Innovation award winners generate useful products from wastewater, bugs

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In Belgium, a bioremediation startup and a company using insects to produce sustainable nutrients won bioinnovation awards at the European Forum on Industrial Biotechnology and the Bioeconomy, held earlier this month in Brussels.

Rachel Major, CEO and cofounder of California’s NuLeaf Tech, was voted strongest proposal for funding by the participants at EFIB’s “pitchfest.” The company is using engineered wetlands, aquaponics, and microbial fuel cells to turn wastewater into a resource for fertilizers.

Guillaume Daoulas, Product Manager at France’s Ynsect, received the John Sime Award for best innovation presentation for the company’s progress in using insects to convert organic substrates, such as cereal byproducts, and transforming those insects into a sustainable nutrient resource for agro-industries and bioactive compounds for green chemistry.