Best Ideas 2021 features all the nominated entries submitted under ‘Submit your Idea’ category. All the entries consist of innovative solutions or propositions for an enterprise that champions the Sustainable Development Goals. They can be on the conceptual, planning, or start-up stage.

"BioV" – Strategy to Alleviate Indigenous Communities from Cancerous Herbicides

Published on August 31, 2021 um 08:39

Explain your idea in details:

The spraying of glyphosate, a herbicide widely used by the government to control weeds and pests, has raised questions as a suspicious carcinogen and contaminant on agricultural and non-agricultural lands and leaching to the watershed, affecting nearby wildlife [1]. In addition, First Nations' communities have observed negative health impacts and disrespect to their ethos, for example, the Sagamok of Anishnawbek community from Northern Ontario, Canada. One alternative is vinegar, a natural ingredient from corn. However, due to its pungent smell, it is only a solution to small, localized farms. Keeping this in mind, we propose a stepwise strategy to replace the use of glyphosate with nano emulsified vinegar as an effective herbicide [2]. Our idea is to formulate nanomaterial encapsulated vinegar (BioV). Our product is an attractive proposition because nanoemulsions are cost-effective, have shown efficient transport of actives, are environmentally friendly, and can be easily synthesized. Our idea is to combine nanoemulsion technology already used in skincare products to encapsulate organic acids modified towards the encapsulation of vinegar. The scope of our work is therefore twofold: i) formulate and distribute BioV for environmental herbicide remediation, and ii) educate the population on the importance and respect of salvaging Indigenous land, as well as the safety of nanoparticles. This idea incorporates the UN's SDG 3 and 11, bringing together a safer and more environmentally economical community. Not only are we using innovative technology in our solution, but we are also considering the Human Rights of Indigenous peoples that have been negatively infringed upon due to agricultural spraying. References: [1] White, Governments say glyphosate is safe, but some say 'poison' is being sprayed. [2] D. Fleury, J. A. Bomfim, S. Metz, J. X. Bouillard and J.-M. Brignon, 2011.

Expected impact of your idea on sustainable development

We intend to help both First Nations peoples and the agricultural industry by creating a means to use and implement sustainable and eco-friendly materials. BioV has the potential to revolutionize the herbicide industry. As vinegar comes from corn, a natural resource, it embodies the mantra of Indigenous peoples of taking care of Mother Earth. With BioV, we are taking ingredients from the Mother and applying it back to the Mother. Metrics for success will be considered at all stages. For instance, the cost of operation, such as manufacturing and R&D labor, needs to be reasonably within the fundraised budget. We estimate 3 full-time scientists and 3 research assistants would be necessary for viable product creation. Effectiveness will be evaluated by %elimination of weed and olfactory testing (we do not want residual vinegar smell). Other measures for success will be that BioV is easy to use and has no adverse effects after its use. We have also established the following milestones: The first milestone is the working formulation of BioV and performing five trial runs with different glyphosate spraying farmlands. Our next step is to survey the agricultural businesses and note if the effectiveness of BioV is the same, better, or worse than that of the glyphosate. The overall goal is to have BioV be better than glyphosate. We also intend to survey the Indigenous communities previously exposed to glyphosate and determine if they are content. This step will be our second milestone. Once completed, BioV can be implemented outside Canada in other agriculturally developed areas to replace other herbicides.

Plans for implementation and sustainability

IBISWorld indicates that ~20% of annual revenue from the Farm Supplies Industry was herbicides. However, based on the ongoing concerns and protests against the use of glyphosate-containing products across Canada, the market towards a bio-friendly product like BioV is very attractive to satisfy both the agricultural industry and governments through B2B marketing. BioV offers a unique selling proposition of integrating nanotechnology on a household ingredient like vinegar (from corn). In addition to our BioV innovation, we also aim to build meaningful connections with the local communities. Our group hopes to seek funding from environmental grants and funding programs in Canada, as well as venture capitalist firms such as Cycle Capital Management. With secure funding, BioV will undergo three distinct phases: (1) survey/data collection; (2) testing; (3) manufacturing and marketing. The first stage will involve collecting data regarding land and Indigenous population, their acceptance toward products like BioV, and building connections with the local community through community meetings. The second stage is testing and getting approval from Health Canada. In the final stage, we plan to introduce BioV to agriculture lands, and educate communities on its inspiration and safety, like the Sagamok of Anishnawbek peoples in Northern Ontario. Along with marketing, we will also actively seek feedback from industrial and Indigenous parties for improvements on the product. One critical innovation factor of BioV is its merging of existing technology from cosmetics with the natural herbicide of vinegar. We later can expand our target to other provinces and territories within and outside of Canada. We envision an ongoing competitive advantage for us. We can reduce the cost of manufacturing, hence the market price, if we manufacture BioV in Ontario, which is the territory with the largest producer of corn in Canada.

Your profile

We are a team of three women in STEM looking to make the world a better place through science. Our idea was first conceptualized and deemed the winner of the 2021 Women in Science and Engineering, Toronto Chapter, Pitch Competition in the sector for Environment. Joy (00): Bachelor at the University of Toronto; Physical and Environmental Chemistry; determined to work on projects related to computational and Green chemistry. Ananya (95): Masters at McGill University; Environmental Engineer; worked on exhaust and wastewater treatment till date and desire to continue to work towards environmental remediation; committed to complete any project, trying to beat the existing best. Monika (92): Postdoctoral chemist at the University of Waterloo, nanomaterials synthesis expert able to execute the idea and lead the way to its success. We are a group passionate about leaving the planet in better shape than we found it and are driven to create a people, planet, profit enterprise. Together, we think our idea for BioV will have a significant beneficial environmental and societal impact.

BioV - From Earth to Earth (3-minute pitch)

Stage of Idea

planning stage, start-up stage

BioV - From Earth to Earth Infographic

BioV - Business Model

BioV - Strategy and Timeline

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October 8, 2021 06:16

This is a great business model. Herbicides can truly be a danger to humans. Recently in my country three districts had its people suffer stomach upsets from food poisoning after buying food from a restaurant that used lettuce which had been sprayed with herbicides. These herbicides where probably not washed out properly. It's imperative to ensure that pest and weed control don't become a hazard.

October 5, 2021 21:09

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world. Success is not final, failure is not fatal, It is the courage to continue that counts.

Your idea is very smart and practical.

September 24, 2021 07:01

Pesticides used on plants recently has been causing alot of pollution and even sicknesses on the humans who finally consume. Your project really needs to go far so you make a difference progressively in your country and extend to the world at large. We really need healthy pesticides on our plants

September 19, 2021 04:16

We agree! Thank you for your encouragement. We hope we can bring a positive change in the industry and eradicate the need to use synthetic products through our idea.

September 16, 2021 06:00

This idea is great. Congratulations, hope we will have more and more good solutions to protect the environment. Your article details and I really like it. good luck

September 4, 2021 23:13

Thank you for the kind comment and vote of confidence! Yes it is very concerning and this issue should be taken seriously and we must act swiftly. We hope we can make this concept a reality soon and appreciate the support.
All the best,

Frank Damas Masinde

August 31, 2021 18:52

This idea is good, now days the increase in pesticide residue in food products specifically vegetables has became seriously. The technology will help to overcome the situation. Congrats and all the best in this social saving concept.