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NextCycle Michigan accepting applications for three Innovation Challenge tracks

Nov. 15, 2021

Initiative offers business planning support, resources, potential funding opportunities for recycling and organic recovery projects that demonstrate impact in Michigan

NextCycle Michigan is now accepting applications for three Innovation Challenge tracks: Intergovernmental Initiatives & Public-Private Partnerships (I2P3), Recycling Supply Chains (RSC), and Roads & Pathways (ROADS).

NextCycle Michigan is an initiative from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) that leverages public and private sector assistance along with investment across six Innovation Challenge Tracks to accelerate Michigan's recycling and waste recovery system. A recently updated infrastructure and end market gap analysis identifies opportunities where this data-driven program can boost innovative solutions for materials management, which help to reduce greenhouse gases and further Michigan on its path to carbon neutrality by 2050.

The I2P3 Innovation Challenge seeks solutions around recycling and composting that can leverage economies of scale and sustain regional gains in diversion, to create resilient and adaptable communities. I2P3 requires a public entity - city, county, regional authority, tribal community, non-profit, etc. - to lead the team, with partners in either the public or private sectors. The application period for the I2P3 Innovation Challenge will remain open until Jan. 7, 2022.

The RSC Innovation Challenge seeks projects to establish, improve or expand supply chains related to collection, processing or end markets for recyclable material in Michigan. Teams must have a tested technology or idea, but do not need to have proven market validation at time of entry. Preference will be provided to teams showing the potential for growth, scalability and commercialization. Applications will be accepted for the RSC Innovation Challenge until Jan. 7, 2022.

The ROADS Innovation Challenge seeks projects that expand the use of recycled content in road and pathway construction. ROADS is open to start-ups, entrepreneurs and established businesses, including manufacturers of road materials (such as aggregate, cement, concrete, asphalt, etc.), construction companies, C&D reprocessors, and research institutions, as well as public sector agencies. Teams must have a tested technology or idea, but do not need to have proven market validation at time of entry. Preference will be provided to teams showing the potential for growth, scalability and commercialization. The ROADS Innovation Challenge will accept applications through Dec. 15, 2021.

"This is an exciting time in Michigan with the open application period for I2P3, RSC and ROADS marking the full opening of NextCycle Michigan and all six Innovation Challenges," said Matt Flechter, recycling market specialist with EGLE. "NextCycle Michigan is already working with teams from earlier Innovation Challenges to plan, partner, and fund projects that will have a true impact on Michigan's circular economy."

Teams 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

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

Out-of-state teams are eligible; however, the project must address materials in Michigan and ultimately be located in Michigan.

Application packets containing information specific to each Innovation Challenge, including eligibility criteria, application process and key deadlines, are available on the NextCycle Michigan website.

 

 

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