ISHPEMING — Partridge Creek Farm, located in Ishpeming, was among the teams from around the state of Michigan selected to participate in two upcoming NextCycle Michigan Innovation Challenge program tracks: Foods, Liquids, and Organic Waste Systems, focused on organics recovery, and Recycling Innovation and Technology, focused on novel recycling technologies, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy announced.
Partridge Creek Farm was described by EGLE as an organic waste hauling service seeking to create an aerobic digester to increase production and capacity.
NextCycle is an EGLE initiative that provides tools, resources, expert consulting and investment pathways to support growing businesses and organizations focused on material recovery, reuse, recycling and manufacturing using recycled content to advance Michigan’s circular economy.
Projects can create Michigan jobs, have positive environmental and climate impacts, and provide equitable opportunities for individuals and communities from all corners of the state.
NextCycle is designed to connect entrepreneurs, companies, organizations and communities to technical support, financial resources, and capacity building for recycling, recovery and reuse initiatives.
NextCycle’s Innovation Challenge helps teams develop investment-ready initiatives supporting a resilient economy and equitable community solutions. The teams selected to move forward are primed for success in implementing solutions in Michigan aligning with a 2021 gap analysis.
“NextCycle Michigan continues to identify innovative initiatives that will advance Michigan’s circular economy and provide teams with the tools needed to succeed,” said Matt Flechter, EGLE recycling market development specialist, in a news release. “As we invest in teams, we also create more economic opportunity for Michiganders while positioning Michigan as a leader in climate action.”
The 16 teams were chosen from among 36 applicants based on the potential to address the waste material stream gap analysis, advance equity and leverage collaboration and partnerships. NextCycle will provide mentorship, subject matter expertise, partner networking, business plan and pitch development, funding preparation, and more during the next eight months.
In the spring, teams will showcase their accomplishments and deliver a pitch to state stakeholders, NextCycle Partners and investors.
Partridge Creek is part of the FLOWS track, The FLOWS track challenges teams to transform any aspect of organics recovery. Half of the cohort is in the startup phase, and 50% identify as owned by women or minorities.
Also named a participating team was ZE Place, based in Hancock, a testing facility using anaerobic digestion to produce biomethane and fertilizer while recovering waste food.
Part of the RIT track is Nion Metals, LLC, of Houghton, which is ready to scale the process of supplying critical metal materials into the U.S. electric vehicle market from synergizing lithium-ion battery recycling and mineral waste products.
The RIT track challenges teams to create innovations and technology. Half of the cohort is in the startup phase, with 75% of applicants coming from a qualified HUBZone federally supported small business growth area.