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RIT Innovation Track opens for recycling innovation and technology ideas


July 16, 2021

EGLE initiative offers business planning support, resources, potential funding opportunities for recycling innovation and technology projects that demonstrate impact in Michigan

NextCycle Michigan's Recycling Innovation and Technology (RIT) Innovation Challenge Track is now accepting applications through Aug. 11. The program seeks novel material recovery or sorting technologies, recycled content products, waste minimization techniques, new uses for recycled or organic materials, or other innovations to improve sustainable materials management in Michigan.

NextCycle Michigan, an initiative from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, leverages public and private sector assistance along with investment across six Innovation Challenge Tracks to accelerate Michigan's recycling and waste recovery system. Boosting recycling and developing innovative solutions to waste management can reduce greenhouse gases and help Michigan on its path to carbon neutrality by 2050.

Teams accepted into the RIT Track will receive:

  • Individualized project plan development and support
  • Access to business, industry, and investment experts
  • Direct consulting support
  • Matchmaking with partners and funders
  • Workshops and networking events
  • Private and public funding opportunities

The RIT Track is open to businesses, entrepreneurs, universities, public agencies, tribal communities and non-profits who have investable project ideas with the potential to transform Michigan's recycling economy. Teams must have a tested technology or idea, but the teams do not need to have proven market validation at the time of entry. Preference will be provided to teams showing the potential for growth, scalability and commercialization. Out-of-state teams are eligible; however, the project must address materials in Michigan and ultimately be located in the state.

"To move Michigan from the linear use and dispose model and toward a true circular economy will require innovation," said Matt Flechter, recycling market development specialist for EGLE. "The RIT Track will help foster entrepreneurs, start-ups and organizations to advance their ideas on recovery, reuse, diversion, processing and product design."

NextCycle Michigan aims to be inclusive in its engagement and will employ a lens that values and prioritizes diversity, equity and inclusion. Minority and women-owned businesses are encouraged to apply.

An application packet containing information on the RIT Track, eligibility criteria, application process and cycle deadlines is available at NextCycle Michigan.

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