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SA government invests $750,000 in new businesses focussed on waste management

The South Australian government is extending its partnership with Innovyz to deliver a second business incubator program, which will invest in technologies that improve waste management.

Announced on August 24, the continued partnership could see up to 10 companies created in the state that aim to turning waste into valuable products and improve environmental outcomes.

The program’s first round, which saw eight companies graduate, is reaping the rewards of seeing value where others see waste and diverting as much waste as possible from landfill.

The government is matching a $750,000 investment by Innovyz.

Minister for Environment and Water, David Speirs, said the South Australian waste sector, which is a $1 billion industry that employs about 5,000 people across the state, has been identified as a future growth industry.

“Innovyz has been awarded a grant to deliver a second business development program targeting researchers working on early-stage ideas in waste, recycling and the circular economy.”

It will develop new companies to become innovators in the sector, Speirs said.

“The funding supports researchers working on projects which are progressive and visionary in terms of recycling and reuse, whether it’s industrial, construction or agricultural.

“Innovyz has an outstanding track record as is a game changer in driving innovation in the waste and recycling sector through commercialisation of transformative technologies and I am confident through funding for this second program it will find world-leading ideas,” Speirs said.

Innovyz general manager, Tom Kenyon, said consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about the impact they are having on our environment and business innovation was a key to addressing this.

“We know from our work with universities, inventors and other research institutions, such as the CSIRO, that most of the solutions that we need to reduce waste, improve recycling and move to a circular economy are already out there,” Kenyon explained.

Innovyz travels around Australia to find the best ideas and people to turn ideas into successful companies.

“We’re really happy to again be working with Green Industries South Australia, to continue our state’s leadership in waste reduction and conversion to a circular economy.”

Start-up company ByGen, a spin-out from the University of Adelaide, is a graduate from the first Innovyz business mentoring program.

ByGen converts agricultural wastes from various farming industries into a material called “activated carbon”, a product valued for its exceptional filtering qualities that make it suitable for mining and oil and gas processes, as well as for cleaning contaminated water and soil.

ByGen co-founder, Dr Lewis Dunnigan, said participating in the waste and recycling program helped the company develop its ideas.

“We’ve gone from an idea in a lab to a fledgling business thanks to the support we received. We’re now looking to deploy our first full-scale plant within the next year, which will employ between 10-15 people in regional South Australia,” Dunnigan said.