Hammond-based FiberX wins Producer-Led Innovation Challenge • Northwest Indiana Business Magazine
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Hammond-based FiberX wins Producer-Led Innovation Challenge

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Hammond-based FiberX won the top prize in the Producer-Led Innovation Challenge.

The Indiana Corn Marketing Council and Indiana Soybean Alliance set the challenge to create “new revenue streams from current on-farm processes to increase efficiency and return on investment for producers’ operations.”

“Producers are always looking for better ways to make our farms more efficient,” said Indiana Soybean Alliance Board Director Denise Scarborough, a farmer from Lacrosse and a challenge judge, in a press release. “New technology is a key way to achieve those goals. ISA is excited to continue supporting this contest. There were many interesting and diverse projects; it was very difficult to select one, clear winner.”

FiberX was one of 21 teams that took on the task. FiberX took away a $25,000 award for their innovations in converting corn stover into feedstock for chemical and materials industries. They produce biocomposite plastics that could replace up to half the petroleum-based plastic polymers. The product then is used on long-lasting products like outdoor furniture.

The team, which includes Dave Skibinski, Wade Lange and Tom Santelli, also received a Manufacturing Readiness Grant from Conexus Indiana and an Innovation Voucher for Elevate Ventures.

“Agriculture is the only economy in the world that touches every person on the planet, because it centers on food,” said Mitch Frazier, president and CEO of AgriNovus. “This challenge sought to identify new innovations that enable farmers to generate additional revenue streams while simultaneously meeting the growing global demand for a sustainable food system.”

The Producer-Led Innovation Challenge's 2022 winner was acquired by Indiana-based Intelinair, an agtech company. The contest started in 2020 has led its winners to more funding or acquistion.


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