Smart Cities launches its first two COIL projects
The Smart Cities Office, along with partner organizations, is launching the ReSource Exchange and Circular Economy Digital Passport to help food businesses across Ontario join the circular food economy. The ReSource Exchange and Circular Economy Digital Passport are the first two projects coming out of the recently announced Circular Opportunity Innovation Launchpad (COIL).
Designed to be a free business-to-business marketplace, ReSource Exchange enables companies to post their food waste and by- and co-products that would normally be thrown away for other businesses to use. Businesses can also generate new revenue and reduce potential costs by posting excess space, tools and equipment, and donate a particular food product to local food-relief organizations through the platform.
“Food businesses across the supply chain currently spend considerable amounts of money to send waste materials to landfills. ReSource Exchange will help surface these materials and create new business-to-business collaborations in our region that further our goal of creating a circular food economy across our region,” says David Messer, manager, COIL, Smart Cities Office.
Beyond the website, ReSource Exchange is supported by a dedicated team at Innovation Guelph as well as Provision Coalition and other collaborators that work to match materials posted on the platform with other businesses that could use them. The team will also use the platform to help develop new products and companies through innovation challenges.
Circular Economy Digital Passport
Guelph-Wellington’s Circular Economy iHub (CE iHub) connects entrepreneurs and established businesses with funding and innovation opportunities. The digital passport will help connect businesses with circular economy programs, business resources and experts that can support them on their journey. The passport itself provides digital stamps enabling businesses to share their achievements and be recognized for their commitment to the circular food economy across social networks.
“The digital passport is a new and innovative way to connect and support businesses as they work to adapt their business models to align with the circular food economy,” says Anne Toner Fung, CEO, Innovation Guelph. “By engaging with the digital passport process, businesses will learn what it means to be circular, connect with likeminded businesses, learn about opportunities and drive change within their own organizations. In the end, we want to see businesses thrive and add value to the community through the circular food economy.”
COIL is an innovation platform and activation network aimed at creating, proving and scaling transformative solutions that will move Canada toward a more sustainable, circular economy. The initiative was launched in April 2021 with $5 million in funding from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario.