voices are heard and prioritized.
Over the course of this year’s program, the importance of bringing a diverse group of individuals from disparate backgrounds, geographic locations, and academic disciplines together was reinforced. We saw a wide range of creative ideas coming from our student participants, and we believe this diversity of perspective will be a key factor moving forward. In order to create locally-tailored solutions, it is equally important to make sure people living in Arctic communities are included in these conversations, and we found that students from around the world are extremely eager to learn about the realities of life in these regions that are often perceived as remote.
Q: The use of collaborative digital tools and technologies – such as HelloScience – was central to the Arctic Opportunity Explorers program. In what ways would you like to see these digital tools and technologies grow and evolve in order to further support entrepreneurial collaboration around the SDGs? Were there any particularly interesting examples of how students creatively used these tools and technologies to enhance their collaborations?
The importance of a collaborative mindset is paramount, and digital tools may serve as an important lever. The entirety of this year’s Arctic Opportunity Explorers program took place in the shadow of COVID-19, and as such virtual tools like HelloScience were instrumental in allowing the project to move forward and succeed. By facilitating continued interaction between individuals spread across a multitude of time zones and locales, it has shown the great potential for remote work and collaboration moving forward.
In fact, the winning team with the overall best innovative solution was composed of three bachelor’s students spread across the United States, United Kingdom, and Russia who had never met prior to embarking on this challenge. HelloScience served as a platform to share their ideas and journey with each other, and to later showcase the high-quality of their work to a wider audience. This ‘living library’ approach will be important moving forward, and will ensure ideas such as theirs are able to evolve and grow. This will hopefully inspire and facilitate even greater collaboration and cooperation between communities and individuals all over the world.
Sustainia’s CEO, Rasmus Schjødt Pedersen, and Partnerships Manager Kelly Lynch The next generation of Sustainable Business Innovators will come from…
UNDP accelerates SDG business innovation
The private sector is an important strategic partner for UNDP in achieving its vision to help countries achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), by eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions.
The HelloScience team has been in close conversation with Stine Kirstein Junge – global leader of UNDP’s SDG Accelerator for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), working out of the UNDP Nordic Office – to learn more about the program, and explore ways that UNDP is supporting business innovation and entrepreneurial solutions to SDGs.
Since 2017, UNDP has worked with over 200 ventures from 40 countries – in partnership with foundations, venture capitalists, business accelerators, institutional investors, and donors – to help a broad range of entrepreneurs to accelerate and scale up innovative technological solutions and business models to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
UNDP is on the ground in some 170 countries and territories, supporting countries’ solutions to development challenges. UNDP’s private sector programs target varying stages of business development – ranging from pre-seed start-ups to fully established SMEs. Under Stine Kirstein Junge’s leadership here in Denmark, UNDP has built an SDG Accelerator for SMEs to unlock SMEs potential to contribute to development and impact on SDGs. The program uses the SDGs as a framework for developing new sustainable business solutions. This SDG Accelerator has been supported by major players across the private sector – including Novozymes and others – sharing knowledge and experience to help SMEs grow their SDG business solutions.
Stine Kirstein Junge heads the UNDP’s SDG Accelerator program
SDGs & SMEs: Small and Medium Size Entreprises Have a Major Role to Play
SMEs are essential if we are to achieve the SDGs and the Leaving No One Behind principle of the 2030 Agenda, with their contribution to national economies – particularly in developing countries – and their role as a major job creator. Indeed, it is estimated that formal SMEs contribute up to 40% of GDP in emerging economies, a number which is noticeably higher if one includes informal SMEs. With the World Bank estimating that 600 million jobs will be needed by 2030 to absorb the growing global workforce, the role of SMEs will be essential, given that they already represent over 90 per cent of the business population and 60-70% of employment.
The SDG Accelerator program focuses on supporting SMEs in their transition towards impacting the SDGs with their business solutions. SMEs are not engaging in the SDGs at the same level as larger companies, and many startups have SDGs in their DNA. But SMEs often find it difficult how to get started. The SDG Accelerator can help with that. SMEs have a lot of capacity when it comes to developing business solutions that answer to the global challenges embedded in the 2030 agenda. They are agile, innovative, and open to adapting new technologies, which gives them a unique comparative advantage when it comes to developing business solutions for the SDGs. Furthermore, the SMEs constitute the growth layer of companies in a society, and with the growth and scale of their SDG business solutions they have the potential to become the multinationals of the future, and this will give volume to the SDG-impact that UNDP is looking to create.
From the SDG Accelerator work we have done so far, we have learned that SMEs are more incentivized to engage in sustainability when the focus is to use the SDGs as a strategic framework for developing new revenue streams. The commercial perspective makes SMEs more incentivized to work with SDGs than for example, working with CSR – which many SMEs perceive as a backward-looking compliance agenda, which they find difficult to prioritize. But we have also learned that SMEs do need support if they want to do business development with the SDGs and all the new partnerships and collaborations that it entails.
The larger companies in the world, such as Novozymes, are already doing business development with the SDGs, and startups are being supported with a wealth of incubator and accelerator programs. So when the SDG Accelerator program was conceptualized i found it important to zoom in on SMEs.
Stine Kirstein Junge, Head of the UNDP SDG Accelerator
The Journey So Far: Innovation and Opportunity Emerge from the SDG Accelerator
Since 2018, over 30 Danish SMEs have gone through the SDG Accelerator program – a 10-month Innovation Journey aiming to unlock opportunities for concrete business innovation around the SDGs. The SDG Accelerator offers an effective structure for SMEs to grow their business with the SDGs. In the Innovation Journey the companies identify new products, services or business models, and they develop prototypes and concrete business plans. The Innovation Journey comprises five phases, including three one-on-one meetings with each company and two joint workshops with all the companies, as well as global UN experts, other experts, relevant business partners and investors. The purpose is to ensure the right input for turning ideas for SDG business solutions into reality, while building the right capabilities with each company.
SDG Accelerator: Innovation Highlights
The participants in the program developed several innovative SDG business solutions including:
BLUETOWN building upon its solar-powered parabolic masts providing Internet solutions for the unconnected, developed a local cloud solution that can operate in isolated and poor rural areas with an adapted business model.
DESMIRo-Clean developed hardware equipment that can clean some of the world’s most polluted rivers to stop plastic waste from flowing into the oceans. DESMI has successfully collaborated with the Indian state to test their clean-up solution in Delhi.
Plastix joined a public-private partnership with new partners to create a new circular model for recycling post-consumer hard plastic, which is currently not recycled in Denmark.
SDG Accelerator Spotlight: RGS Nordic
The Danish recycling company, RGS Nordic graduated from the SDG Accelerator in 2018. RGS Nordic are specialists in the treatment of contaminated soil, industrial wastewater and recycling of construction waste. In the SDG Accelerator they developed a digital platform that enables carriers to optimize the use of the many trucks that visit the company’s 35+ receiving and handling facilities in Scandinavia every day. The solution will significantly reduce the number of empty trucks driving in and out of their ‘waste-handling-facilities’ and, consequently, they will reduce CO2 emissions. In the long term, the solution will be a best practice example of how sharing of transport data and cooperation between different industry actors can significantly reduce freight on European roads for the good of businesses, the environment and for people.
Following the SDG Accelerator program, RGS Nordic has started new partnerships with two major tech companies, IBM and Itelligence. They have invested in the project and will provide software to the project and contribute to taking the solution to scale.
Insights and Opportunities: The Path Ahead
The experience of running the SDG Accelerator has generated great insights, learnings and opportunities along the way. Working with the SDGs can provide SMEs unique opportunities for innovation and R&D – and the SDG Accelerator can even serve as an ‘Innovation/R&D’ unit for SMEs, which normally lack resources for that. However, it is critical that company leadership is fully engaged and willing to invest in doing business development that impact the SDGs – so that companies can truly put their full ‘muscle’ behind creating strong, viable business solutions to SDG challenges.
One other core insight is the importance of impact forecasting – the program provides tools for setting out clear aims and target indicators for the impact that companies aim to generate around new business solutions. By setting out ‘KPIs for the SDGs’ and setting indicators and objectives with foresight, rather than simply reporting impact after it occurs – impact forecasting gives SMEs the chance to become much more comfortable and invested in communicating about their solutions and understanding their relationship to the SDGs. It gives them an opportunity to embrace both the positive and the potential negative impact of a business solution.
As UNDP continues to grow its SDG Accelerator programs across the globe, sharing knowledge and insights across borders and sectors will play a critical role in growing business innovation that impact on the SDGs. With this aim in mind, the UNDP is working to build an SME/Private Sector Learning hub that can support implementation of SDG Accelerator programmes with UNDP Country Offices, Governments and other actors around the world.
One other key opportunities for the growth of the SDG Accelerator for SMEs and other Impact Venture Accelerators in UNDP lies in the way that technology platforms – such as HelloScience – could serve help to track the growth and impact of start-ups and SMEs throughout their time in the Impact Venture Accelerator programs and beyond. These tools could help stakeholders across the ecosystem to connect and collaborate in deeper ways, while also providing a more comprehensive overview of trends and opportunities across different sectors and geographies.
With these possibilities in mind, we’re excited to continue exploring ways in which HelloScience might be able to collaborate more closely with UNDP to support their work with providing start-ups and SMEs with efficient structures to strategically grow their business with the SDGs – here in Denmark and beyond.
ABOUT UNGA The global COVID-19 pandemic has been responsible for significant turmoil around the world, and the impact on gatherings…
Biodesign and the Future of Fashion
Karu Biodesign is an Argentine startup that was first introducted to Novozymes Latin America and is now connected to HelloScience through Novozymes colleagues in Brazil, the United States and Denmark. Over the past few weeks we have had the chance to get to know founder and CEO Veronica Bergottini, and learn more about Karu Biodesign, and her perspectives on biodesign and the future of sustainable fashion.
Q:What problem or challenge is your startup working to solve? How are you innovating to solve that challenge?
A: Our startup uses microorganisms to grow a leather-like material for fashion. We believe that we can contribute with a more sustainable fashion industry by creating bio-based materials as an alternative to animal and faux leather.
Q: What are the biggest opportunities for collaborative innovation in the biodesign space?
A: Driving sustainable innovation in materials is only possible within a collaborative transdisciplinary approach. In the past, biology and design existed side by side, but now biodesign has connected scientists, designers and engineers for the challenge of forging a more sustainable future. And this is a great opportunity to innovate not only in materials, but also to rethink design processes and supply chains. The most fervent advocates of biodesign claim that it is a new industrial revolution.
Q: How can we foster collaboration across sectors and across borders to grow innovation in biodesign?
A: More co-working lab spaces for biotech prototyping and financial support still are needed to foster biodesign at early stages.
Q: Are there any specific areas where you are interested in exploring collaboration with Karu?
A: We are interested in exploring collaborations in bio-based materials for fashion and the development of biodesign kits to allow designers, students and teachers to explore biotechnology. We believe that these type of biotech products are needed to spread the growth of biodesign further.
Driving sustainable innovation in materials is only possible within a collaborative transdisciplinary approach.
Q: From your perspective – what is the future of biodesign in fashion, and beyond? What would you like to see achieved in Biodesign by 2030?
A: Today we are riding on the wave of biomaterial innovation in fashion. We expect that by 2030 we can build a more consolidated ecosystem to support emerging biodesigners and their novel materials to reach the market. We all believe that biomaterials are the basis of building a sustainable economy.