The Rotary Clubs of Peterborough/ Kawartha and Cleantech Commons have joined forces once again this year to fuel environmental innovation.
Cleantech Commons has renewed its partnership with Rotary as the Title Partner of the Rotary Environmental Innovators Fund (REIF).
REIF is designed to advance innovators working in areas such as biodiversity, water and wastewater technologies, climate change, sustainable living, pollution, and waste disposal.
With this year’s theme being “Empowering Innovators, Inspiring Change, Building a Sustainable Future,” the program supports and advances the passion of environmental innovators across Peterborough and the Kawarthas: both individual environmentalists and start-ups working on some of the major environmental concerns.
It offers cash awards to the top-ranked winners, generates networking gateways for the applicants to connect with related ventures, and provides vital mentoring relationships.
To apply, please complete the “Innovators Application Form” by clicking here! The deadline for applications is March 6, 2024.
Cleantech Commons executive director, Martin Yuill, tells us that he is excited about the REIF’s immediate and future impact.
According to Yuill, these include:
- generating innovation-led economic development and employment opportunities for the local community,
- attracting cleantech and environmental investors and mentors, and
- identifying early-stage innovators and entrepreneurs who can benefit from mentorship and value-added programming.
Yuill emphasizes that REIF entrants also stand to benefit from access to the Cleantech Commons suite of programming, facilities, and expertise, including support from the research park’s various program and expert knowledge partners.
“Through this exciting collaboration we aim to generate opportunities for both skilled youth and talented graduates – as well as the innovators and entrepreneurs of today and tomorrow – to start and grow their ventures or find employment in the environmental sector right here in our region,” says Yuill.
Now in its second year, the Fund is made possible through contributions from corporate and individual environmental “Champions.”
Individuals and corporations eager to support this year’s Rotary Environmental Innovators Fund can participate through three tiers: $100 for Individual Champions, $200 for Corporate Champions, and $500+ for Visionary Champions.
Pledging support is easy via the REIF website at rotaryenvironmentalchampions.ca. Immediate tax receipts are generated for supporters.
At an Awards Event to be held at Camp Kawartha on April 19, 2024, five environmental innovators will each be awarded $3,000 to address environmental challenges.
A distinctive feature of REIF is its commitment to nurturing the next generation of environmental leaders.
As part of this commitment, REIF will support the Peterborough Regional Science Fair which includes students from kindergarten to grade 12. REIF will contribute $225 to the winners of the Junior (grades 7-8) Earth and Environmental Sciences category. This initiative aims to foster and recognize the efforts of young minds dedicated to environmental innovation.
Rotarian Graham Wilkins is leading the charge for the Peterborough Club.
Focusing on a collective impact, Wilkins says, “The journey towards environmental sustainability is inherently collaborative. We can have far more impact by engaging with the individuals and companies working on our behalf. The REIF will help to pave the way for local Innovators to play a role in achieving this.”
Wilkins tells us that “REIF surpassed all expectations in its first year, and we are thrilled to build on that success this year. The overwhelming support from the community and the interest it has generated across Ontario truly underscores the commitment to environmental innovation.”
To become a Champion /Donor or to submit your application, go to https://rotaryenvironmentalchampions.ca/about-reif/.
About Rotary Clubs of Peterborough
The three Rotary Clubs in Peterborough are integral components of a worldwide service organization uniting business and community leaders for positive local and global impact. Embracing themes of peace, disease prevention, water, maternal and child health, education, literacy, and economic development, Rotary has been a community leader in Peterborough since 1921. The REIF underscores local Rotarians’ unwavering dedication to applying Rotary’s strength in addressing environmental challenges and effecting tangible change.