USAID – Island Climate Initiative hosts Demo Day
After over two months of preparations, Island Climate Initiative with funding from USAID and in collaboration with the National Innovation Agency, John Keells X and MAS Foundation for Change, successfully hosted a Demo Day and Innovation Trade Show dedicated to unveiling groundbreaking solutions to address the pressing issue of single-use plastics – the first of its kind in Sri Lanka.
The event, held on September 14th at The Stables, Park Street Mews, was attended by renowned dignitaries and industry leaders who are committed to sustainable initiatives in Sri Lanka.
The highlight of the evening was the culmination of the Plastic Innovation Challenge, an initiative launched by Island Climate Initiative and its partners in May 2023. This challenge was part of a project funded by the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Clean Cities Blue Oceans program, a global project operating in Sri Lanka and six other countries working to identify solutions to plastic waste issues.
Over 150 innovators responded to the call-out launched in May and after a rigorous assessment, seven applicants were selected to participate in a comprehensive two-month incubation program that helped them further develop their enterprise towards successful commercialization.
During the event, a wide array of innovative solutions was showcased, including biodegradable alternatives to single-use plastics made of organic waste, non-recyclable plastic waste management systems, and portable machinery to decentralize plastic waste processing.
Four finalists were selected by a panel of distinguished industry experts.
These innovators will now have the opportunity to collaborate closely with industry partners to bring their solutions to market, addressing the issue of single-use plastics in Sri Lanka. Two of the innovators received financial support for product development from Coca-Cola Beverages Sri Lanka Ltd and Laugfs Eco Sri Limited.
The event featured a trade show that showcased technologies and products from already commercialized solution providers from Sri Lanka.
Additionally, an insightful panel discussion titled “Reducing, Recycling, and Repurposing Plastics: Opportunities and Challenges in the Journey from Innovation to Commercialization” took place.