It really does feel amazing to say this – today is the 3rd anniversary of opening our first ever lab space. We have come a long way in that short space of time and looking back over our achievements so far fills us all with a great sense of pride and invigorates us for the challenges yet to come.
“3 years is a long time in business – at least the first 3 years are – hard work, emotionally and mentally tough, but very worthwhile.
90% of new businesses fail, and 60% of them collapse in the first 3 years – but here we are, still here and still making a noise about our ambitions and achievements. CuanTec is growing, succeeding and building a reputation as a leader in Circular Economy solutions and BioEconomy technologies.”
Cait Murray-Green, CEO, CuanTec
On 9th January 2017 we began with 3 employees in an empty lab in MediCity, Glasgow. Now, we have 2 equipped labs across Glasgow and Oban with 13 employees including 8 fantastic full-time laboratory scientists.
The ability to move so quickly has been largely due to support from several investors. We have won substantial funding from many different sources, including SMART awards (Scottish Edge) Sky Ocean Ventures, Scottish Investment Bank and most recently Co-innovate, administered by Highlands and Islands Enterprise.
In late summer 2018, we caught the attention of one of the UK’s largest supermarkets after winning John Lewis and Partners pitching competition, JLAB. The support from Waitrose has been invaluable for bringing our product forward. We are very excited to continue working with them over the next year and bring CuanSave™ to market by 2021.
"Waitrose wish CuanTec a Happy 3rd Birthday. We're delighted to have been able to work with them on an exciting development - a new film for food packaging potentially made out of waste langoustine shells. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Cuantec and celebrating our successes together in the future."
Nikki Grainge, Partner and Packaging Development Manager, Waitrose
2019 saw us being recognized as Research Business and Start Up of the Year by the Herald Pioneer Awards. Over the past few years, we have been awarded quite a few awards including Best Blue Biotechnology 2018 at Scottish Enterprise Awards and winning the Innovation award at the Nature of Scotland Award in the same year. We are hugely proud of our achievements and are delighted when other people recognize this too, especially when you consider the tough competition we have been up against. Looking forward, we have already been nominated in the Scottish Rural Awards 2020 for in the Innovation Category.
We’ve caught the attention of the press, featuring on BBC Scotland (news), BBC Alba (news), STV (news) and Channel 4 (Food Unwrapped). We’ve also been in a number of publications including the Financial Times, The Scotsman, The National, British Plastics and Rubber Magazine, Impackter and The Advocate (part of GAA) just to name a few.
Over the years we have built up relationships with many other small businesses across the UK such as Inverawe Smoke House, Fabulous Fish and FloGro Systems. Collaboration is vital to our business model and ethos of creating a circular economy. For example, FloGro Systems send us the shells shed from their prawns which we will formulate in packaging for them to then sell the prawns in – a great example of how businesses can work together in sharing knowledge and resources to find the value in ‘waste’ products and reuse it for another purpose.
The past 3 years have been phenomenal. There have been many challenges along the way that we have overcome and have made our successes that much more enjoyable. Looking forward 2020 is set to be another incredible year. We are set to finalise our formulation, complete our first scale up, open our pilot plant and begin production. We will be sending our finalised product for all relevant industry testing to ensure accreditation for the quality and health and safety of our product. This will lead to the creation of new jobs across our two current sites and at our pilot plant – watch out for further announcements! We also have a number of international events coming up such as conferences in Germany, China and potentially Canada.
“We are very proud to continue to support CuanTec’s mission to solve the plastic waste crisis through innovation over the next decade!”
Jamie Rowles, Head of Investment, Sky Ocean Ventures
We’d like to thank all supporters of CuanTec. From those who donated to our crowd funding, business investors, employee’s past and present and the public who believe it what we do and want us to succeed. We have a lot of work still to do in our mission to cut down on plastic pollution by replacing single use plastic food packaging. The next 12 months will be a lot of hard work, but we are ready. We are ready for the challenges, from overcoming technical issues to convincing huge corporations that their ‘take, make, dispose’ models are wrong and circular economies are the responsible way of moving forward. We are ready to help clean up our oceans and try to reverse the damages caused by human’s irresponsible activities. We are ready to promote new innovations to tackle climate change.
We’re ready to fight to protect our earth. We’re ready to make plastic pollution history. Are you?