This year's Kate Sheppard Memorial Award recipient will support research to ultimately help New Zealand farmers choose forages for best production and drought resistance.
CertusBio has been formed to commercialise technology developed by Lincoln Agritech Ltd, which uses a biosensor device to monitor parameters such as fat and lactose content in industrial food processing wastewater. Operators can then make necessary adjustments in real time to minimise wastage and reduce the environmental load of wastewater.
CertusBio chief executive Matt Jones says with 2-3% of all processed milk disappearing down the drain, the dairy industry globally loses NZ$12.8 billion per year in processing waste.
The system has been shown to reduce processing waste by 40%.
“CertusBio is transforming industrial food production to prevent this type of waste,” he claims. “Our solution saves money for processors and helps them meet their social responsibility to safeguard the environment for future generations.”
Jones described the system as “like an automated laboratory on a chip.”
“The solution can be installed without interruption to existing processes,” he says. “Other companies have been in the market a long time, but do not provide accurate enough information to prevent this type of food waste.”
Jones recently presented the system at the inaugural EvokeAg event in Melbourne, said to be Australia’s largest agricultural technology event with 1100 delegates sharing technologies including sensors, artificial intelligence, robotics and automation.
The company won a cash prize of $20,000 in the Investment Ready category of a Pitch Tent competition at the event, in which innovators were invited to pitch their ideas to a panel of expert venture-capitalist judges.
The system, called Milk-Guard, has already been installed at several New Zealand dairy processing plants. The company also offers a similar system called Aeration-Guard tailored to monitoring wastewater treatment plants.
Jones says he developed CertusBio to combine two of his great passions – the reduction of waste and the development of great science.
He is now seeking $2 million to develop the company further and met with a number of potential Australian and international investors at the event.
“I’m looking for investors who care about reducing waste using validated technology in the food processing industry.”