Driving Innovation to Improve Economic and Environmental Performance November 21, 2012 RICCentre By: James Sbrolla Most of us understand that recycling our used products is an effective method for encouraging a healthy environment. We also know that the recycling industry creates jobs, both in government and through companies that provide recycling services. But, the effectiveness of recycling programs, whether for tires, plastics, or electronics, is gauged by the existence of a use for the recovered materials. Innovation and the forces that drive it, is the key motivator for creating competitive, growing markets for recovered materials. Without innovation, new methods for extracting value from recycled materials would not exist, nor would the incentive for companies to collect and market recyclables. Organisations such as the Research, Innovation, and Commercialization Centre help create opportunities for entrepreneurs to market their ideas and grow their businesses. Recycling Idol is the new event through which the RIC Centre is promoting innovation in Ontario and helping entrepreneurs to raise capital, promote their products, and increase the visibility of the recycling industry. Recycling Idol will bring 4 recycling technology companies together with a panel of industry experts and an auditorium filled with spectators to compete for $30,000 in prizes and boasting rights to the title of Recycling Idol. This event will help to showcase the importance of this industry and demonstrate how innovation and competition are working to help create more value for the material that consumers dispose of. In this way, innovation is working to create more value for the public and ensure that communities have increasingly good reasons to ensure that they manage their waste responsibly. For the public to have a reason to recycle, they have to know that when they drop off their used tires at a depot or put material in their Blue Box, something useful is being done with it. Driving innovation helps to create new markets for material, which in turn creates jobs, removes contaminants from the environment, and stimulates the economy. Sign up for Recycling Idol! Pre-registration: $25 At the door: $30 *Fee includes breakfast James is an entrepreneur-in-residence at the RIC Centre and a veteran of the financial & environmental industries. Bringing over 15 years of experience in these sectors, James has been an advisor and key executive in the successful foundation, growth and development of several Canadian companies. The RIC blog is designed as a showcase for entrepreneurs and innovation. Our guest bloggers provide a wealth of information based on their personal and professional experiences. Visit RIC Centre for more information on how RIC can accelerate your ideas to market.