A scientist with a plan to save dairy waste has won the top cash prize in a competition held as part of the inaugural evokeAG event in February.
About 1200 international delegates heard the presentation, where 13 finalists competed for a total cash pool of $25000, in front of an expert panel of judges.
Mathew Jones from CertusBio is a step closer to realising his dream of saving billions of kilos of dairy waste after taking home the top cash prize of $20000 in the Investment Ready stream.
The Christchurch-based innovator was one of five finalists from Israel, New Zealand and Australia in the agtech sector.
Dr Jones said the calibre of entrants made the experience all the more worthwhile.
He said in the dairy industry, milk losses could average two to three per cent from the time the raw milk enters the factory to when the finished product is packaged and shipped.
Although this may sound insignificant, it adds up to about 1.5billionkg of lost milk, cheese and whey production per year in the United States alone.
Dr Jones is the chief executive of CertusBio, a start-up company using biotechnology to decrease waste in food and beverage processing.
Originally from the United Kingdom, he studied chemistry and biotechnology at the University of Birmingham and currently lives in Christchurch, New Zealand.
CertusBio’s lead product Milk-Guard uses a lactose-specific enzyme to measure the percentage of dairy products present in waste streams and processing lines.
Using this technology, dairy plant operators are able to improve the resource and energy efficiency of their plant processes by reducing losses of valuable dairy products and ultimately increasing company profitability.