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Case Studies

Biotech firm unlocks value in food waste

Edinburgh biotech business IntelliDigest aims to help hotels and restaurants unlock the value in their food waste.

About the business

When Ifeyinwa Rita Kanu set out to simplify waste management, she knew she had the scientific knowledge and skills to do so. But she also saw that her biotechnology company would need specific and practical business support, which is how Business Gateway became involved.

IntelliDigest was launched to develop and market IntelliAD, a device that turns unavoidable food waste into biogas and biochemicals for commercial use. Aimed at restaurants, hotels and others in the hospitality and food sector, IntelliAD can be used on-site to eliminate food waste. The biogas gives the business a source of clean energy for its own use, while the biochemicals can be sold on to chemical companies. By converting waste as soon as possible, the product can maximise its value and minimise greenhouse gas emissions.

Business Gateway became part of our bigger team and our adviser’s connections meant he was perfectly positioned to signpost and educate us about potential funding opportunities.

How Business Gateway has helped

Working with Business Adviser John Hughes of Business Gateway Edinburgh, Ifeyinwa was able to tap into the expert help she knew she needed. As well as drawing on John’s wide-ranging knowledge of domestic markets, she accessed innovation support to help shape IntelliDigest’s growth strategy.

John saw that IntelliDigest could benefit from further advice and used his networks to set up an introduction to Scottish Enterprise’s Innovation Team, leading to the business being awarded a ByDesign grant.

Business Gateway support

Business planning

Innovation support

Routes to funding

What’s next?

Business Gateway’s support package also included detailed UK and overseas market information. This will be crucial when IntelliDigest moves from the prototype stage to a finished product, and will support its global reach.

“John’s help means the process of getting our product to market is moving more quickly and is far smoother than I expected,” says Ifeyinwa. “Having that help when it came to routes to market was crucial for us and will continue to be as we develop and grow.”

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