An Edmonton-based clean-tech startup aiming to transform the Canada’s plastics industry recently received funding from Alberta Innovates through the region’s Agri-Food and Bio-industrial Innovation Program.
TerraVerdae Bioworks drew investment from the province’s innovation engine because it is developing a bio-technology based on “polyhydroxyalkanoates,” which are polymers that are bio-derived and naturally biodegradable alternatives to more pollutive conventional plastics.
The Alberta firm is leveraging patents in the bio-polymer space to create a biodegradable coating for crop seeds that will enhance efficiency, maintain soil health, and reduce emissions associated with production.
“We are applying our patented bio-based polymer for use as a seed coating after being approached by an international seed company,” stated William Bardosh, chief executive of TerraVerdae, earlier this month.
The new biodegradable coating “will provide nutrients and improve germination after crop planting,” according to Bardosh, “and because the polymer is from a natural source it also qualifies for organic farming.”
All of the company’s products are “environmentally safe, biodegradable, naturally derived, and do not persist in the environment at end of use,” TerraVerdae states online.
Established in 2009, the innovator says it takes “an integrated approach to cleantech development.” Experts from across fields—from industrial biotechnology to advanced polymer science—collaborate in state-of-the-art facilities in Edmonton and Charlottetown.
TerraVerdae’s diverse team of professionals includes Dr. Bruce Ramsay, who joined the company through a 2022 merger.
Last year, TerraVerdae acquired PolyFerm Canada—of which Ramsay was president—for its technology portfolio of bio-based elastomeric polymers known as medium chain length polyhydroxyalkanoate.
“We are excited about PolyFerm becoming part of our company,” Bardosh said at the time. “The addition of PolyFerm’s capabilities and know-how represents a significant opportunity for TerraVerdae to advance new and valuable solutions to help the world develop sustainable plastic solutions that can reduce its carbon footprint.”
With fresh funding, a bolstered team of experts, and an expanded portfolio of patents and other resources, Edmonton’s TerraVerdae is well-positioned to advance ag-tech in Alberta and beyond.