Today, Chinova Bioworks (Chinova), a Canadian-based natural ingredient company, hit a turning point by expanding its manufacturing space inside the Bioscience Manufacturing Incubator (BMI) on PEI. This milestone was made possible through the company’s partnership with PEI BioAlliance, the operator of the BMI.
Chinova chose to move its manufacturing to the BMI because its state-of-the-art building focuses on sustainability and energy efficiency, which makes them more environmentally and eco-friendly. The new space increases Chinova’s production from pilot scale to 20x their current capacity levels with plans to expand their operational team in PEI. The Government of Canada, through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), provided a $250,000 repayable contribution for the purchase of manufacturing equipment to help Chinova meet the new production levels available within the Bioscience Manufacturing Incubator. The additional staff and manufacturing capabilities allow the company to expand its client base to larger businesses that can make a prominent footprint in reducing food waste.
The BMI is a newly built 20,000 sq/ft facility operated by PEI BioAlliance, a private sector-led not-for-profit organization dedicated to growing Prince Edward Island’s bioscience industry. The BMI is designed for start-ups to transition from pilot-scale to full production levels while meeting the strict regulatory standards required for producing natural products.
Until this point, Chinova Bioworks was fortunate to have worked from the BioFoodTech facility in Charlottetown. BioFoodTech is a 30-year-old institution providing professional technical services to food and bioprocessing industries. The food grade space allowed Chinova to meet its early production goals, all while in a GMP environment. Chinova’s success highlights the importance of a scale up space prior to moving to BMI.
Co-founders Natasha Dhayagude and David Brown met in 2015 at an entrepreneurship accelerator and incubator center in Fredericton, New Brunswick. There they found a common interest in science and the study of mushrooms. Fast forward to 2016, to the founding of Chinova Bioworks, whose core values are to find sustainable sourcing and innovative ways to reduce food waste through food preservation.
Looking to nature, the company developed a natural and sustainable alternative to artificial preservatives with its white button mushroom extract called Chiber™. Chinova has become a disruptor within the food preservation market with Chiber™, its natural clean-label preservative, which improves food and beverage products’ quality, freshness, and shelf-life resulting in increased consumer satisfaction while reducing food waste.
Over the years, Chinova has formed strategic partnerships with government agencies and investors to enable them to reach their expansion goals. Those agencies are the PEI BioAlliance, Emergence, BioFoodTech, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), Innovation PEI, Natural Products Canada, National Research Council of Canada (NRC), and Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC). Those investors are DSM Venturing, Rhapsody Venture Partners, and Rich Products Ventures.
“Chinova Bioworks is proud to be a part of Canada’s food and biotech island on PEI. This new state-of-the-art space allows Chinova to expand our workforce and technology within the natural products industry as a sustainable, eco-friendly, and trustworthy preservation ingredient supplier.”
– Natasha Dhayagude, CEO and Co-founder, Chinova Bioworks
“Our new space inside the BMI increases our staffing and gives us 20x more production capacity. This space will boost customer satisfaction and broaden our target market to giant CPG companies requiring large-scale production.”
– David Brown, COO and Co-founder, Chinova Bioworks
“Investments in Atlantic Canada’s growing bioscience sector are bringing skilled employment, forward-looking companies and new opportunities for collaboration to the region. It is exciting to see the many innovative ideas that companies like Chinova Bioworks are taking to the global stage. I am proud that the Government of Canada continues to support Prince Edward Island’s world-class bioscience research and incubator infrastructure.”
– Sean Casey, Member of Parliament for Charlottetown, on behalf of the Honourable Ginette
Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA
“The bioscience industry in our province is growing bigger and better every day. Chinova is a perfect example of a company that has grown from concept to production right here, in Prince Edward Island. Government looks forward to a continued relationship with Chinova as it expands into global markets and develops even more innovative products.”
– Bloyce Thompson, Minister of Economic Growth, Tourism and Culture
“Today’s official opening of Chinova’s new manufacturing facility is the culmination of a highly collaborative effort from key partners within Atlantic Canada’s bioscience ecosystem. The PEI BioAlliance through its business incubator, Emergence, looks forward to continuing its support of Chinova Bioworks as they continue to grow and meet the increasing demand for their products.”
– Dr. Jason Cleaversmith, Executive Director, Infrastructure and Incubation, PEI BioAlliance
“Chinova’s plant-based food preservatives are a great example of how more sustainable food production can improve human health as well as deliver environmental benefits. SDTC is proud to support this innovative Canadian company as they take the next step in their journey to commercialization. Congratulations to the team at Chinova Bioworks as you open your new manufacturing facility in Charlottetown!”
– Leah Lawrence, President and CEO, SDTC
● Chinova is a semi-finalist for the Food Waste Reduction Challenge for the Novel Technologies Streams through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
● Chinova received FDA GRAS for natural preservative ingredient, Chiber™
● The company received Series A funding for $6 million (USD).
● Chinova recently won the NutraIngredients-USA Award in the Start-up category and the Exporter of the Year Award (Under $5M in Export Sales) from Opportunities NB (ONB)
About Chinova Bioworks:
Chinova Bioworks started in 2016 with the mission of using nature to protect and reduce food waste. The company developed a natural fiber extract from the stems of white button mushrooms to make stable, broad-spectrum preservation ingredients that protect products from spoilage caused by yeast, mold, and harmful bacteria. Their ingredients are natural, healthy, and integrate seamlessly into various foods and beverages during processing. This technology enables manufacturers and lab operators to improve their finished products’ quality, freshness, and shelf-life, resulting in increased consumer satisfaction for using natural, clean label ingredients, all while reducing food waste. The company has raised $10M in investment with a team representing 90% of women in STEM.
Through sustainable practices and upcycling, Chinova plays a crucial role in making the food and beverage industry happier, healthier, and better for the environment.
Visit www.chinovabioworks.com for more information.