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UNITED SOYBEAN BOARD ANNOUNCES ITS SOY INNOVATION CHALLENGE WINNERS
Pictured above is USB Farmer Leader Shannon Tignor Ellis, USB Vice President of Market Intelligence Mac Marshall, and The Yield Lab Institute COO Brandon Day—along with challenge winner Clean Label Solution CEO and Founder Dr. Mohammad Arshadi, and runners-up, Renewable Green Composites Founder Scott Loethen, EDEN Cellyfill Vice President Nancy Levens, and NeuEsse CEO Joseph Connell.


Source: United Soybean Board news release

ST LOUIS, -- The United Soybean Board, in partnership with The Yield Lab Institute and Amazon Web Services (AWS) Startups, is pleased to announce Clean Label Solution as this year's Soy Innovation Challenge grand prize winner. Through a proprietary fermentation process, Clean Label Solution delivers high-value beef and dairy cattle feed from soybeans and soybean meal. U.S. soybean farmers produce a high-quality and eco-friendly feed ingredient for the livestock supply chain, making soybeans a preferred choice for animal agriculture.

The protein component of the soybean provides a valuable source of nutrients for cattle, however cattle are unable to consume the soy oil component. In trials of the Clean Label Solution's Bi-Pass Pro+ feed product, cattle could digest the 30% of soy protein that otherwise passes through the animal without use. This boosts milk and meat production while curbing methane emissions. It also offers a more sustainable ingredient that replaces the need for palm oil in cow feed

"Securing victory in the Soy Innovation Challenge unlocks the immense potential of the soybean market, not only in terms of methane reduction but also economically. Our breakthrough soy-based feed addresses environmental concerns by reducing methane emissions and also presents lucrative opportunities for sustainable agriculture and economic growth. This win marks a pivotal moment in harnessing the full potential of soybeans for a greener, more prosperous future," says Dr. Mohammad Arshadi, Founder and CEO of Clean Label Solution.

This year's Soy Innovation Challenge encouraged new and novel uses for soybean meal. As soybean oil demand continues to expand in the biofuels space to help U.S. states decarbonize, this presents an opportunity to find new uses for increased soybean meal supply. Nearly 70 candidates from around the globe submitted innovative ideas for soy-based solutions for a wide range of applications, including food, cosmetics, petrochemicals, and biofuels. A panel of nine experts vetted applications and selected four finalists to participate in a venture accelerator program while also competing for a U.S. Soy investment. This furthers the economic viability of their businesses and grows a customer base that will consume U.S.-grown soybeans through these products.

"Reviewing all of the applicants' submissions and hearing from them firsthand showcased the power and the possibility of the soybean," shared USB farmer-leader from Virginia and Soy Innovation Challenge judge Shannon Tignor Ellis. "Each of the four finalists brought something different to the table, opening doors for innovation that elevates the value of our soybeans and presents a unique opportunity for checkoff investment. While the push for sustainability continues, our soybeans keep finding new ways to be part of the solution."

In addition to Clean Label Solution being awarded $75,000, the other 2023 Soy Innovation Challenge winners include:

EDEN Concept Fill developed Cellyfill cushion products as a fully sustainable alternative to polyurethane foam, the petroleum-based industry standard. Cellyfill is a cellulose-based material from soy hulls that gives manufacturers and consumers a lower-cost, high-quality, sustainable option for soft fill in furniture, mattresses, and other products. - First runner-up awarded $50,000.

NeuEsse developed a human skin substitute, OmegaSkin, made from soy protein. OmegaSkin becomes a scaffold for the body to regrow its skin over serious wounds or burns with minimal to no scarring, offering a more cost-effective medical solution than current treatments, like skin grafting or advanced cellular therapies. - Second runner-up awarded $25,000.

Renewable Green Composites creates plastics and polymer building blocks from soybean meal to improve the sustainability of some plastics. Soy-based plastic beads and additives by Renewable Green Composites can be melted and molded into various non-durable outdoor applications, including golf tees, lawn toys and more. - Third runner-up awarded $20,000.

"The Soy Innovation Challenge has been a fantastic effort to showcase the most promising and innovative technology to promote the utility of soy in markets we know like feed, food, and fuel and new markets in consumer packaged goods (CPGs), medicine, and nonfood uses. We cannot thank the United Soybean Board, AWS and partners enough for believing in the challenge model and funding 3 of these exciting challenges over the past four years. We look forward to seeing where these finalists go and how they bring their soy innovations to market," says Brandon Day, COO of The Yield Lab Institute.

About United Soybean Board: United Soybean Board's 77 volunteer farmer-leaders work on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers to achieve maximum value for their soy checkoff investments. These volunteers create value by investing in research, education, and promotion with the vision of delivering sustainable soy solutions to every life, every day, across the three priority areas of Infrastructure & Connectivity, Health & Nutrition, and Innovation & Technology.

As stipulated in the federal Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soy checkoff. For more information on the United Soybean Board, visit unitedsoybean.org.

About The Yield Lab Institute: The Yield Lab Institute is a non-profit, agtech think tank focused on supporting, advancing global agtech startups, entrepreneurs, and ecosystems. The Institute's initiatives include open innovation challenges (The Manure Challenge, The Soy Innovation Challenge, The Sustainable Agtech Challenge and more), ecosystems assessments (e.g. Rosario, Argentina, Piracicaba, Brazil, East Africa (long and short form) and technical studies (e.g. St. Louis soilless ag Phase I and II). The Institute is the non-profit arm of The Yield Lab Group, a global federation of venture capital funds that invest in early stage agtech. For more information, please visit The Yield Lab Institute.


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